You have to be willing to give something up – to release something, to make room for something new. Or you won’t grow. You won’t realize your dreams. You have to be willing to move out of your comfort zone. You have to be willing to change.
Are you stuck in the past?
What about all the “what-if’s” in your life – do you still believe them? What if I’d studied this in college? What if I had taken that job instead of this one? Everything would be different – right? Wrong. Those crossroads have been reached and choices have been made and there is no going back. However, there is the insight that you had when you considered that choice in the first place. Why were you drawn to photography, or languages, or the idea of foreign travel? What longing would have been met, what skill would have been used, what experiences would have been gained? And how could you capture some of that right now from where you are this minute? There is nothing to say you couldn’t take a class in photography, or a language, or even get some certification that would open up a new door. Let the past guide you with its tugs of interest, and see if you are ready to put them into play now.
Are you still playing it safe?
There is only one way to grow and that’s to explore something new. Give it a try, see if you like it, and see if you are any good at it. See if it fits in with your overall plans. Or if it opens a new door or gives you any new ideas. Look at your skills. I’m a writer, an organizer, a lifelong learner and a teacher. I get excited about something, learn it, and then share it with others. But what I get excited about changes. What are you excited about learning or doing or understanding that you want to explore and then share/teach/explain to others? If some ideas pop up write them down.
Go to the edge of your comfort zone and step over
I’ve just recently moved to an area I lived in 35 years ago and I don’t know my way around. I have a GPS whose warm voice is greatly reassuring but one evening shortly after I moved here I followed my son to his new house over a highway that had not existed before and then had to find my way home in the dark on my own. I will tell you that every intuitive antenna I have was alert. It was dusk and the signs were hard to read and the road unfamiliar and I was glad I had been so observant on the way over. I was greatly relieved when both the GPS and I recognized my turnoff. My arms were aching. I became aware of how I had been listening and feeling with my entire body. But I did it! I made it back by myself in the dark.
Whether you have a GPS or not, you have to push forward into unknown territory in order to reap the reward. I was delighted to see my son’s home. We had a great talk. If I hadn’t been willing to trust that I could find my way home I might not have taken that particular opportunity.
You have to trust. Trust that if the inclination is to do it you should. If the inclination is not to do it, look over your reasons carefully to be certain you are not standing in your own way, and if you are not then don’t do it.
Trust what other people see in you
What do other people ask you to do? What do they see in you? You might want to make an Acknowledgement Book in which you write down the positive things people say about you. Then look at those for the signs that you have been missing. I remember a long time ago a friend saying, “You’d make a CEO of a different sort.” It surprised me at the time. But it spoke to my leadership abilities as well as my creativity and outside the box path. Ask your friends and family what they see as your strengths. Listen, and then put those to work.
Go where you are needed
When you focus on the needs of others you will step outside your comfort zone with little effort. Stop focusing on your own fears, your apprehensions, your reservations, and see where you are needed in this world. Then get yourself in service. Be willing to change, to seek, to explore and to commit. That’s where the forward movement is. That’s how you embrace change.