Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I lived thirty plus years in Florida and in the same city where I was born. I even went to college in Central Florida. It was all I ever knew. I figured that I’d grow old and die there, but then something happened. Something in me changed.

Change doesn’t come easy. In fact, I tended to be afraid of it. Am I still? Yeah, truthfully, there are times that I cringe at the thought of doing something out of my comfort box, but then that little voice screams at me and tells me to stop being a wimp.

My husband and I had talked about moving out of Florida, embarking on some new adventure, living in some new place, for years. But truthfully, I didn’t see it. I couldn’t get past everything I’d ever known. I could sure as heck talk about leaving, but really, that’s what it was – talk.

But then we went on a trip and found this beautiful place. A paradise. A place so right there was no way it could be wrong. It was home. It was calling us. And we didn’t hesitate. Greenville, South Carolina, was our little perfect corner of the world.

“It’s good to feel stupid sometimes and do things that are out of your comfort zone.” – Mary-Louise Parker.

Some have called us crazy for visiting a city all of two days, then deciding to move there. Yeah, that’s what we did. I don’t know if people believed us. That we were really going to do it. After all, we didn’t know a soul in Greenville. We didn’t have family or friends there. And a job? Ha. Not yet, anyway.

But we let them think what they wanted about us because it was our decision. Ours to make, and if it was a mistake, it was ours to live with. That’s the beautiful thing about making your own choices in life: you get to live with the repercussions.

So, we got lucky and sold our house, then moved not long after. And the first year was rough. We didn’t know anyone. We had to start over, and we weren’t spring chickens. We had to put ourselves out there to make new friends. We had to learn the crazy road system here (that’s another story). We had to step out of our comfort zone.

We adjusted. We grew. We developed new relationships. We became inspired. I began to write again. My husband began to paint again and now makes jewelry. Moving here made us more creative. It inspired us.

It’s like a caged bird set free to fly. Some people are perfectly content living in the same place where they grew up. For some people it’s perfection. But for me, it wasn’t. For me, moving was the best decision I’d ever made in my life. I know for certain that I would have never written The Summer I Learned To Dive if I hadn’t moved. And, I sure as heck wouldn’t have written any other books, either. I owe stepping out of my comfort zone to it: To writing. To creating. To trying new things and meeting new people.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t always step out of my comfort zone. I have a staunch fear of heights and won’t be skydiving anytime soon, but I did go roller skating, which has led to being a weekly activity. I make my introverted self go to events even though I’m tempted to curl up on the couch and watch a movie.

Maybe you want to try tap dancing. Or, there’s a trip you’ve always wanted to take. Or maybe you want to make friends with someone but have been too afraid to call them to make plans. Whatever the case may be, if that inner voice is telling you to step out, then step out. Try something that may not feel comfortable. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. It’s worth it in the end. I promise.