Good ol’ comfort zone – one of the things we went deeper into at Unlock Your Potential this weekend.
It keeps us safe, and comfy and we feel in control BUT…
It doesn’t allow us to grow. And growth is what our time on this Earth is all about!!
So we dip our toe into the metaphorical waters. We stretch ourselves, expand a little, it might feel uncomfy to start with, but gradually the more we do it, the more we like it and/or at least are ok about it.
And then our stretch zone gradually becomes our comfort zone.
If we wade out further than we are ready for, then we may hit our panic zone. if you do, then you just gotta take a step back and see where feels uncomfy, but not panic.
So let’s give you an example:
I LOVE singing!!
Days gone by, I sung in the bath, around my home, (but not in the garden – I might be heard!!), in the car, to animals. It was private.
Then I joined a panto group. 😂 Stretch 1.
We sung in groups, and often I would lead the singing as I was always the one that remembered the words (photographic memory).
I never sung alone. Until…
Aftershow party 2013. The year after I had had shingles, and that year I was determined to be able to perform and be at the party.
So I wrote and performed my own song (see pic 2!) with just the accompaniment of a piano. I had visualised me singing it 100+ times in the bath.
And I belted it out.
Dressed as a fried egg, with a frying pan in my hand!?
Remarks afterwards were “where the bloody hell did THAT confidence come from?” because no-one had ever seen that side of me.
So Tip 1: it’s always within you, you just gotta believe.
Tip 2: visualisation is really powerful!
Several Years Later – Stretch 2
I then joined a girls night in group, and one time they suggested…band camp 😉 …no just joking, karaoke!
Karaoke is right up my street but I had never sung in front of friends before.
But I sung, and I chose my signature tune ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ because the title says it all!
And they were impressed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no X-Factor contender, but they again had never seen that side of me and I think were surprised that it was in there, lol!
The Months Rolled On…Stretch 3
…and I was at a local fete, held at a pub, doing tarot with a friend. The fete finished, and my friends asked whether we were staying on for the karaoke.
I ummed and arred and thought – why not! Let’s test another fear, and sing to strangers, in a packed pub!
So, that eve we sung DSB all over again. The DJ said ‘I think you’re gonna be good’.
He didn’t retract that at the end, so 🤞 all ended well, no cracked windows, and people still in the pub. And I loved it!
Stretched some more!
Now this is where the universe began to pick up on my unconscious quest for expansion!!
I went to church several months after, and our digital music machine went on strike. Humph!
Our Chairperson says to me ‘you’re going to need to lead the singing’, hmmm like I didn’t see that coming Universe!!
So off we went, and lo and behold our Medium for that evening gave me a message of ‘you’re not second best, you have a beautiful voice, use the gift you have been given’. <3
Tip 3: listen to and accept the compliments being paid to you. There’ll be a pattern (see my blog on believing you are second best)
So those compliments sat with me for a while, and then I met a local awesome songwriter, James Dand.
We got chatting at a networking event, about how he has people sing on his album, and suddenly I am telling him I’ve been told I have a good voice. Next thing you know, he has asked me to send over a recording to him.
I ducked, I went back into my comfort zone.
A little while later – about November last year – I just felt the urge to do it, to send the recording over to him, and I am so glad I did.
He sent back a heart-warming reply saying he loved my voice and would like me to record on his album of songs this coming year (at the time) 2019. And I am so looking forward to it!!!
I am no longer afraid to hum or sing a tune to someone if they need me to, and I can see my comfort zone has expanded hundredfold from the hairbrush in the mirror days!
Lesson to Learn
Each time I stepped out of my comfort zone – I stepped into my growth zone, and eventually that became my comfort zone. The next step forward took me back into my growth zone, and so on.
A dash of courage + sitting with the feeling of vulnerability and discomfort + tiny steps forward = personal growth.
And then you can grow some more 😉
So where do you need to stretch in your life, and what is the one tiny step you can take forward to do it?