After a long break from writing and being caught in the messy halfway on the fifth floor of life, I sit down to write about my new journey. I choose to ‘eat the frog’ and perform a new stretch outside of my daily comfort zone.
Showing our work to others equates to baring our souls. It’s daunting. Sometimes, it can also be humiliating. But it’s also cathartic and insightful to exit our familiar zones of comfort.
Author, fear expert and founder of the Fearless Living Institut Rhonda Britten says our comfort zone “is the things that are regular, that are predictable, that cause no mental or emotional strain and stress. It’s our place of reprieve, where we can conserve our energy and not have to figure anything out.”
In a nutshell, then, a comfort zone is an environment or mental state that is unchallenging and unchanging; our comfort zone is a physiological boundary we create for ‘ourselves’. We choose to stay within our comfort zone because it includes everything we know and understand, without having to give up control and familiarity.
A lot of what we are really is about what we’ve chosen to be. I think with a bittersweet sense of regret about the loss of all I haven’t “chosen” and about how what scares me is also what disconnects my passion with my purpose of becoming the more authentic, confident and upgraded version of myself that will further lead me into fulfilling my real potential.
Leaving your comfort zone can be scary. It involves unlearning protective layers that you carry with you and that hold back who you are underneath. It forces you to be uncomfortable and to risk not being in control.
When you start something new out of the comfort zone, particularly in the creative area, it’s the most inconvenient moment, like a whack on the side of the head, where we go from fearful to stunt pilot because at that moment we are enlightened by a guiding force or energy that shows us the mirror so that we have the opportunity to address the deepest and darkest aspects of ourselves.
And then, after that rude awakening, something profound happens! Synchronicity. Answered prayers and stars aligning. It’s all the flowing force of the universe, guiding us back to the source. That same guiding force that ensures we are in exactly the right place at the right time. It’s that guiding energy that ensures we keep shedding our layers, evolving, remembering who we are, and who we are unbecoming in our deeper layers.
These words and thoughts prance into my head as I tip toe outside my safe space to ‘unbecome’ and to erase the procrastination stories tattooed on my brain.
It takes a lot of inspiration and mentorship to trigger creativity and to ignite passionate drive. I am more blessed than ever, in the “messy middle” stage of life, to be propelled by mentors who are the “shark leaders” and symbols of gentle discomfort and fearlessness in the vast ocean of my transformational change. Their honest and constructive feedback has helped identify the zones of comfort to break free from, while helping establish those stretch goals.
For me, challenging the known outside of my daily norm is how I am taking the first step to unbecoming. Tapping into my passion, purpose and potential to inspire others through writing is my stretch goal towards comfort zone exit. It’s a lesson I’m learning. It’s a letter to myself and to all the people who need to learn what they are truly capable of, until they do something they think they can’t.
For you, it may be connected to whatever scares you and about what makes you uncomfortable. Challenge your routine, whatever your life is right now, and whatever you weren’t even thinking of changing. Take on new interests, passions and desires. It’s really that simple. New tastes in people, places and things will develop and make way for a newer, significantly better and upgraded, version of yourself. Suddenly, what’s more challenging and gripping, what’s more interesting and intense avails itself to you, as you awaken the greatness inside of you, to become the authentic and empowered person you are meant to be.
I’m excited about the wonders that await beyond this zone, in a symphony of appreciation and growth I’ve never actually known.
I invite you to join me on this mindful journey of change as we embrace the gift of gentle discomfort in a world of endless possibilities, of the extraordinary hidden within the ordinary, where choices will reflect our hopes and no longer our fears.
In unbecoming, we will grow and unfold, while shedding what’s known. Serendipity.
Freda Yannitsas is a Mindfulness Advocate and Feng Shui Strategist