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Stretching Out of Your Comfort Zone

Is fear keeping you from doing something that has been tugging at your heartstrings?

When things get quiet and the distractions are few, is there a nagging feeling that continues to haunt you, reminding you that there is a calling that you are choosing to ignore?

I am a believer in the philosophy that you only live once, so it is absolutely your responsibility to make the most of your life. I have always loved the saying, “This life is not a dress rehearsal.” This statement implies that you need to “go for the gusto” and move beyond the fears that may keep you a bystander in your own life.

In coaching, I refer to this as making a concerted effort to “stretch” or “move out of your comfort zone”. Inevitably, when a client chooses to stretch they are making a choice to do something different. This gives them a taste of something new and leads them to a growth experience. It adds to their repertoire of life experiences and usually life skills. I tell clients they don’t need to be successful. Their success comes not from the outcome but from moving from one comfort zone to the next. In other words, it’s not the outcome, it’s the effort a client makes to do something different.

Having said that, I also believe it’s imperative that you have a game plan to get you where you are going. If you consistently feel that little gnawing reminder that you need to be doing something new, you must plan for that.

Is there something in your life that you would love to pursue, but you either don’t know how to make it happen or your have fear that keeps you from doing it? I have worked with thousands of clients who, in the course of their treatment or coaching, have identified things they have always wanted to do.

If this sounds like you, spend a few minutes in a quiet spot with your eyes closed and ask yourself this question. Some of you may be content exactly as you are. You may be living out your life’s plan with the certainty that your focus is exactly where it is supposed to be. However, there are others of you who have quieted the desire to try something different because of these six basic fears:
• The fear of failure.
• The fear of embarrassment.
• The fear of the unknown.
• The fear of rejection.
• The fear of hurting others.
• The fear of success.

If fear is holding you back, then it’s time to face your fears head-on. I recommend that you share your fears openly and honestly with a family member, a mentor, or a friend you genuinely respect. Sometimes talking about it unlocks the fear. If not, you may need to talk to a psychotherapist or life coach to get you past the stumbling blocks. If your fears are deeply rooted in your childhood or past pain, a therapist would be most appropriate. If your fear is based on an inability to create a strategy to make it happen, a personal life coach can help you create that plan to move out of your comfort zone.

Don’t let fear immobilize you from stretching and moving into that new comfort zone. We all know that you can’t win unless you play. In next week’s column, we will learn more about the six basic fears.

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