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4 Lessons on Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

It’s back to school time, and our son started second grade.  This week he asked if he could ride his bike to school with his friends.  My response, “Sure.  I’ll bike with you,” to which he responded, “Mom, I’d like to bike by myself with the kids.”

He’s never biked by himself so naturally, the idea made me nervous.  In a matter of 10 seconds, every reason why this wasn’t a good idea burst in my brain; there are too many busy streets to cross, there are child predators out there, he doesn’t have a phone to call me in case he gets hurt, and what if he doesn’t make it to school and I never find out?!

The controller in me wanted to shut the idea down and walk him to the bus stop as we do every day.  

After the moment passed, I reminded myself that he knew how to ride safely and that he was riding with two friends that were also very responsible.

I agreed to allow him to bike to school with his friends.

Full disclosure, I also gave myself permission to discreetly follow them which I did so, successfully.  

It was something out of a sitcom, Mom drives slowly, parking on side streets, watching her kids carefully and responsibly walk their bikes across streets.  She ultimately ends up in the school parking lot where she makes sure they enter the building safely.

What’s the lesson here?  

Here are 4 lessons I learned about stepping out of my comfort zone. 

  1. Let go of control.  For many of us, me especially, we feel comfortable when we have control.  There will always be reasons why you shouldn’t step out.  The question I always ask myself is, what will happen if I do step out?  The answer is always the same, feelings of empowerment, confidence, excitement, exuberance, and joy always rise to the top.

  2. Get comfortable being comfortable.  This is one of the greatest lessons of my yoga practice.  None of us like to feel uncomfortable.  As soon as we start to feel it, we want to get as far away from the feeling as possible.  When you decide to stay in it, you find the discomfort begins to subside and a greater feeling of confidence arises.

  3. Trust.  In my case, I knew we had prepared Gil.  We’d gone on many bike rides together and I knew that he was responsible and could ride safely.  This was an opportunity to trust what we taught him.

  4. Give yourself permission and a little grace to do it your way.  When I told my husband that I had essentially stalked the kids going to school, we both enjoyed a good laugh. Some people reading this may think I didn’t fully let go of control, and that may be true.  For me, I knew I needed to know that he had arrived safely.  The stakes were high so I gave myself permission to know the outcome.  Whatever your situation, give yourself permission and a little grace to do it your way.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone feels scary.  It puts you at your edge, the uncomfortable and empowering place that catapults your growth.

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone recently?  How did it feel?  Tell me about it.   Leave a comment below.

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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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