I recently listened to a podcast by Caroline Stanbury with Elizabeth Pearson about how being in a comfort zone in your life is a cage, and it felt like a revelation.
I realised that I was stuck in a comfort zone for the last ten years, plodding along, waiting for luck to bring me new opportunities, just navigating ahead. Since September, things have evolved. I have embarked on new learnings, got back to learning to play the piano and joined a community of photographer artists looking to be challenged. I spruced my photography business to where I wanted to take it and stopped offering some services to focus on what I’m doing best: selling fine art prints, telling stories about people, sharing the key moments in their life and helping brands to tell a visual compelling story for their marketing. I’m focused on giving myself space to be more creative and being the photographer I always wanted to be.
In this post, I will ask you? Is Time For You To Escape Your Comfort Zone: A blog about how we all need to get out of the cage of our comfort zone and explore.
It might seem like comfort is all good in life, but there is a fine line between being comfortable and feeling stuck.
It’s so easy to be stuck. I felt that everything was being aligned in my life but then quickly realised that not much was happening, that the significant changes I was hoping for wouldn’t happen unless I would trigger them. Sitting there waiting to be discovered would not happen unless I took some action and changed direction. I think the worst is not to realise that you are stagnant. Of course, I’m not asking you to throw your life away if it’s working for you; even if it is, you might want to look at some areas where there’s room for improvement.
We all know these people who said they would start practising yoga and walk El Camino, and five years later, still nothing. Do you know why this happened? Because, yes, everything feels very comfortable in their life, and chaos and change are scary. May be it’s because we have been raised to believe that change is dangerous and we should be grateful for everything we’ve got. But pushing for change doesn’t mean being ungrateful; you might never win if you don’t dare. Who knows what will come your way if you move on?
When you feel stuck in your job, relationships, health or self-esteem, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone.
Too often, we don’t realise that we’re stuck, and I was no stranger to the feeling. I would stick with a situation making myself believe I was exactly where I wanted to be. While I was struggling, working non-stop, even during the weekend and trying to make things work while they didn’t, to be honest, I was just too afraid to give it up for fear of missing out. There is a fine line between acknowledging that you have to give up and the fear of letting go. How do you decide?
Getting out of your comfort zone may not sound appealing, but there’s no growth in staying within what feels safe to you.
This is the biggest culprit when it comes to moving forward. We are too scared of the unknown to let go. This is how I played it for the last ten years. If I have seen growth in some area, I was trying to fix too many leaks in my business. Spending far too much time in the business rather than working on the business. I was trying to juggle too many things, promoting myself as something I was not amid fear of competition. Trying to promote myself as a headshot photographer was a huge mistake. First of all, I felt the creative constraint of the headshot while I love to tell a story and connections. Promoting myself as a portrait photographer for women only was another mistake, as I competed with many glamour photographers, breaking the market by being the cheapest. During a mentoring session in 2012, I remember being told to position myself as a portrait photographer for women who would never work. I tried to prove her wrong for many years, but she was right! I would rather stay in the quid pro quo and what felt comfortable than accept defeat.
Try new things and be open to experiences when they come your way.
I knew things had to change and wanted help to move forward. External help is not always the solution, but I’m the type of person who needs a push from someone else that takes the emotion out of the equation with a pragmatic view. As an artist, it can be tough to move on as we tend to take everything personally. So yes, getting professional help from a coach was a brilliant move. Not sure I would have the courage to evolve my portrait photograph business and move on to being more strategic with branding photography and offer the type of photography close to my heart.
You can start with small steps that may not feel like much initially, but these can lead you toward even more significant changes over time.
These small steps can be to change your route to work every day, book a night out every fortnight, join a public speaking network or learn to sew. The idea is to take your brain out of a rut and stop denying that not everything is working for you. There might be some areas in your life that need a severe overhaul. Where will you start? Set yourself some goals, and be brave. You never know what’s on the other side.
As Caroline and Elizabeth said, their life would have looked so different had they not taken decisive steps. Taking that step has given them so many opportunities. What’s in change for you?
This post was first published on Noirindulgence.com