“The hardest thing to do, is leaving your comfort zone. But you have to let go of the life you are familiar with and take the risk to live the life you dream about.” ~ T. Arigo
I used to live in comfort zones.
The safety, the familiarity, the bubble that you know. The life you are used to, the life perhaps you feel you need to live.
It’s comfortable. Secure. It meets the expectations of others. You can live there quite easily, forever in your safety net. It’s dependable and life moves along reliably, with a certain degree of certainty.
Your comfort zone can be a beautiful place, but nothing grows there. Without the courage to step outside, you forever stifle your growth. I used to live smack bang in the middle of my comfort zone.
I don’t live there anymore.
March seems to be a month of change for me. Four years ago in March, I made a decision that would forever alter the trajectory of my life. It really was the ending of my marriage and a period of incredible change, fear, vulnerability, and courage, and I didn’t just step outside of my comfort zone, I leapt off a bloody cliff. I had been with my husband since I was 21; we had 2 young adult kids. We were financially settled and I was living the life I thought I had to live.
In March 2018, I began to rebuild my life, outside my comfort zone with absolutely no parachute or life raft. But I did so with heart, soul, and so much passion. I decided to live my truth.
I think as humans we fear, fear. Most of us are terrified of big changes, particularly, when those changes cause external judgement. We talk about growth and transformation, but unless we are willing to listen to our souls and actually follow what we hear, we never really gain the growth and change we desire.
Life is about balancing your dreams and your truth. Without listening to your truth, you stay rooted in the same spot. You may move and spin around, but you never actually achieve your true destiny.
Our passions are tied to that truth, and when we finally step into our authentic space, we discover who we are.
For me, I know I can’t live that passionate, genuine, and soul-filled life without jumping out of that comfort zone. The amount of growth I have undergone in the past few years is something that even shocks me. I hear it from all those close to me, but it’s not until I really reflect that I can see it.
That brings me to March 2022. Last week, I made the decision to accept a redundancy from the company I have worked at for the past 35 years. Yes, 35 bloody years! I started there at 18, and it’s honestly my last comfort zone. I have worked so hard over the past few years on myself and to undergo and complete my Masters in Holistic Counselling and Coaching, so I know it’s my time.
So, on the 18th of March 2022, I will walk away from that last comfort. That last safety net. Am I scared? A little, but I’m actually more excited. I’m excited because my business is ready to go. I’m excited because I have three books that will be published over the coming months. I am excited because I believe in myself. I’m excited because I’m listening to my soul and following where she is guiding me.
Stepping so far out of your comfort zone is not for everyone, and that’s okay. For me, it’s been the discovery of who I am and who I’m destined to be. I believe everything happens for a reason and I’ve taken my pain and lessons and turned them into the biggest transformation and learnings of my life. It’s not been easy, but damn, it’s been worth it. I am who I am because I had the courage to follow what my heart and soul were telling me.
So, a marriage of 26 years and a career of 35 years have both ended over the past four years. And as I sit here and think about my life, I would have to say I’ve landed in the space I was meant to land. Do I have regrets? I regret anyone being hurt as that was never my intention, and as a compassionate and caring person, I would never want to cause another pain. But I don’t regret how I arrived here or the lessons I have had to learn because they have shown me how to heal. I don’t regret following my soul because I believe she always knows the way. And I absolutely don’t regret the passionate and raw person that I am.
There’s a saying, “Step so far out of your comfort zone that you forget your way back.” I’m not sure I’ve forgotten, but I definitely don’t want to go back there. I’m a huge believer in if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. I also never want to be one of those people who go through life wishing they were somewhere else, doing something else, or were with someone else. I think that would be the most tragic thing—to live a life that isn’t the life of your soul’s desire.
Again, I say balance your dreams with your truth. Your dream may have been that particular career, or that person, but if your truth deep within is a different career, life, person—then the dream isn’t really yours after all, is it?
Your dreams should be the truth of your soul, and I hope you find the courage to pursue that with passion, and that will mean jumping off that ledge called your comfort zone.
I am 53 years old, and I’ve finally closed the door on every comfort zone I have ever known, but I’ve opened the door to beautiful new beginnings, and from this vantage point, I can tell you my wings are pretty damn stunning.