How to break out of your comfort zone - Part 1
In this blog series I will go through some of the experiments and experiences I went through ( and still going through daily ) on how to break out of your comfort zone and what my life in the last couple of years taught me about it.
I hope this will help you on your own path !
Do you ever feel stuck in a box? As If your life, or a part of it, looks like a repetitive cycle and whatever you do doesn't get you out of the box?
You run in circles and every side of the box looks the same ; you don't find a way out. It sounds scary, I know!
That's what life felt for me for very long time. I was unaware of the meaning of this feeling and I thought that it was the normality of my life, that there was no better way.
At different moments, especially when I was in the middle of some experiences that felt long and exhausting, this feeling of discomfort came up over and over again until one day I couldn't ignore it anymore and I looked straight into its face.
What was it about? My life looked pretty cool from the outside. I kept repeating in my head that I was such a lucky girl ; being able to live abroad, study, meet interesting people and travelling around all the time.
I bet many other girls at 24 would have loved my life.
But something was missing ; something in my perfect plan was going wrong , because regardless of the achievements and the experiences I wasn't feeling completely fulfilled. I had a continuous and restless longing for different experiences, the ones that would really make me grow as a person.
Despite all of my efforts, I felt like whatever I was doing I still had the same insecurities, same doubts of the little girl from my childhood, still living inside of me.
She was trying to speak up and she had some good ideas to help me feel better, but I was ignoring her because I was too attached to the plan I had built for myself in the last few years.
And this plan made a lot of sense, it looked like a way for success, a safe path to it.
I wanted to become a successful manager in a big multi-national company, which meant for me I was going to manage people, have great ideas, travel the world and speak many languages, live in cool cities, earn quite a lot of money, wear nice clothes and then eventually meet the man of my life, get married, have two kids and live happily ever after.
The advantage of this idea was that all the people around me really understood and approved it, it made perfect sense. It was a sexy, appealing plan and I was attracted to many sides of this plan ( but maybe not the most superficial ones).
The truth of this plan, even if it stayed as an unconscious truth for a long time , became gradually more clear year after year, like a small seed of doubt planted inside of me that started to grow. And when I was in the middle of it, pretty much close to make my career dream abroad a reality, I suddenly started to question myself and how my life looked.
The moment that clicked inside of my head, or better my heart, was in a cold winter night of February , exactly two years ago, maybe it was even the same date that this post has been published.
I was sitting on the floor of my little rented studio, living in a foggy city far from family and friends, doing a job I wasn't really resonating with, actually not at all, and finding myself living a life that wasn't mine.
The events that took me there were unclear even to myself. They made sense rationally ( like my dream plan!) but these weren't good enough reasons for my heart.
And I remember clearly the question that arose :
What am I doing here?
Why with all the efforts I made to make this plan happen, I'm still not happy about the outcome?
Why do I still feel trapped in the same patterns of behavior over and over again and they are not leading me anywhere?
And most importantly " Why do I feel so DISCONNECTED from myself?"
I think it was the first time I was actually trying to find clarity in my mind about it, and I really wanted answers to my questions.
And so the Universe gave me the answer : I started to navigate the internet in search of something that could help me, and I honestly don't remember how it happened but I Googled " life coaches " . After some browsing I ended up on a list of Australian health and life coaches, and I opened one of the websites that looked appealing.
The lady on the front page was standing, smiling, with a glass of green juice in her hand and all the categories of her website looked like things I absolutely LOVED. She wasn't talking about fashion, food, design or other topics I was used to seeing in a blog. She was talking about feeling healthy and energized; she was talking about doing what you love and how to become a happier person.
It was exactly what I was looking for, because at the end of the day all I wanted was feeling healthy, fit and full of energy, follow my passions and live out of my heart desires.
After that night, a whole world of possibilities opened up to me and I dove head-first into all the blogs, articles, books and videos I could find on personal development and wellbeing.
Day after day I felt a bit lighter, I learned concepts and ideas I had never heard before, that helped me discover myself a bit more. It was a journey into my soul and it guided me here, two years after to write this post to you, sitting in my apartment in Paris on a cold but very sunny day in February , and training to become myself a Life Coach, Yoga Teacher and who knows what else!
In this couple of years I definitely learned a lot about myself and people in general, and it's only the beginning of the journey.
If my story resonated with you in some way; If you feel lost and confused like I was on that evening, and you're looking for a way out , seeking ways to stop your own pattern cycle, getting out of your box because you have overgrown it, than this piece of advice may help you :
Look around yourself and become aware of the box you're in.
Ask yourself : Who built this box?
What are its boundaries and why they exist?
How can I get out of this stupid box and feel free?
When I asked myself these question I discovered that I built the box, that I was responsible for being there, and no one forced me to be there.
I also discovered that I lived all my life thinking that I was being brave, and doing so many important things, but actually I was in that box THE WHOLE TIME.
That all the steps I took, all the places I went, all the people I met were inside my comfort zone and that's why I felt like running in circles.
My story taught me that the comfort zone I used to imagine was an illusion, influenced by society standards and my own beliefs.
The lesson learned was that breaking out of your comfort zone looks different for any person. That what may look courageous and outstanding to one person , may not be the same for the person involved.
In my case I believed that travelling abroad , living by myself at a young age, and doing all the "right steps" to be a model student and climb the corporate ladder were outstanding and a highway to success.
But all I was doing was escaping from the challenges of my everyday reality of a pretty shy girl growing up in a small city, feeling different from the others, an outsider in my mindset and ideas and afraid to express myself openly to people for fear of judgement.
Having big dreams but also thinking that to realize them I had to go far and do "big" things.
This was until the day I understood that to break out of my comfort zone I had to look at SMALL , daily actions.
I'm talking about the secret little fears that you know you want to overcome, and deep inside you feel they will make you grow, but you're too afraid to try. And you're even more ashamed to share because they may sound insignificant or easy to others, you may sound silly and so you move on with your life, but they stay inside you, coming up when you least expect it.
For me they looked like taking a theatre class to let my voice come out , quitting a course at university , riding a bike, and now looking for a part-time job...
Now I want to ask you :
"What are you secretly scared about?"
Tip: think small and simple for someone else, but scary for you
This is probably my most personal post so far, it definitely took me some courage to write it and put it out there, that's a little example of the daily challenges with my own comfort zone!
I'd love to hear any comment or if you want to share below your own experiences ! Looking forward to read them and connect
With love and light,