Lately it’s felt as though my life is one grand adventure outside my comfort zone.
Currently, Lately would probably be a better way to phrase it.
Each morning my feet hit the ground and the very first thing I think is:
Okay, what is it today?
I’ve lived so long outside my zone of comfy it’s begun to remind me of the 90’s phrase “thinking outside the box.”
Remember when we were consistently admonished to employ outside the box thinking?
Back then all I could think was this:
If we’re all endeavoring to be unique and everyone is outside the box—does the box still even exist?
I’ve had these same sort of musings about our comfort zones.
We’re repeatedly told how life begins outside of them.
How everything we desire and our greatest growth waits for us *just* beyond them.
If this is true, then
who is still residing in her comfort zone and may I join her there why do we resist the feeling we most experience when we leave this “safety?”
The feeling of fear.
Why do we fight the sole thing which keeps us stuck inside routine when, supposedly, everything we crave is just beyond these feelings of familiarity and ease?
I considered this idea when I wrote a guest post for Marc and Angel Hack Life.
I pondered ways we could prepare ourselves to “fight fear.”
I wrote about how fear isn’t really as paralyzing as our bodies try to trick us into thinking.
I offered my best suggestions how we could push past fearful feelings.
I’m proud of how the post turned out, yet as I’ve learned to live alongside a certain level of fear, it dawned on me:
I need to turn my words inside out.
I don’t need to push past fear or focus on not letting fear hold me back–I need to get close to it and really see how it works for me.
I need to befriend my fear.
I need to view fear not as a roadblock around which I’m navigating (go Carla!), but embrace it as a necessary companion and find the parts which work for me.
- Fear makes me feel alive. I’ll admit even in my moments of why did I agree to this? It’s terrifying! I feel more alive than ever. When Ive paused to “listen” to myself as I describe situations to friends I can feel, under my fear, I’m more on fire than ever. It’s as I’ve said to my daughter when she’s nervous before performing. That’s a good thing! If you weren’t a little afraid–you’d not be alive and this wouldn’t be real!
- Fear arrives with opportunity. If I were as fabulous as Brene Brown I might add something here about fear being an indicator I’m about to experience my greatness. I don’t know that’s true. I do know the majority of opportunities or scenarios which spark fear for me are precursors to experiences which could be really great.
- Fear builds confidence This has been a topic of conversation around our home a lot lately. The more we face our fears the more confident we become. If we didn’t have fear around to help us increase our confidence—how would we grow? Which leads me to…
- Fear is my BFF when I allow it to be. For the longest time I shoved fear aside with two other BFFs I strive to avoid: guilt and shame. I’ve changed my mind. I’ve shifted my mindset. Fear, when I invite it in and don’t hide from it, propels me forward. It’s a feeling which indicates I’m working toward good stuff and is something I can use to spark me to action.
I’m no Franz Kafka, but these days I’ve channeled his quote more often than not:
And, more often than not, it’s working.
- Do you lead a life of striving to banish or overcome fear? Do you view fear as something to be pushed though in order to succeed?
- How might you make fear your friend?