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Personal Growth: Stepping out of Comfort Zones

I love motivational quotes.  I love to be inspired, and I love words.  I really love when I find a phrase that speaks to me.  Like today:

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” 

Sometimes I really need this little reminder.  It’s so EASY to be comfortable.  It’s EASY to avoid change.  It’s easy to ignore the callings in our life, because they require moving out of what feels good, or comfortable.

But, do you know what can happen when we do move out of our comfort zone?  Magic can happen.  Results can happen.  Change can happen.  Everything we dream of in our lives can happen, but we have to get uncomfortable first.

I’m a creature of habit.  I like routine.  I like knowing what’s coming my way, and I like to have a plan of attack when it arrives.  I don’t like to feel put on the spot, or being the center of attention.  But you know what?  I’ve also learned that in order to grow, I have to put myself out there at times.  Sometimes I have to force myself to step out of my comfort zone.  It’s always uncomfortable at first, but I have to remember that the discomfort I’m feeling is all part of the process of growth.  Each step along the way is leading me to the life I’m meant to live.

This might seem silly, but today I stepped out of my comfort zone.  I wore a Halloween costume to the school where I teach.  Not only that, but I wore a very silly Halloween costume that consisted of striped tights and a huge red tutu.  I have to be completely honest here.  I don’t like to dress up.  I feel uncomfortable pretending to be someone I’m not, I hate the attention drawn to me when I wear something absurd, and I’m definitely not a tutu wearing girl.  When my department excitedly comes up with the Halloween theme each year, I secretly cringe inside.  I try to come up with the most simplistic idea that I can- one where I don’t really have to dress up.  I think this might be the second time ever that I wore a costume to school.  I’m pretty sure I’ve even faked sick to let myself off the hook.  It’s BAD.

Stepping out of Comfort Zones

This year, I really wanted to be a team player.  I also wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone.  So I did it.  I was one half of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum for our Alice in Wonderland theme.  My four year old told me I looked “ridiculous” and my six year old gave me a look that said, “Mom, this is weird and not normal”- he’s a boy of routine too.  I had a dream last night that my partner in crime didn’t wear her costume, and woke up this morning nervous about how the day would go.  This might not seem like a big “step out of the comfort zone” moment, but for me it was.

Stepping out of Comfort Zones

Guess what happened?  I survived.  Did I love the attention and funny looks I got?  Nope.  Did I have a tiny bit of fun?  Perhaps.  I did enjoy seeing my students entertained, and I did like that I could contribute to the group “win” for the English department.  I’ll also be happy to return to my vest, boots, scarf, repeat pattern at school on Monday.

In the meantime…change is hard, and change takes time.  It happens a little at at time, in those “pushing yourself” type moments.  I’m glad I went for it today.

Happy Halloween! 🙂

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