As 2013 comes to a close, I look back on what’s transpired. I've had a year of self reflection, spiritual awakening and personal growth: all of which were way out of my comfort zone.
This has been an incredible year of transition that in many ways that has been both scary and exhilarating at the same time. I began this year stepping out of what I knew to be my comfort zone for over 25 years: newly independent after 20 years; moving to a different town, studying the Bible; opening up to my deepest feelings, fears and hurts (that I learned at a young age to bury because no one wants to be bothered by it); developing new friends at 50 (challenging at best); facing new emotional, physical and spiritual challenges and learning how to deal with them - sometimes all at once. Also, I put myself out there by sharing my experiences, struggles and vulnerabilities with the hope that it would inspire other women. Looking back at all I've accomplished makes me exhausted. However, the way I got through it was one step at a time.
Since this year was a year of firsts (getting used to a whole new way of life) I decided to step up and step out in other areas of my life. It was just after I started reading the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown that I decided to do something I never would have otherwise done (in my other life) which was sign up for and complete the Gladiator 7K Rock N Run Obstacle course in June. When the opportunity presented itself, I initially thought it sounded fun but not for me. Then I said to myself, why not me – why not do something fun and challenging (physically and mentally), what was I waiting for? So, I asked my son Hunter (16) to do it with me and what an incredible experience it was!
My new motto is… never say never. One of the things I've always been terrified of is heights, so my most recent pursuit was to face my fear head on. What the heck, I was on a roll! For decades I’d had this recurring dream that I was at the top of a telephone pole on a platform and was suppose to stand up and I couldn't - I froze. Well a few weeks ago, at the Comfort Zone, I got the opportunity to face that fear. There were 10 of us in all who took on this challenge. What I learned and experienced was amazing! When we started, the instructors gave us the facts: you will be safe, you will be harnessed I, wearing a helmet and clipped on with carabiners, and there will be other instructors all along the way to support you, instruct you and keep you safe. I thought, oh my gosh, there's no way I can do that! So I decided to be the 3rd one to climb up and said to myself “I can't think about it, I just have to do it.” It was so cold that morning that my fingers turned white and went numb. I prayed that I could still feel my fingers and just kept thinking - take one step at a time and you can do it! I climbed up that telephone pole 35 feet in the air to a platform (that was swaying as I climbed). I was concentrating so hard that I was digging my nails into my hand until I reached the top. I didn't focus on the magnitude of what I was doing (facing my fear, climbing a pole then walking across several wires) Instead I was focused on what I needed to do next. After making it across the first wire, the first of 6 challenges, I didn't have any spit left in my mouth. The inspiration of the women in front of me and the encouragement of all the others around me, along with the sheer will not to be the one to fall, is what kept me going. Once I zip lined down and walked back over to the place we began, I said “OK I want to do it again so I can fully embrace the magnitude of what I just did.”
At lunch, we all shared our experiences and I realized that I'm not afraid of heights – that was HUGE for me! I had just never put myself in that situation before because of what I imagined in my head to be true. The fear in my head was so BIG that I convinced myself for decades that I was afraid of heights. You know that sensation when you're terrified – it feels like your heart is going to pound out of your chest and your legs get paralyzed– well, that didn't happen to me while I was crossing the wires. All I thought about was what I need to do next, what I need to do next – not OMG I'm up here 35 feet above the ground walking on a tight rope with 2 little clips holding me!
I didn't know what this year had in store for me but what I did know, in my heart of hearts, is that I made the right move(s) and had faith that everything would all work out. Having the faith gave me the confidence that I would be taken care of. So, go with what you know is true and have faith in yourself - you have greater abilities than you give yourself credit for!
- As I pushed beyond my comfort zone this year, I learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, knowing there's incredible growth on the other side.
- I'm not afraid of heights. The fear in my head was much larger than the actual fear.
- Keep rooted in reality – the present – keep taking one step in front of the other.
- The unknown is scary, so sometimes we have fear instead of faith.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, it's where your biggest growth comes from.
- Focus on what you need to do next and not the magnitude of the undertaking – and most importantly, stop, reflect back and CELEBRATE all you've accomplished and how you’ve grown over the past months/year.
We all have big goals – yet it's focusing on the little things day to day that make a difference. So when you look back a day, a week, a month, a year you can say WOW look at all I accomplished. It's those little things that all add up. Take time every day to write 10 things you're grateful for. They don't have to be big things, they can be the little things and pretty soon you add those 10 things to the next day and before you now it your weeks and months will be full of abundance!
You don't need to step out of your comfort zone alone. Find the support of like minded women who can hold the possibilities, encourage and inspire you until you're ready to step up into your greatest potential!
When you’re ready to discover, and tap into, your greatest potential, go to www.savvywomenbydesign.com/discovery to connect with us and talk about your next steps. We will help you become comfortable with being uncomfortable!