May 22, 2015

5 Reasons to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone (p.s. Number 5 is the best ;-))

As many of you know I have two sons. One is happy to try his hand at anything, is resilient if things go wrong and can easily laugh at himself. He's done many a fun thing and moves easily in and out of his comfort zone. My younger one, on the other hand, is a perfectionist, is generally less confident and happy to excel in things he is good at but not keen to branch out. Over the last few years we have encouraged Young Son to try a few new things, and this year, his last year at school and his last chance to enjoy such freedom - he has. I'm immensely proud of what he's doing (Peer support, dancing in Stage Challenge...etc). But it got me to realising how easy it is for me to luxuriate in my own comfort zone and keep on plodding down the same road- I know what I'm doing, I'm okay at it, if it ain't broke, don't fix it right?

But thinking I should practice what I preach I looked at my working practice and decided I'd try something different too. After all, stepping out of your comfort zone is good for you- isn't it?

Oh yes!

1) Healthy Stress is good for us; it is a great motivator and can push us to achieve things we didn't know we were capable of, forces us to think in new ways. It gives us challenges that question the way we normally do things and look to alternatives, it helps us grow

2) Helps to reframe who you are; If you start to take a few risks in life you begin to see yourself in a different light, as someone who is open to new ideas and things. You are more likely to put your hand up for something, to volunteer, to become more active (as opposed to passive) in your life. You get to meet new people, make new friends.

3) Find your 'inner child' - I know it sounds gobbledegook, but basically, it means we start to see fun in things again, to learn how to play with a childlike curiosity, an increased sense of fun. (Believe me, when I abseiled for the first time, I thought it was the best thing ever! I was so pumped, so excited about what I'd achieved I was like a kid in a lolly shop!)

4) You stop fearing failure and embrace opportunity- Say yes to some new things! Give them a go. If they don't work, don't worry. (Start small and get used to the way it feels, first). Remember, the quicker you fail the quicker you learn and grow.

5) You may get a picture like this to call your own!

So, I decided to challenge myself and write something different. Yes, I was scared, yes I needed to do a whole lot of growing and yes I was deeply concerned about what others would think of my attempts. But now I have a novella (1st one)...I have an alpha male (1st one)...I have a new publisher (tick)...I didn't know if I could achieve any of those 3 goals but I put myself out there and lucked out. I hope it's okay, but if it isn't- well, at least I gave it a go!

What have you done recently that made you step out of your comfort zone?


  1. We painted almost the entire house (except for the bathroom, my son's room, 3 walls of our room, and the guest room), plus we replaced the 55-year-old carpets in our entire basement ... on our own. We've lived here 32 years and never gotten around to it because it was so overwhelming (and expensive). We had all the extra living room furniture in our guest room upstairs, and we had everything but two couches and a chair in our crawl space - all of it tucked away for about 3 weeks. We even placed baseboard and other trims around the basement where they should have been placed when the house was built....
    The work is now done and we are (almost) ready for our daughter's wedding on May 30/15 (plus we held an open house for the couple here a week ago).

    1. Wow! Laney4 you have seriously stepped out of your comfort zone- but it sounds wonderful!! Well done to you- what an achievement! I know you'll have the best time at your daughter's wedding, the work's all done- have fun! xx

  2. Louisa, it sounds as if you didn't just step out of your comfort zone, you soared! Super-duper congrats on your novella. It sounds fab. Also, that's a rather nice cover you have there. ;-)

    Enrolling in my PhD surely feels like stepping out of my comfort zone. Not sure I'm going to feel 'comfortable' again until the darn thing's done. Mind you, I know I'm alive. ;-)

    1. Hi Michelle- you certainly did leap out of your zone with two feet! But what an achievement- you should be so proud of yourself!

      What's next on the list?

  3. I think it's going to be more than okay, Louisa! Look at that gooorgeous cover! And so close on the heels of you RITA nom. You're flying high baby!

    Tried to preorder but its not up yet 😢

    For me, writing Limbo ( out today, yay!) was stepping out of my comfort zone. Writing something so different was bloody scary and at times I felt like I didn't know what I was doing or that I could even finish. I didn't feel like I had the right "tools" for it. But it was great when I wrote The End and proved to myself I could. There's also another potential project coming my way which is nothing at all like *anything* Ive done before (at least Limbo is still romance!) and will be completely out of my comfort zone but am looking forward to the challenge.

    1. I remember you putting a cryptic message on fb last year saying that you were going to do something different...I wonder if Limbo was that project? Congratulations on finishing it and on release day today! I will go and explore of luck, I hope it sells heaps! And good luck with your next project- sounds very interesting!

      No pre-order...not sure why not :-(

  4. Louisa

    Awesome news and awesome cover I am looking forward to reading this one :)

    You know I took a big jump last year and retired I gave up a lot of money but the stress was way too much and you know what we are coping just fine and I am so much happier and really I don't know how I ever found time to go to work LOL

    Have Fun

    1. Helen, retirement is a huge change for anyone, but good on you for embracing it! So glad you have found things to fill your time and that you're happier than ever!

  5. I can't think of anytime really recently that I've actually stepped out of my comfort zone. The only recent one I think of was last November signing up for NaNoWriMo and admiting publicly online that I've slowly started writing - that said it's currently at a standstill as I have a lot of clutter to deal with and it's highly unconducive to writing.

  6. Louisa, congratulations on the new book and on stepping out of your comfort zone! Sounds like it's been a productive time for you!

    Hm, the biggest one for me has been travelling alone to Europe and back. I prefer to travel with family but this time it wasn't possible. I've done it before but this trip was packed with change.

  7. Louisa! Go you for taking steps outside your comfort zone! It's all too easy to stay there in the zone and enjoy. But the rewards of taking a plunge to do something can be huge too... it's just taking that first scary step!

    I guess we're a bit out of our comfort zone at the moment with these renovations! But we've nearly finished the painting and it's so lovely an fresh that I'm starting to think it's going to come together!