Saturday, October 26, 2013

How New Opportunities Expand Your Comfort Zone

Have you ever felt like the man in the photo?  For me, that's exactly how I feel every time I jump out of my comfort zone.  Yes, it's scary.  I never really admitted to anyone how those butterflies in my stomach were swirling the day I announced we were moving out of California.  It was an 1,800 mile leap with no safety net.  I learned a valuable lesson:  You can't grow if you let your fear hold you back.  Here are some examples of how new opportunities expand your comfort zone:
  1. Try a new activity.  The first time you do this you will feel uncomfortable.  That's normal.  Any time you take a step outside your normal routine, you will hear your comfort zone calling out to you like a mother who is searching for her little boy when he explores a new block in his neighborhood and she can't see him playing outside.  Your passions are waiting for you to find them.  The more you explore, the easier it gets.  Don't give up.
  2. Push your boundaries.  Every time you volunteer to take on a new activity at work or develop a new talent, you are expanding your comfort zone.  The key is to recognize how fun it can be when you venture out a little further each day.  People around you will be more willing to follow you if they see you succeeding. 
  3. Don't retreat when you skin your knee.  Your mind and body can recover from any fall.  Falling down is normal when you're trying something new.  The ones who get back up and keep exploring are the ones who get the job promotion and fill their bucket list up with exciting new challenges they want to accomplish.
The best gift you can give others is to teach them how to expand their own comfort zones.  In this family, I give each family member five stars.  What a joy it is to watch them leap like the man you see in the photo above.  How about you?  Are you ready to expand your comfort zone?  What will you do differently today seek out new opportunities in your life?  Please add your thoughts in the comment section below.

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