Out of Your Comfort Zone

" Our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable. " -Twyla Tharp

Living outside your comfort zone is a major part of becoming a Dream Maker.

In order to live your God inspired dreams, it will require leaving the place of safety and complacency that you have created for yourself.

When we are in our comfort zones, everything is familiar, routine and perhaps easy. You drive to work the same way, you eat the same meals every Wednesday night, or you meet up with your friends at the same restaurant you’ve gone to for the past five years. 

Maybe your relationship is not fulfilling and has a lot of conflict and strife, but it’s easier to stay and be unhappy because it’s what you know.

Maybe you have been in the same position at your job for years. You are not growing or being challenged in your role, but it’s easier to stick with what you know than to try for advancement.

Or just maybe you have these dreams in your heart that you have carried for years, but it’s safer to fantasize about them, then to take action to make your dreams a reality.

Let me say that comfort zone living is good and necessary. It provides structure, continuity, and stability in our lives. It is good to have people, places and things we know we can count on. Comfort zone living only becomes a problem when that is all we know. When we don’t take chances to experience new things in life, our ability to grow and further develop is limited. Without new experiences being added to our lives we never reach the full potential of who we are. We stifle our growth, our creativity, our gifts and our abilities to be a blessing to others.

To be a Dream Maker means sometimes shaking things up and taking risks. I’m not talking about crazy, unwise risk, but smart risks that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.

Think about the last time you did something outside of your comfort zone?

I recently stepped outside of my comfort zone and attended a two-day writing workshop. Now I must tell you making the decision to go was one that was encumbered by fear and doubt; you know those feelings and thoughts that come up when you are getting ready to do something new. I was fine with the first day of class which was basically the learning portion where we explored topics like discerning your writer’s voice.

The second day of the class requirements is what was causing my fears to go into overdrive. In this portion of the course, we were to read aloud something we had been working on. Afterwards, the students and the teacher would give feedback. Now it’s one thing to write for my site, but it is another to read my work in front of people who are basically strangers, staring back at me and me at them, as I wait to hear what they think and feel about what I just read.

With the registration deadline rapidly approaching, I remembered an experience I had many years ago when I attended a writer’s group at a local bookstore. During the writer’s group, I listened and did not say a word. I also never went back. If I went back I knew at some point I would have to read my work. The whole time I sat in the group, I felt intimidated by what others were able to create with words. I convinced myself that my poems and short stories were no good and that I did not belong there.

So here I was again with a similar opportunity requiring me to share my work. I knew I could not let fear and doubt win out again. So despite my fears, I signed up for the class and went. I must tell you I am glad I did because it was one of the best experiences. The group was supportive and gave positive critiques that inspired me to not only work harder on my craft but to write and share more.

But had I not step out of what I knew, which was basically writing all the time, but never sharing it with others, I would have never had the experience which has made a difference in the way I see myself as a writer.

I know where I am trying to go. I want to use my words to inspire women to live their God inspired dreams. I also know in order to get there, part of it means stepping out from my comfort zone and doing the things that scare me.

And while I know each time I embark into the unknown the outcome may not be what I expected, it’s okay. Each experience whether good or bad is one that will only help me to become more of who I am and to do all the things I was created to do. This applies to you too.

So, again I ask you to think the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone.

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Send me an email, I would love to know what you have done to step out of your zone on your way to becoming a Dream Maker.

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