Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Moving out of your comfort zone

Often what we call procrastination, a lack of inspiration or boredom, is really just being trapped in the shell of our own comfort zone. Our comfort zone offers a safe haven, a trusted beaten path for us to follow. However the comfort zone can easily become, over time, our liability zone!

A quick sketch of some household goodies lying around - it's amazing what you'll do when inspiration fails to materialise. I just couldn't think of anything to sketch - a landscape? No, boring! Some animals? I've done so many of those already! I was at my wit's end, trying to come up with something, so I decided to really challenge myself and do something I really hate - still life! 

I looked around the kitchen and grabbed a couple of things lying around and just started sketching. Before long I was totally immersed in capturing the see-throughness of the plastic wrap and the vibrant colours on hubby's favourite mug - even my hake lying close-by got roped in! 

Moving out of my comfort zone and doing something new made me realise that we so easily become entrenched in the 'known', that excitement and passion can easily ebb away and leave us feeling drained.

Here are a few tips of how to get out of your comfort zone :

Put your personal work out in the world so that it’s potentially vulnerable for negative comments. A piece of writing online, some of your paintings – anything that can be complimented or critiqued, which will either boost your confidence or thicken your skin. Just don't let it demolish you - remember that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder.'

Read a book from a section in the library you’d normally never set foot in. If autobiographies are normally your thing, check out a Teen-Fiction novel or a Humour piece. Whatever is outside of the norm.

Perform some type of public speaking, such as a poetry or reading at an open mic night. Or have an art exhibition in your garden (that might not be out of your comfort zone, but it definitely is for me! Smile!)

Pick up a new hobby that you currently have very little ability to do. Musical instruments, cooking, painting, writing, dancing, whatever.

Go to a restaurant you’ve never actually been to and order something unique off of the menu. No cheeseburgers or salads, nothing you’ve had several times – and preferably something you struggle to pronounce!

If you’ve grown comfortable doing things solo, start doing those activities with a friend. If you only do things with friends, try going it alone. Trust me, seeing a movie by yourself is surprisingly pleasant.

Choose one of your fears and confront it head-on. Don’t like heights? Try skydiving, hiking a mountain or going on a rooftop – whatever you can do, as long as the idea of it makes you uneasy.

Enter a competition in which the odds are stacked against you. Failure isn’t always a bad thing, especially if it’s utilized properly. By losing and feeling a let-down, you should become thirsty to try again or at least to feel the glory of winning and success. Remember, You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time!

And last but not least, say “yes” to every single opportunity that presents itself, big or small. From an invite to an event you typically wouldn’t attend, to a job promotion in a different city. Some things are life changers, and they should be embraced with open arms instead of shot down without consideration.

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