“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that is the one that is going to help you grow.” – Caroline Myss
This week marks the 2 month mark before my big move back to California, and like a little rain cloud, the “big move” has permeated every conversation. The biggest question? “Why am I moving so soon?” And while my answer has consistently stayed the same – career growth – it has led me to do some introspection on why I’m truly leaving a city where I’m filled with love and happiness. Another big question? “It seems like you love Seattle! How could you leave?”
The problem? I was getting too comfortable. As soon as I feel myself slipping into complacency, into too much comfort, I know that it’s time to start looking for the next step.
My trick to making decisions? Picking the one that absolutely terrifies me, because somewhere in that risk, I know that there is a huge opportunity. Moving to Seattle, away from all my friends and family was scary. Deciding to move again to the Bay Area? Also scary. Diving into the world of blogging? Nerve wracking. Having a long distance relationship? Absolutely terrifying.
What do all of these decisions have in common? Except for the one that hasn’t happened yet, they have all been worth it. I have looked back on all of them with pride and growth. A year from now when I have settled into life in the Bay Area, I am sure that I will feel the same pride and growth that came with the other decisions that pushed me from my comfort zone.
Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to mean big changes. I find myself trying new things all the time on a smaller scale. So don’t worry, you don’t have to move to a new state to lean into discomfort.
Below are some tips that come from my personal “anti-comfort zone playbook”
Try a new style
The yellow ThredUp summer dress in this post is an example of me trying something new. This is the first item that I have EVER worn this color (and dress style for that matter), and when I picked it out originally for my upcoming trip to Hawaii, I was nervous about how I’d feel about this new look. When I took it for a test run on a day trip to Bainbridge Island, I received not one, not two, but THREE compliments. That goes to show you that getting out of your usual style rut can change your outlook on fashion.
Read 1 (professional development) book a month
I am currently writing a post about “5 Books that Every Aspiring GirlBoss Need to Read” that will be coming out in a few weeks. I’ve been working on it for the last few months as I read my way through tips and tricks from girl bosses in different industries. Reading professional development books help you think outside the box and think about ways to implement changes to the away you approach your work (and life).
Find a role model (or two or three…)
Your role model can be a co-worker, a friend, or even someone you’ve never met. Just find someone that inspires you to be a better version of yourself. I have a role model for blogging, a few for professional matters, and one for general life inspiration. Having someone to look up is so inspirational. And as the Sicilian proverb goes (it roughly translates to), “show me who you spend time with, and I’ll show you who you are.” Spend your time with people that make you better.
Set an “outrageous” goal
There is nothing I love more than being told that I’m too much of a dreamer or that my goals are outrageous. I almost love when people negatively react to my goals because it pushes me to make it happen. I put “outrageous” in quotes because someone will always think you goals are silly. I truly believe that no goal is too big and if you believe you can do it, it’s do-able. Your goal can be regarding something you want to accomplish in the next month, next year, or next decade.
I grew up always being reminded that you can’t change the way others treat you, but you can change the way you treat yourself. I often hear complaints from people about not liking where they’re at in their job, or in their relationship, or in their life in general. Literally, stop complaining!! Make a plan. You’re not the victim in the story of your life, you’re the protagonist, so start acting like it.
Move to a new city
Moving to a new city is the crown jewel in pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Moving was a blank slate where it was my decision on how I would treat the experience. In a year I’ve discovered so much about the person I am, and who I want to be. I’ve also made some amazing friendships, and discovered some beautiful places along the way.
How have you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?
Photography by Karya Schanilec Photography