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Ask Dr. C: Get Outside Your Comfort Zone and Take A Risk

Life is full of scary things: speaking in public, meeting new people, first day of school, travel, first job, trying out for a team, shoulder pads from the 80’s, and that casserole you tried to make last week. But learning how to take that big, scary first step is not scary. And taking small steps outside your comfort zone can lead to big strides for you.

What is something outside your comfort zone? For me it was traveling overseas. I didn’t like all the fuss of packing, airplanes, learning new languages, different foods…. What was the last thing you needed to do, but the thought of doing it made you want to run, fight, resist or procrastinate? There are emotions and thoughts that keep you from breaking out and they’re usually built around some kind of fear. Fear of being out of your comfortable place emotionally, fear of failing when you try that new thing or maybe the fear of being humiliated as you try something new.

As Lovely Girls, I want us to understand some truths behind the fears we have that keep us tied to what’s comfortable. I have seen FEAR explained as an acronym that stands for:
F.alse
E.vidence
A.ppearing
R.eal

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 11.29.56 PMI realize that painful past experiences can also be the reason we don’t step out. So, here are some helpful thoughts to remember so you can push into new, exciting things:

1. You aren’t gonna feel strong or smart when you take a risk to try something new.

If this new thing was something that came naturally to you, you would probably already being doing it or accomplishing it. There is always a learning curve and that’s as it should be.

2. It’s okay to take a step outside your comfort zone before you have all the answers or or resources that you need.

By trying to overcome the thing that’s difficult for you, you’re strengthening yourself.

3. Taking a risk that might fail is a healthy part of growing up emotionally.

I have heard it said that “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first”. But if it’s really worth doing, you’ll keep at it and try again.

So I’m saying it’s okay to fail at something worth doing at first, because our failure produces growth and new knowledge. We learn new things by failing.

We can’t allow fear of failure or not automatically knowing how to do something stop us from learning important new skills. All our effort will produce something good.

 

So, Lovely Girls, take that big scary step you haven’t wanted to take! We are with you too!