Fear can be our greatest ally when it’s time to leave the comfort zone.
Open Letter to Comfort Zone
Hey Comfort Zone thanks so much for the hospitality.
You’ve kept me tucked in and safe; warm and toasty but I gotta’ tell you it’s time to leave. I need to raise my game and that can only be done outside you. Believe me it’s a bit scary and really I’d love to stay nestled in, but you know as well as I do its game over if do. Well…game over in the sense I stop growing and things remain exactly as they are.
That doesn’t do it for me comfort zone, you see I have dreams and I’m testing them.
So here’s an update – as it stands right now I have my feet out of the comfort zone with the rest of me to follow ASAP.
The holdup is that I’m in a bit of a tussle with fear.
Fear desperately wants me to stay but the voice of creativity and courage is gaining strength so it’s just a matter of time until I can fully disengage. I’m allowing fear to have a voice because it does make some good points and considering them is what strengthens me. So I’ve decided the best strategy is to give fear an opportunity to say what it wants but not let it run the show. That’s my job.
I have to hand it to fear it’s coming up with a lot of reasons why I should stay where I am and not follow my dreams.
Which include as you know, to grow my baby (Red Shoe) to the point where I can offer some new, super exciting and fun options which would help all of us soar to new heights in Life Part II. The fearful part of this is that I have to get very, very adept at technology, digital ‘stuff’ and the whole online world. You know this is TOTALLY not my thing. Right? Sometimes my head feels like it’s going to explode it’s so full of information that doesn’t know where to go (yet).
Fear’s telling me that, this is not the ‘right’ time to leave and I oughta’ wait until I know more.
Wait is pretty ambiguous it could mean next week, next month even next year. While it’s true I do need to know more a whole *@#[email protected]* more I’ve never had all the answers I need before I’ve started anything–ever. I’ve always learned as I’ve gone along. I find it tends to work best that way because you can’t ever know everything. Even the brightest minds have to ask for help every now and then. Does fear expect me to be able to look into the future and foresee all that will happen—now??? Wow, that would be great. I promise to look into that and if there’s some kind of special training I can take to be able to see what’s ahead I’ll sign on. Besides you wanna know something else comfort zone when I’m learning as you go I’m always in the present moment never defaulting to a-u-t-o-p-i-l-o-t. That’s a nice bonus the present moment is really a great place to be…lots of amazing stuff happens there.
Fear’s also saying, this idea of mine might not work and that there’s a very good chance I will fail.
Hmmmmm….as far as failure goes I’m willing to take my chances ok? Besides there’s a good possibility that what I’m envisioning right now is meant to be shaped differently, made better and I won’t know what that is unless I’m working the problem…right? I’m looking at this as a journey. I’m open and not locked into a specific outcome.
Fear’s suggesting I may be starting in the wrong place and that I should be very, very careful.
This makes me laugh comfort zone because I know starting is the hardest thing. Where I start is secondary. If my start position is actually the ‘middle’ you know what I’m going to do? Adjust. It’s always easier to make adjustments while moving vs standing still. Get my drift?
Fear’s saying, “Mistakes…lots of mistakes ahead….you’ve never liked making mistakes you try so hard to be perfect.”
I’ve got this one comfort zone. Fear doesn’t know I’m not chasing perfectionism anymore I gave that up. I discovered that being imperfect was way more fun and I am far more loveable as my imperfect, vulnerable self. Mistakes…are a-ok with me they are course correctors that indicate the way forward.
Fear’s voice is getting weaker comfort zone….I think it’s losing strength…..
“It’s tooooo big…..what you’re dreaming of is tooooo big to tackle for someone of your age.” Wow…this is coming at me with both barrels. Ok…let’s address the size issue first classified as too big. Didn’t anyone ever tell fear any idea worth pursing always starts out big and that what you do is break it down and ‘tackle’ it in a series of small steps? A lot of people do it that way and it seems to work just fine. As far as my age goes…is fear kidding?? 60 is the new 40 or maybe it’s 35…I’ve never been good with numbers. Anyway, do you remember the movie The Hurt Locker? Good right? Well…it won an Academy Award in 2010 so did it’s Director Kathryn Bigelow. It was her first major success and guess what… she was 57! Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76 and Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78. The age thing isn’t gonna fly.
Fear? You still there? Hello?
Hmmmmmm—-think we’ve lost connection. Comfort zone indulge me if you will I have a message for fear.
“THANK YOU,” for all you’ve given me to think about and consider. In the past I’ve put you in the driver’s seat and let you tell me what to do. I’ve waved my little white flag and given up. But I see you differently now.
You’ve kept me safe in comfort zone until I was ready to fly. Your challenges strengthened me and deepened my commitment. I am ready. I know you’ll be back but that’s ok…I won’t be running from you anymore ….I’ll be running towards you. I see you as kind of a partner you keep me sharp and at the top of my game.
So there you go Comfort Zone a recap of all my discussions with fear.
Funny thing happened as I was filling you in and lost connection I stepped out of you. Completely. I’m on the other side Comfort Zone! So please accept this as my final notice. Do I need to give you 30 days? If so no problem I’m good for it just let me know where to send the cheque. The place looks as good as I found it.
Thanks for your hospitality it was exactly what I needed while I was there.
I’m off to make magic happen and create my dreams.
I’ll send a postcard.
With love, Cheryl x
ACTION STEP – There comes a time when we all have to leave a place of comfort if we want to grow. What do you want to do? If you don’t know – consider this a thought prompt. If you do know – start taking small, baby steps towards it. Hear the voice of fear… thank it for its concern it will provide you with safety until you’re ready to fly. When you’re ready write a letter thanking fear it for its concern and offer up all the reasons you’re now in the driver’s seat and it’s reassigned a spot in the back. Then send Comfort Zone your notice to vacate. Email me too [email protected] or post a comment below so we navigate the terrain together and share stories.
ACTION STEP – Create a heart doodle.The doodles are a simple concept but they have a powerful purpose. They (or any art related activity) allow us to move an idea we’re working on from our head, to our heart through our hands. Once the idea is safely tucked into our hearts it has the power to have significant impact. I know this ‘art stuff’ is stretch for a lot of people but I encourage you to give it a try. It’s way more fun than it may appear and (trust me) it works!
PS… Please share this message. Fear can be the great immobilizer. Do you know an amazing woman who is stuck and unable to move? She may be dealing with self doubt, questioning her worth, or lost trying to find her way in this new phase of life. This message may be just the thing she needs to let her know she’s not alone and how to get moving. Maybe she’ll join this tribe and start creating the life she wants along with us.
“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge” ~Tuli Kupferberg
Oh, I’m so here! Fear is a tough boss to overcome. I’m constantly trying to keep fear from totally running the show!
You put this so beautifully. Yes, we have to leave our comfort zone to grow but yes, accept and recognise the beneficial questions posed by fear – but don’t let fear take over. Loved this.
fear has way too much to say for itself – I’m learning to ignore its little voice more and more 🙂