If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that I usually don’t have a problem stepping outside of my comfort zone. But lately, it’s become clear that taking a B.F.L. (Big Fucking Leap) is only the beginning. When I start to analyze my behaviors in this new place, I find it humorous that what I’m unconsciously trying to do is to get back to a NEW comfort zone based on where I was in my previous comfort zone (insert eye roll here).
I’ve been curious about this comfort zone. When we’re teenagers, we’re taught that finding comfort and stability and security is everything. In our 20s and 30s, we do all the right things, such as go to college and/or find a stable job so we can provide for our budding family (whether the family materializes or not), and find that place of comfort. Then something happens in our late 30s, early 40s (this time of life is known as the Uranus Return in astrology) and you look around and think, huh. Is this it? The thought might not even be conscious but the “blah” feeling slowly and maliciously creeps in.
Now, many of us stay here. We think about all the great things we have in our life (all the things we’ve worked so hard to achieve) and convince ourselves it’s enough. Maybe we pull ourselves out of the funk, or maybe we just live with the funk indefinitely.
Some of us decide to take a B.F.L. and leave a relationship, start a new one, quit a job, or move to a new city or country.
(Neither are good or bad, they are just different ways of choosing to live.)
It’s not necessary to take a B.F.L. to create change in your life. Every day we have an opportunity to show up in a way that is more beneficial for us and for those around us.
The question becomes, how do we show up differently when we’ve only known what we’ve been in the past? Especially because who we have been was created by our parents, family, society, culture. Like a computer, we were programmed that way. So how do we learn to be something we’ve never been?
This is critical because, in order to live from our Soul (which I think is always the ultimate goal), we have to peel back all of the layers of programming to uncover the essence of our True Self. There are 4 steps to getting outside of our behavioral comfort zone:
Step 1: Identify a behavior that has been hindering you in your life. For instance, as a people pleaser, I have a tendency to stay quiet when I disagree with someone. This is something that has continually caused problems for me in my life and something I would really like to change.
Step 2: Make the intention. In this example, my intention would be to freely speak my mind even if I know my opinion contradicts someone else’s. I recognize that my opinion deserves to be heard as much as anyone’s and that I am not responsible for others’ feelings if they happen to disagree with me.
Step 3: Be mindful of your behavior throughout your daily interactions (i.e., pay attention). I’ve held my tongue virtually my entire life. It’s such a habit for me that I don’t even know that I’m doing it. BUT, because I have stated the intention that I desire to do things differently and am paying attention, I eventually realize when I’m maintaining the status quo. To be honest, I usually recognize that I’m doing it afterward, which leads me to Step 4.
Step 4: Be patient and consistent. Changing habits, especially those so ingrained you don’t know how to be another way, takes time. You are creating new neural pathways in the brain. That doesn’t happen overnight! So be kind to yourself through the process. Don’t beat yourself up if you unconsciously revert to your “normal” way of showing up. Instead, congratulate yourself for recognizing it at all. The more you become the observer of your behaviors, the more you catch yourself, the more aware you become. And the more aware you become, the faster you’ll start to catch yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be behaving in a whole new way and consequently, drawing new, amazing people and experiences to you.
Whether you’re taking a B.F.L. or just changing a few things in your day to day life, mindfulness is the key. Life becomes a whole lot more enjoyable when we consciously CHOOSE instead of unconsciously REACT.
So much love to you!