About 5 months after our second son died, I did something very unlike me. It was definitely out of my comfort zone. After years of working in the corporate world, and then a stay-at-home-mother, I became a Tupperware demonstrator. Yes, you read that correctly. I’d requested a catalog, and as I was flipping through it saw a page at the back suggesting that I too could be a Tupperware consultant. Hours were flexible, and I could manage my own time. The idea percolated, and before I knew it, I was in. Only weeks later I had a full kit of Tupperware items ready to demonstrate, and parties booked.
Suddenly I was way out of my depth, and definitely out of my comfort zone.
Why? I hear you ask. Why did you do that?
Sometimes it takes something huge to jolt us out of our comfort zone. That huge thing can be different for different people; the loss of a job, moving house, a promotion, the death of a child, the break-down of a marriage. All of these are known and recognised stressors, and often result in us feeling like we are out of our comfort zone.
But how about when we actively seek high stress situations to step out of our comfort zone? When we seek out experiences that test us, push us and ultimately, if we succeed, make us stronger? Things like starting a new career, taking a year off to travel the world, sky-diving, bungy-jumping, doing something out-of-character, heading to the supermarket without a list (or perhaps that is just me?!).
It’s Okay to feel you NEED to step out of your comfort zone.
That feeling can come from a sense of needing to do something to jolt you out of a rut, or enliven what has felt increasingly dull. Or, it can be because you want to test yourself, stretch and grow. Or it can be that you ache for the sense of achievement you will have if you succeed.
For me, I chose to undertake a completely different job well out of my comfort zone partly because I needed to form a new part of my identity. I didn’t want to only be “someone’s mummy” or “the lady whose baby was stillborn” or even “wife”. As much as those labels were absolutely part of my identity, I also wanted to meet a group of people (mostly women really) to whom I was just “Rowena”. Just me.
I also needed to do something to boost my confidence. My confidence had suffered dramatically with the loss of our son, and whilst it had been improving with time, I felt I needed to get my ‘mojo’ back. And I suspected challenging myself (in a safe way) might just be the answer.
Of course, I hoped that I would be successful at what I was doing - as a sense of achievement was also what I was seeking. I wasn’t the bungy-jumping type so that wasn’t an option, but neither was I a salesperson.
Yet it worked. I went out, met people and ran parties. Having never worked in sales or sold items before, I sold stuff! This was a big confidence booster, and gave me a good sense of achievement.
I had tackled something I didn't think I could.
I had made the leap out of my comfort zone.
Most importantly, despite my initial fears and worries, I had fun. Taking on the challenge of direct party sales got me out of the house, out of my head and out of my comfort zone; it was transformative.
Taking that leap out of my comfort zone helped me boost my confidence, realise I had more to offer the world and helped me prove to myself that I could seek challenges, embrace changes and learn and grow from the experiences.
Have you stepped out of your comfort zone and challenged yourself? If you haven't, and are feeling the need to break free of your comfort zone, download my free Ebook, "6 Days to a Life Filled with more Joy, Hope and Love". The exercises in the book will help you step out of your comfort zone, and try something new - and as a bonus, experience more days of joy, hope and love. Simply enter your email address on the right hand side of the screen to receive an instant download and emailed copy.