In my role as a coach, I often challenge and support people to move out of their comfort zones. Encouraging them to move into their stretch zone, with support. It is in this zone where we can start to live to see our potential and where we flourish.
Often what holds people back is the shadow of low self-confidence and their fears of the unknown. Self-doubt then creeps in to keep us stuck and uncertain, we often tire of the ‘trying’ to change. As well, we have those deliciously addictive past experiences, events and perhaps unknowns. The more unconscious deep barriers, habits and patterns that stop us from doing what we think we would love to do. Or even more sadly, simply keeping us stuck living a stressful life, with heaps of fear and anxiety.
For a second, stop and take a deep breath. Can you imagine a more relaxed life with more joy! How good does that sound?
It is key that I have empathy and appreciate just what it means to feel out of our comfort zones. And so I regularly challenge myself to explore my comfort zones. Yes I do have very solid comfort zones! This year I have chosen to live and work in Bolivia again for just over a month. I travelled to Buenos Aires on route to Bolivia, and got to spend a short break in the beautiful “Home” hotel in Argentina. To inspire my motivation and passion for colour, design and interiors.
I always get a little bit nervous before travelling and this time it was no different. In fact, after months of fundraising for the project and working out how best to pack all the additional resources I was taking to the support the project, really proved a challenge. As well as letting clients know I was planning to work from a different part the world!
So how did I succeed, well I started early, as things generally can and do go wrong, I put a plan in place. I was patient and let go, “took my foot of the gas” so as to speak when all was not working to plan. I trusted but kept up the effort of doing what I could do, priortising, saving up, creating an ideas mind map, speaking to people, asking for help, showing vulnerability at times, focusing on supporting others. I clearly understood my motivations and inspirations and built them into my plan. I kept to my daily meditation and compassion practices, allowed space when I got anxious and stressy. I also did what I increasingly realise is key (and scientific research backs up), I turned to loving kindness; the antidote when I am being too tough on myself, and expecting too much of others. This is definitely work in progress!
As I promise to hold your hand on your journey of change, I need to know what it is like to be on the other-side. This experiential knowing helps me keep a sense of perspective and it enables me to be objective, authentic and compassionate to you and your journey.
The confidence we get from making personal changes is amazing. Yes it is hard, and it does not always happen overnight. I often have to remind clients I am not a magician and habits may have taken a lifetime to form. Sometimes it is a life-long journey to undo habits and patterns, it takes courage. I believe doing the work of letting go, allows us to achieve our potential and flourish as individuals and as human beings. We are all connected. Eloquently articulated below by Albert Einstein.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
(Image Buenos Aries capturing nature’s beauty and spaciousness for the sharp, clear blues skies)
The changes we make impact others in our lives. Please do not underestimate the power of your light in your own changes, albeit seemly small, to potentially to make a huge difference to yourself and others.