In our family, we call them “stretch moments” – the situations that stretch you out of your comfort zone and push the boundaries. These may include such things as a a difficult conversation with your boss, trying out a new activity, or starting a new venture. The more often you try to stretch and grow, the more you will embrace change and realize that feeling uncomfortable is okay and normal.
Stretch Moments – 3 Ways to Embrace Your Fears
These moments are ultimately motivated by fear: fear to expand, fear of the unknown outcome, fear of an intangible. Here are 3 steps to help you stretch your boundaries and expand your horizons:
- Try a new hobby or sport – Sky diving? Art class? Social media? Running from walking? Adult ed at the community college? Just the action of trying something new can translate into growth and vision. You don’t have to totally re-invent yourself, but just by expanding and taking action on a new path can give you confidence and assist in risk taking in other areas of life.
- Half full or half empty? Change your thought process! Start by examining those pesky little “what if” questions that creep into our minds. Questions such as:
– What if I open up my own shop and can’t get enough business to pay the rent?
– What if I try an art class and I am not very good?
– What if I write a blog and no one reads it?
These are the kind of fear-based questions that will restrain you in your comfort zone. Harness those questions and turn them around. Replace with positive spin:
-What if I owned my own shop and got to share that passion with others and enjoyed being my own boss?
-How much joy would would an art class bring to my artistic expression?
-What creativity would I release by writing my blog? Think about the joy would I find in that?
3. Use the fear to drive you to action. Be determined to have a difficult conversation with your spouse, boss or friend. Chart out the points you want to cover and set the appointment. Action and accountability will provide the means. The outcome is not the measurement stick – the actual achievement is the baby step forward. By continually forcing yourself into action, it will be come easier over time. Try embracing your fears in any one area of your life and see how the confidence spreads through all the other boundaries within your life.
Remember it is ok to feel uncomfortable as you are trying something new. The confidence that you will develop will far out weigh the momentary discomfort. What are you waiting for? What will be your next stretch moment?
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