When I graduated from college, I gave a commencement address entitled “Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.” I had no clue what I was inviting into my life: leaving behind a All-American, overachiever who aspired to be “normal just like everyone else” and falling down the spiritual rabbit hole as I embraced my inner shaman and became a fully shining woman. Not quite the new, more challenging job I envisioned.
Since then, I have repeatedly leapt outside of my comfort zone over and over and over again, never imagining where it would take me.
I certainly never intended that it would take me into discomfort. No. I pictured butterflies and rainbows of fun! new! change!
By definition, leaving your comfort zone means that you will be un-comfortable – and that is GOOD. [That sentence is your Tweetable for today! Click to Tweet it.]
If you want something different in your life, that means you can no longer be the same or keep taking the same actions.
Obvious? Perhaps. But when most of us state that we desire growth or a change and then we find ourselves in discomfort over the new-ness and over what we have to let go of, we complain. Our internal beliefs get scrambled as our outer world morphs (and vice versa). We scratch our heads confused when life “all the sudden” seems challenging or overwhelming or – uncomfortable.
We just asked for “more, new, better, different”!
Apparently I’ve been asking to step outside of my comfort zone – again. Sigh.
Over the past month, my mental universe has exploded with new ideas for Shaman Girl. The business Shaman Girl. Not a book or a blog.
Suzanne Evans, Alexandra Franzen, Sheri Rosenthal, & Laura Roeder have left my mouth hanging wide with the clarity about what they offer and the fierce passionate belief that their products and programs should be beneficially shared with everyone – while they profit too.
Although I’ve talked a good game for years about financial abundance and being able to do anything you set your mind to, I now see that I’ve been dreaming small and hiding out. I’ve been avoiding the nitty-gritty work of building a real business. I’ve been hanging out in my comfort zone, subtly making excuses.
Then Suzanne Evans swooped into my inbox and suggested eliminating these excuses around your business:
1. I don’t have time.
2. This is too hard.
3. I don’t feel like it.
4. I have other priorities today.
5. I am tired.
6. I am sick.
7. I don’t know what to do.
8. I don’t know what my message is.
When my eyes landed on #6. I froze. Getting sick seems to be one of my favorite upper-limiting, self-sabotaging techniques.
I am recovering from a cough that I picked up from Shaman Boy. What if Shaman Boy got sick right before a big workshop or event? Hell, what if I got sick right before a big workshop or event?
I could feel that tremor that runs through my body when I’m onto a belief that’s deeply embedded and no longer serves me. Zing! Fasten your seatbelt, we are about to head outside of the comfort zone.
I sat still with it and gently excavated around and under it.
What are you afraid of?
I’m afraid that if I commit to running a business, I won’t be able to really take care of myself. No more free time. No more doing what I feel like doing. There will be deadlines and commitments to meet.
What’s underneath that fear?
I’m afraid of really, shining. Really stepping up and letting everyone see who I am.
And then a little voice asked, “What if you loved your business so much and you designed it so you would really, truly be taking care of you? All of you?”
Wow. A business that took care of me financially, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. One that supported my life?
My mind flashed to my parents – who are self-employed accountants – and all the years they disappeared during tax season to work 18-hour days for months on end and who have yet to retire. I flashed to Shaman Guy who is a successful builder and hauls his butt out of bed at 5:30am every day. Both are hard-working, successful, family-supporting business that I am so grateful for.
But not what I want for myself.
I flashed back to my schoolteacher days when I dragged myself to my classroom. To when I had a steady-paying job as the head of a non-profit, but was bone-tired all the time.
Not what I want for myself.
How often do we do this to ourselves Shaman Girls? We have a dream – of a falling in love or becoming healthier or parenting more mindfully or making a business out of what we love – and we stop ourselves because of murky fears and lack of a role model that fits our desire? How often do we linger in our comfort zone because (see excuses #1-8 above)?
My deep heart’s desire is to keep growing personally, to deeply care for myself and my family, and have a profitable heart-based business.
The stretching and growing, the shedding of old beliefs, is a bit uncomfortable right now.
But I’m here to bust myself over and over and over again. I’m here to cha-cha outside of my comfort zone and into being an even brighter, shinier woman.
And you? What discomfort has been arising in your life? How is it related to just what you asked for (but perhaps not what you expected)?
Landing in discomfort is a sure sign that you are making progress. You’re on the right path. You are growing into the most magnificent, fully shining you that you have ever known.
Nice to meet you. I’m right there with you. Ready to experience the magic of cha-cha-cha.
P.S. Wait! Don’t forget to watch the video above for 3 power*filled tools to navigate the discomfort.
Spoiler alert: I’m about to remind you of them here. Reframe discomfort = growing pains = good.
1. Trace the discomfort back to your vision/intent.
2. Sit with the discomfort. It will pass.
3. Keep taking action anyway.