Stepping out of the comfort zone (again)…

A friend posted a video on Facebook made by Inknowation called “Do you dare to dream?” Since I had not come up with an idea for a blog post, I decided to see if the video inspired anything in me.

Right away, Panic Zone versus the Magic Zone jumped out at me. When I think of moving out of my own comfort zone, I wish I could say the unknown feels like a magical place where wonderful things can happen. Nope. I am one of those people who leads with panic. My skeletons start rattling and say, “Don’t go there, you might fail.” I have to consciously switch my brain into the zone of “Well, what if I get it right?” and give myself a healthy dose of You don’t have to be perfect in order to take those first steps.

In the video it said: “You will experience the joy of learning to pursue your dreams. You may initially feel hardly competent and vulnerable and think that it is risky. It is okay. You don’t know everything, for you are human after all. You are learning.”

When I began the creative writing program, there were definite feelings of incompetency and vulnerability. But the further I ventured out on the limb and opened myself up to feedback, the more it shifted. My confidence grew and I was able to hear feedback and learn from it, rather than be shattered by it. As the belief in myself started to gain hold, the more I experienced the joy of writing rather than the fear.

When my last class ended, I was nervous being on my own (without deadlines to motivate me) but I thought I was ready. I thought I could keep up my writing routine. I thought I had the confidence to run with the chapters I had started.

I was not prepared for the back slide into the fear zone.

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Screenshot from Inknowation video

Right now, I feel like the cartoon character from the video: dangling but holding on; not sure how to get back up again.

In the video it said: “What you need to begin recovering your sense of competence is to return to your comfort zone for the personal resources you certainly have and that being in a hurry, you forgot to use. Take whatever necessary, but be patient with your dream. Confident in your goal. Have your strategy well prepared. Be persevering and positive and sooner than you think, your dream will come true.”

When the wave of fear hit, I definitely dove back into my comfort zone but rather than “collect my personal resources and continue on”, I hid. I buried myself in distractions so I would not have to face my fear of not being good enough. The A’s and A+’s I earned in my classes felt more like pressure, adding fuel to my fear of failing. I started expecting too much of myself, was not patient with my dream, and got scared and ran away.

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Screenshot from Inknowation video

But now I am back. I am shoring myself up and getting ready to step out of my comfort zone again. This time I will dig into my resource bag (which I know is well stocked), slow myself down, chip away at my fear and doubt, and give myself a solid dose of patience.

This time when I go out there, my cape will not say superhuman, it will say human. I will keep reminding myself “You don’t know everything, for you are human after all. You are learning.”

I will be patient with my dream, persevere and be positive, but above all else, I will allow myself to be human.

“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way.” – Al Franken

“You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” — Brian Tracy

“Your fears are just guideposts to growth. Surpass them and embrace your inner light.” – Joe Keane

“You are confined by the boundaries that you set yourself. The mind creates the cage. Set yourself free and move out of your comfort zone.” – Mhar

“A dream is your creative vision of your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” – Denis Waitley

“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough.” — Ellen Johnson

“Set out each day believing in your dreams. Know without a doubt that you were made for amazing things.” – Josh Hinds

Are you pursuing your dreams? Out of your comfort zone? Care to share what is working for you? Where you get tripped up and how you get back up again?