Whenever I take a step outside my comfort zone, a fear rises within me. A fear that, perhaps, it would be safer to just stay put where I am. Why rock the boat when everything is pretty much fine and there isn’t anything I could really complain about.
This happens to me regardless of whether or not I am in a professional setting or a private setting.
Take, for example, the beautiful apartments I looked at this weekend. My partner and I have long been planning to move in together, and we had the chance to see some potential contenders for our happy home.
2 out of 3 were nice enough. 1 out of those 2 was great.
It was beautiful. It checked most of the boxes. We were both thrilled when we walked inside, and began to imagine the furniture we would buy to fill the rooms and the way it would feel to wake up in the morning and have a coffee on the terrace.
I felt a sense of peace in the apartment.
When we returned home that evening, however, the fear began to rise inside me. Moving into a new home would mean leaving behind my beautiful flat in Prenzlauer Berg. It would mean moving out of the apartment that I have called home for nearly 10 years. It would mean leaving the delicious cafes and Feinkost (gourmet food stores) of a popular neighborhood and moving forward into an adventure with an unknown outcome.
A new home brings with it a lot of excitement and joy, but it is also a release of something that came before. A letting go of a way of life, a persona.
As I sat on the couch that evening and allowed myself to feel my fear and anxiety, I asked myself what it was that I was afraid of.
I knew, deep down, that I was afraid to take the leap. The leap that I know I want, the next big step that takes me forward in the direction of the life I have chosen for myself. I move forward into something big and exciting, and as with any big change or transformation, I must first say goodbye to what came before.
It is, of course, easier to allow ourselves to live inside the bubble of what is already known to us. The discomforts or joys that we can already predict. The job, the apartment, the relationship, the financial situation. We already know what to expect and therefore feel a sense of security and comfort in knowing.
What is more challenging, of course, is allowing ourselves to open up to the possibility of even greater joy and happiness – at the risk of feeling discomfort, or potentially even regret. So afraid are we of the sense of remorse that might overtake us, that we so often stay put where we no longer fit, trying to squeeze our circular selves into a square that was never big enough to begin with.
And so as this next journey in my relationship, in my home life, in my identity begins to unfold, I will allow myself to acknowledge and feel the uncertainty, to let it be there without judgement, and to bravely leap forward into the next window of opportunity that opens itself before me.
Where in your life are you holding yourself in the space of your comfort zone rather than taking the next courageous step forward?
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