trusting in change and stepping outside your comfort zone…

For the most part, we tend to have an aversion to stepping outside our comfort zone. It’s daunting. Can be overwhelming. The unknown is often intimidating.

When we’re invited to make those steps, we’re likely to get caught up in this internal conflict that has us battling between staying as we are with all our comfort and security or stepping into the potential of who we can be. It’s inevitable. Our habits and patterns are so ingrained they make it difficult for us to leave them. It’s also a way of being tested to see how hungry we are for that change. How much we are willing to give of ourselves, in order to embrace the possibility of what can be experienced.

outside your comfort zone, Mediterranean Wanderer, Travel, Adventure, mediterranean

stepping into sea…mani, peloponnese

When I first made the decision to step outside my comfort zone, I came very close to prematurely cutting my journey short. Fear and uncertainty about the direction I was heading completely engulfed me. The first six months of my new life was foreign and unsettling. Despite the fact that during this time I’d come the closest I’d ever had to accomplishing some major successes with my writing, all I could focus on was that things weren’t moving fast enough. I thought about my old life interstate and all that I’d left behind.

Two months later I made a return visit to that old life, asking to claim it back.

outside your comfort zone, Mediterranean Wanderer, Travel, Adventure, mediterranean

abandoned house, Lemnos

Fate has a funny way of steering your path. Some doors are not meant to be re-opened. I desperately clung to that old, withered life, convincing myself it’s what I wanted.

What saved me from pitifully crawling my way back was receiving some unexpected news that completely shook my foundations. Heartache added to my already fragile state. Nursing a bruised ego, the debris from the emotional shock waves continued to reverberate long after I’d closed the door of my old life behind me and boarded the plane to return to my new home alone.

outside your comfort zone, Mediterranean Wanderer, Travel, Adventure, mediterranean

wild flowers, Lemnos

Although I struggled with it at the time, hearing that news was the greatest gift I could’ve possibly received. It completely saved my life.

When we’re in the process of change, old patterns and beliefs often float to the surface. They are a teasing reminder that our old lives still lurk in the distance. When things are a struggle, when we’re in the process of navigating our way through new territory, we are tested even more. Those new foundations aren’t solid enough to support or overshadow lingering doubts. Our split selves are in constant conflict. The old and new battle for control. I could feel the clutches of my old life desperately taking hold, reeling me back to a numbing comfort and security, while the experiences I was having in my new life were reflecting all that was on the horizon and the direction my path was willing me to take.

outside your comfort zone, Mediterranean Wanderer, Travel, Adventure, mediterranean

sea spray…mani, peloponnese

There is nothing that can accelerate easing into our newly found selves. It evolves at its own pace. What strengthens and determines how willing we are to persevere is recognising the constant shifts that ebb and flow in a motion that keeps us entrusting the process. From time-to-time we struggle with our footing. The safety of what we know is far too comfortable. But that’s all it is. The safety of predictability limits us from experiencing all that being out of our comfort zone is urging us to experience – so that by leaning into that discomfort, we can enhance and extend ourselves more fully toward our potential.

 

Happy travels…Paula x

2017-10-18T14:32:08+00:00

3 Comments

  1. Ian August 3, 2017 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Hi Paula.
    I received your email concerning Mediterranean wanderer and am intrigued by your above article. Getting out of your comfort zone, as this is where i am finding myself right now. In a quandary of preparing to step out or to remain in. It is certainly a daunting decision to make when we are dealing with the unknown.
    Thank you for this article and i look forward to receiving your further communications in this regard.
    All the best and kind regards
    Ian

    • Mediterranean Wanderer August 3, 2017 at 7:30 am - Reply

      Dear Ian,
      Thank you so much for your feedback. I’m happy to hear my article resonated. I guess, if anything, it should serve to reveal that we are all constantly in a state of change. Whether we make a decision now or in the future is irrelevant. The opportunity will continue to present itself so long as you continue to feel inspired by that change. Inevitably, we may end up getting pushed out, against our will. As daunting as that discomfort is, my experience has been that it is the only way to truly embrace what we know within our hearts is the only way forward.
      I trust whatever decision you make will steer your direction and lead you exactly where you’re meant to be…
      Warmest regards,
      Paula

  2. Julian September 2, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    We are all so glad that you did go back to your new life and step out of your comfort zone so that we can experience your writing and photographs. Beautifully written too.

    My wife and I did the same 9 years ago leaving London and a secure job in the City to take a chance on our new life. After 10 days we walked out and had no idea what we would do. My sister motivated us with the saying that “as one door closes, another will open”. And like you, we went back to our new life 6 weeks later to make a big success of what we did. Something totally new, in a foreign country with different laws and culture.

    But we did it and achieved much personal satisfaction and sense of achievement having lifted a small holiday resort to the number 1 spot on the island 3 years after arriving, and holding that position, with many awards over the following 6 years. We were very proud, and hopefully made our family proud too.

    As you say at the start, stepping out of our comfort zone allows us to “(step) into the potential of who we can be”. As my business colleagues and associates told me at the time of announcing our move, we had guts or balls! And that is true. It takes that courage and fighting spirit to succeed against all odds.

    But what a sense of achievement to accept the challenge and succeed.

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