Do you do one thing everyday that scares you? This charge for action from the late first-lady Eleanor Roosevelt is one that always reminds me that taking a step outside of your comfort zone is truly what is necessary for growth, success, overcoming, you name it. The thing about comfort zones is that they are a beautiful place, but nothing grows there. When you step outside of these “bubbles of protection” and do scary things, the possibilities are endless; this is where the magic happens.
I officially walked away from corporate America on January 23, 2015 to be exact, and let me tell you, that was scary. I can still remember that day, and all of the feelings that rushed through me as I drove away from the office for the last time. I could not stop thinking about if this major life-altering choice–walking away from a secure job–was the right decision to be making, all in the name of chasing a dream. It was at this point, as I literally drove outside of that circle of comfort, that I decided I was only going to look ahead to what I wanted to accomplish in that next year of my life. There was no time to be spent looking back on what was comfortable, only to push forward beyond the boundary of comfort that I had been operating within.
Time is a funny thing. Harvey Mackay describes it as:
“Free, but priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.”
On some days, time seems to escape me and fly by. On others, it creeps along, as if it won’t let me get to the next thing on my agenda quick enough (the latter is especially true as it relates to recently spending 9 months waiting for our son to enter the world). But when it comes to time, I am truly grateful for the perspective that it provides, and the reminder of progress that has been made in my life and company since January 23, years ago.
Even after being only a few months into my business, I remember getting caught up in looking at all of the time that has passed and what felt like little accomplishment that I had to show for it. I was then reminded by a dear friend to put things into perspective. She brought to my attention everything that I had accomplished in just a few months. The fact that I had not only stepped outside of my comfort zone, but that I had left that in the dust.
Sometimes that’s all that it takes. A little reminder to never lose sight of the bigger picture, and be sure to account for every little accomplishment along the way; this is the only way to keep your eye on the prize and slowly move the ball forward. I’m a firm believer that as long as you put a little bit of work and effort in each day toward achieving your goals, you will continue to advance and succeed. Trust me, I am the first to know that it is easier said than done, but remember that baby steps are still steps, and when we were babies, those first tiny little steps were milestones in our lives. Put that into perspective.
With this new perspective, I want to encourage you to identify whatever comfort zone you’re currently operating within, and consider what stepping outside of this would look like. Be proactive now, so that whenever you reflect on the time that has passed, you can honestly ask, “what comfort zone?”.