“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” -Brian Tracy

I’ve been presented recently with several opportunities to step outside my comfort zone. I like to think of them as not so gentle shoves from God. 😉

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by the friend that teaches a doggie manners class at our local dog club to cover the class last week while she was out of town. The first thing that struck me was that I said yes without hesitation. The old me would have totally freaked out and come up with a thousand excuses why I couldn’t Or at the very least pushed it off on someone else. And guess what? It went amazingly well. I had the skills, just not the confidence in myself.

The second time, I was at a recovery function. Which is big for me anyway because in the past I would avoid any social situation whatsoever. Anyway, a bunch of people were playing volleyball. I did my normal sit on the sidelines deal, but someone asked me to play. Which normally would have been met with pretty much “Hell, NO!” But something has changed. So I agreed. Now this may not seem like a big deal to many people, but let me tell you I can count the number of times I’ve participated in group sports on my fingers and have fingers left over. And the number of times I’ve played volleyball? Um, if I ever have I don’t remember doing it. So yeah, way out of my comfort zone. And of course, I totally sucked. But SO WHAT? I still had fun.

A week later, I got asked my someone in my recovery group if I would be willing to present her clean time medallion if her sponsor couldn’t make it (due to a death in the family). My reply? “Of course!” Let me tell you, public speaking about ranks up there with dental work for me BUT the thing I have now that I never had before is willingness. Willingness to be open to trying new things. And the ability to follow through. Recovery has taught me this, and for that I am so grateful.

There are so many things I do now, both in and out of recovery, that are way outside my comfort zone. Pure Barre for one. I feel like uncoordinated cow who is totally out of place. I am surrounded, literally, by a room full of mostly young skinny women who dress like they are at a fashion show. They seem to have no problems executing every move and not making ugly pain faces or cussing out loud. HAH! But it’s all ok. And it’s good for me. Eating clean was once way out of my comfort zone. I had no idea what that even meant. But now, it’s a lifestyle, not a struggle. Heck, at one point boot camp was even out of my comfort zone. Theses days I’m encouraging others to come.

So I got to thinking that every time I get pushed out of my comfort zone, and I don’t resist, I grow. I don’t always enjoy growing. Growing pains can be a bitch. But the result I get from it is worth it. Not staying in the same place would be even more painful, and I’m just not willing to stay the same. Staying the same will take me back to places I’m not willing to go. My life today is just too good. Moving out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be a giant leap. Baby steps are still forward motion. And that’s the goal, mine anyway. Keep moving forward and keep growing. What are you doing to step out of yours?images-3