How To Step Into Your Uncomfortable Zone

Hiking in Guanajuato, Mexico.

So your comfortable zone is feeling a little boring and that warm, fuzzy blanket isn't quite as satisfying as it once was?  Sounds like you are gearing up to take action and pour some awesome sauce into your life again!  First let me congratulate you on taking that first step in recognizing that you hold the pen to your life's story and you have the power to write the story anyway you like.  Now the next step is to jump into action, challenge your fears and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Here are a few keys to set yourself up for success and be prepared for the opportunities ahead:

1) Start with baby steps to build confidence and grow into the newness.  These first smaller steps may seem insignificant if you have a big, audacious goal but hang in there!  If you build a house by first slapping up walls and forgetting the foundation, you might have a house sooner but how long will it last?  The confidence you gain from the baby steps will give you the courage to keep going later when you are taking bigger, juicier leaps. It won't always be smooth sailing and when the going gets tough you'll be less likely to throw in the towel if you have a few wins under your belt.  Set yourself up for success with the smaller tasks and keep taking larger steps as your journey progresses.

2) Get out of your own way.  The ego's job is to keep us safe and protect us.  Often we can be our own worst enemy. One minute we come up with a brilliant idea and the next thing we know we have come up with five solid reasons we can't possibly do it.  That is the ego talking. That rowdy roommate who lives in our head will have us believing crazy thoughts if we allow the voice to have its way.  Don't second guess yourself.  Maybe your big plan needs tweaking or maybe you simply need to refer back to #1.

3) You aren't the only one who can stand between where you are and where you want to go.  Your friends and family love you dearly but also want to protect you and themselves. They can and will attempt to talk you out of anything that is going to make them uncomfortable and leave them behind.  Sometimes one of the most uncomfortable things you have to do is step away from the loving naysayers and seek out support and advice from new people who can help you.  Don't take advice from anyone who hasn't achieved what you are going after.  If you desire to backpack around the world and your best friend has only ever taken a handful of resort vacations is she going to be your go-to person for advice?  Likely she will try to tell you how much better the all-inclusives are and how scary the streets are outside the resort and the get my point.

4) Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle.  The easiest way to talk ourselves out of even starting something is comparison.  Plain and simple, it is the thief of joy. Telling ourselves that there is no point in even going after our dreams because someone else is so much better than we will ever be will have you walking away before you even try.  What you may not realize is that their journey began long before yours and they struggled and went through all of the blood, sweat, tears and laughter that you might be experiencing. These are exactly the people you want to reach out to as mentioned in #3.  Don't let them be the reason you stopped. Let them be the inspiration that keeps you going.

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5) Reframe your perceived risks.  Really it all comes down to one thing.  Fear.  We fear failing, embarrassment, reputation, finances, etc.  What if rather then focusing on what could possibly go wrong you choose to focus on all the ways that things could go amazingly awesome?!  Sure, maybe the online course you have been wanting to take costs $1000 but what if you could take what you learn and turn it into something you love that provides some extra monthly income for the longer term?  What if being turned down for a promotion or raise gives you the push to seek out a completely different opportunity that you absolutely love? What if moving to a new community introduces you to new friends and activities that you didn't have in your old place?  Stay focused on all of the things that can go right and you'll be amazed at the outcomes.

You have the ability to make your wildest dreams come true but it all has to start with some sort of action.  Getting out of your comfort zone is the action that helps the universe put everything you will need in your path.  Most of all, have fun with it!  The more you practice getting out of your comfort zone, the easier it will get. The easier it gets, the bigger steps you will start to take.  Before you know it you will be looking back and laughing about how challenging it seemed in the beginning but how much easier it was than you thought.

Cheers to getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and living an amazing life!  xoxo

My next 7-Day Comfort Zone Challenge group starts on April 25!  Join us for a fun Facebook group that will support and challenge you to do something uncomfortable each day for seven days!  It's the perfect way to get a jump start on a new season and new goals!  Contact me here or DM me on Instagram if you have questions.  To register, click the Products tab above!

Why You Need To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Peering into "The Abyss" near Nanaimo, BC.

Peering into "The Abyss" near Nanaimo, BC.

Who doesn't love the warm, cozy feeling of snuggling up in a soft, fuzzy blanket?  Why does it feel so good? It's the security it provides and the promise of safety and comfort as long as you are wrapped up.  The blanket creates a physical barrier between you and all of the unknowns out there in the world. You are able to hide anything under that blanket that you don't want the world to see, including yourself.  This may seem great for a little while but what happens when you are forced to put the blanket aside?

What if rather than clinging to the security of the blanket and feeling threatened that at any moment someone could come along and rip it off unexpectedly, you chose to toss it aside on your own?  Think of the empowerment and satisfaction that would give you! How fantastic would that be to stare fear in the face and challenge it head on?!

Is it easy?  No. Is it worth it?  Absolutely!!!!

The truth is that you will be rewarded every time you challenge your fear and push through your comfort zone.

Comfort zones are a wonderful thing to have as a temporary landing pad.  We all need that sense of security and grounding to balance things out. However, if you decide to stay there and set up camp and then eventually build a strong house to weather the storms you aren't doing yourself any favors.  Rather, seek security in knowing that every time you step outside of your comfort zone you are growing, learning and getting closer to living your dream life.

Here are five kickass reasons to rip off that blanket and live large and in charge!

1) Build Resiliency

Taking regular baby steps out of your comfort zone flexes your muscle for resiliency and lays out a path of expanding into greater challenges.  Simply start with something that is new to you but eases you into the great unknown. When you reach out and conquer that first step that seemed so scary you will realize it wasn't as hard as you thought it was going to be!  Now you have begun laying a foundation that has you stepping out of your comfort zone a little more the next time. Yes, this is exactly what happens!

2) Build Confidence and Courage

Maybe you have always wanted to take a language class, act in a local play, travel solo internationally or begin a new career.  What has stopped you? The answer is fear, regardless of the activity. It might be fear of embarrassment, fear of failing, fear of finances, but it is always FEAR.  The more we stare fear down, the more it realizes we are a force to be reckoned with and we feel less threatened by it.

3) Be a Role Model

Actions speak louder than words.  This is your opportunity to be the example for your kids, spouse, family, co-workers, and friends.  They might not always do as we say but they are likely to do as we do. Set the standard of trying something new, taking chances and never giving up on your dreams.  In the words of Gandhi, "be the change you wish to see in the world."

4) Open New Doors

Life has amazing ways of presenting new opportunities whenever we are willing to take a chance.  The first door you knock on might not be the answer to building your dream but it just might be the reason you start chatting with the neighbor.  Often times one thing leads to another but until you start that ball rolling you won't reach the juiciest parts of life.

5) No Risk, No Reward

It's going to feel scary -- that's how you know you are getting out of the comfortable zone and stepping into your awesomeness!  If it was easy everyone would do it and everyone would reap the rewards. The truth is that not everyone is willing to go for it and that makes the achievement so valuable. The reason it feels so good to achieve something is because you worked for it.  The scarier it feels to try something the more satisfaction you get out of accomplishing the goal. Start small but think BIG!

There are so many more benefits of charting new waters, going where you have never gone, and doing what you previously thought unthinkable. There is SO much to be gained!  The secret is to simply take that first scary step and never look back. Your life was never meant to be mediocre and neither were you. The best parts of life are waiting for you on the other side of your comfort zone!  Say YES to your true self -- and YES to your life!

If you are ready to start moving out of your comfort zone NOW and you'd love a little positive encouragement then register for one of my upcoming 7-Day Comfort Zone Challenges!  The next Challenge starts on April 25!  To learn more contact me, send me a message on Instagram, or to register, click here!

Believing in Magic

I knew eventually the day would come when they found out.  I had even gathered advice about what to say in the moment but that didn't make last night any less heart-wrenching.  Last night they discovered the truth about the Elf on the Shelf.

To give you some idea of the impact that Reese's discovery had on all of us let me go back several years.  Our Elf on the Shelf, Candy Cane, came into our lives on December 15, 2012.  After weeks of having to creatively answer the question, "How come an elf doesn't come and visit our house?" we succumbed to the pressure and managed to get our hands on the very last (as in already-opened-because-someone-had-returned-him) Elf that year.  I confess I didn't think it would be all that important -- you know, shiny object syndrome and all.


I don't even recall who hand-wrote the first letter but with the sparkle of Christmas magic it became a daily communication between Reese and Candy Cane.  For a kid who devours books like the library is running out but does just about anything to avoid putting pen to paper this was a homeschooling Momma's dream come true!  And of course it was fun to wake up each morning and see what shenanigans he had gotten into during the night (that was most memorable for Claire) but sharing thoughts and feelings on paper was really special.  Reese talked about him all year round and sometimes even wrote to him in his off-season.  Occasionally he missed a note back for various reasons and that, as you can imagine, required a creative explanation!  For me, the letters almost always involved staying up late and sometimes even getting back out of bed to very slowly write a reply with my non-dominant hand.  But I loved every minute of it.

For five years the letters carried on, both in our home and even after we started travelling full time.  Her level of belief in his existence and of Christmas magic was unwavering.  It’s one of the things that makes Christmas so special for us parents.  Candy Cane did his best to answer every question that was asked of him.  From “how much does it snow at the north pole?” to “how do you write with mitts on?”  Last Christmas, he had every intention of hitching a ride and taking up extremely precious space in our simplistic backpacking lifestyle.  However, one little oops (I forgot to pack him) and he ended up coming down with "untreatable chronic diarrhoea." Yes, it's a very memorable condition.  Fortunately he was still able to exchange letters using Christmas magic even though he couldn’t be there “in person.”  

So last night as I tucked the girls in bed and kissed them good-night I casually asked "Did you remember to write Candy Cane back today?"  Little did I know it would be the last time.  As I, or I should say, Candy Cane sat down to get an early start on his correspondence I heard footsteps… quickly followed by a shouting accusation and heaving sobs!  But what happened next was just as amazing as the entire adventure had been.  After getting over the initial shock of it all, we came together as a family and shared tears and laughs.  The humor credit goes almost entirely to Claire who several times lightened the situation with comments such as "it was YOU who ate all the chocolate almonds!" or "so you're the tooth fairy too!  I told you I recognized that loonie from your wallet!"  We spent some time talking about the heartfilling memories the whole Candy Cane experience had provided for all of us.  

Taking this advice from a friend, I explained to the girls how they were now part of the other side of the Christmas magic.  They now had a duty to make sure that little kids everywhere can enjoy the magic for as long as they did.  Reese stayed up thinking about it for a while.  After an hour or so, she came downstairs and quietly asked if we could keep writing the letters.  I said yes.  Then she turned around and went back to bed.