Thursday, December 31, 2009

Question of the Week.....

Thursday, December 31, 2009....

I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.

This Week's Question:When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?

Throughout my life, I have stepped outside my comfort zone by either creating a physical challenge (walking a marathon in Dublin) taking on an intellectual challenge (switching careers and having to think very quickly to stay afloat) or learning to survive a difficult situation by being strong or through laughter (e.g, divorce, job loss and health scare).

However, when is the last time I truly stepped out of my comfort zone?

I admit, losing my job has been eye opening, but having worked for wireless start-up companies around the turn of the century (translation -- before people thought it necessary to have a ringtone, headline or stock quote on their wireless device) I found myself pounding the pavement (never for a long time) because the companies I worked for went under financially.

I think the last time I truly stepped out of my comfort zone was when I decided I could open my heart up again. Specifically, when I looked at my husband and knew I wanted to grow old with him.

Having met my ex at 20 and divorcing him at 35, I spent a number of years exploring me. After the initial shock of "wow, my life plan went up in smoke", I actually enjoyed living alone. I had no intention of ever marrying again. But Bill came along.

We've been together almost 4 years and I grow closer to him everyday. Every time I've moved outside my comfort zone, I've had such a positive experience that I think it's time to challenge myself again in 2010.

Not sure what, but when I do, I'll let you know how it goes.

So, when is the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone and did you survive?


Natasha said...

Hmmm...good question. I'm not sure's something that I should do more often but I honestly avoid it :(

Getting married was kinda one for me as well. Everyone around me always had horrible outcomes that growing up I always said I would live like Oprah and not marry...but I did. I don't regret it but I wasn't too scared either really...guess it just felt right...

All the best wishes for the New Year!!

P said...

I think this year for me it was actually going out on dates with guys who i DIDN'T WORK WITH. My relationships have always ended up being with co-workers so for me to actually meet up with other guys was entirely different for me, and totally out of my comfort zone because I didn't have that security blanket of "work in common" if the conversation faltered.

Not a big thing for most people I know, but for me this was over-stepping a BIG boundary I've unconsciously set myself.

Mandy's Kidding said...

It seems like the last eight years has been one big "out of my comfort zone" experience. Eight years ago I quit teaching, got divorced and decided to see if I could survive on my own and live off my writing income alone.

Since then I've had a child, I'm pregnant with my second child and I got re-married on Monday.

How about them "out of your comfort zone" apples?

Can I stay in my comfort zone for a little bit now? I doubt it. Life has a way of tossing you back out when you least expect it or want it.

Green-Eyed Momster said...


Yes, I did survive.

I'll probably never work for a large corporation again...
Unless, I was the one running it or someone like you was running it!

Happy New Year, Hugs and love,

SillyStud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

I try to leave my comfort zone at least a couple of times year. Long ago I learned the important lesson that one grows only when there is personal risk involved - be it mental, emotional, or physical. Staying safe leads to constipation of the soul and mind.

Besides, you can never predict when you will run out of time and opportunity to grow and learn. And the older I get, the more that becomes clear.

theschmuck said...

First day of college.'nuff said.
Happy new year!

Herding Cats said...

Six months ago I moved from LA to San Francisco with my boyfriend. I had to find another job and start completely over with very few friends and family members around. Definitely not comfortable but truly great life lessons!

Jules said...

Hmmm... I'd say this year having a new principal and trying to put myself out there. I've been so used to working with a dumbarse one who didn't care WHAT we did... Now I have to make sure I actually DO my best. And I feel like it's pushing me. Which I needed..

Monkey Man said...

Just over a year ago I went both to counceling with my wife and individually to finally face my demons and help mysealf find happiness. I tore down walls I had built up for years and actually let people in. It was hard.

Erin P said...

Wow, what a great question! (I really like the question of the week...I skipped over some others on my dashboard just to see what you came up with this week!)

I'm going to cop out and say I haven't for quite a while...and I need to. Although changing careers drastically when I was 35 was a pretty big thing, maybe I'm still recovering from that! Like another of your questions, I sense that this one will ruminate for a while and maybe I'll end up doing a whole post on it! Thanks--

Brian Miller said...

and i hope you do spend the rest of your life with him, growing old together...going on marvelous $25 dates. smiles.

i dunno, i try to keep myself out there, but maybe that is still in my comfort zone then.

Working Mommy said...

I'm going even earlier than college and saying the first day of high school...ugh!


Tricia said...

This past year I have constantly pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. I think I can attribute my weight loss success in part to doing just that. I never imagined I'd end up a runner, but I tried it and loved it!

DB said...

I would say probably the first time I traveled by myself. At first it's a bit awkward but then you get used to it and ultimately it's fun doing everything on a trip that you want to do and nothing that you don't. Still more fun to have a travel partner, ultimately, but traveling solo beats not traveling at all.

That corgi :) said...

glad you went out of your comfort zone and decided to take a chance with your hubby :)

this past year went out of my comfort zone with opening up my home (at times) and heart to a homeless guy; I went from calling the cops on him to having him stay nights over here and feeding him every chance I could; that was definitely a push for me, but it was a great learning experience and humbling too

Happy New Year!


Sunshine Mama said...

I did something recently out of my comfort zone and began it by being fearful of the results...but then it worked out toward the positive. Now I'm glad I did it and it's opened my mind to going out of my comfort zone more.

Good question! It's great you met such a wonderful man to grow old with.
Happy New year!

CatLadyLarew said...

Definitely stepping down from my job as a director of a school to return to the classroom. After four months of unemployment, I now have a job at less than half the salary... but I have less than half the hassles, so it's worth it. I'm once again much more comfortable in my own skin. Now, if I could only figure out how to pay the mortgage and buy groceries all in the same month!

Spot said...

Love this question. Definitely starting my novel in November. I'd only ever written short stories so it was a huge undertaking. And honestly, the day I started it, I almost threw up I was so nervous. I'm so glad I did it though. And every time I submit anything, it's way out of my comfort zone. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?


Unknown Mami said...

It's good to grow.

I stepped out of my comfort zone when I decided to become a mother. I was never sure that I would want to, but I'm glad I took the leap of faith.

Kristin said...

I stepped out of my comfort zone by deciding to stay home with my bambino and pursue my passions on the side. It's been a fabulous journey and I'm so glad I left working jobs that I was never satisfied with. Happy new year!

La La La Leah said...

I think when I got back to college on Wednesday, I will really really really be out of my comfort zone for sure. I will keep you posted on that. I have not really been out of my comfort zone for awhile, until now. Or at least I can not think of anything right now.

Melanie's Randomness said...

You inspire me so much. I'll remember to step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for the reminder & happy that you find happiness in doing so. =)

Happy New Year!!!

otin said...

Every day that I step out of my bedroom door! No joke here!

JennyMac said...

great question...and I used to have no fear of heights and then one day, bam, that changed. So at a team building event I climbed up a telephone pole and jumped from the top to a trapeze bar. I was sweating bullets but I needed to take a step to overcome a fear that was new to me.

AriSpark said...

Love this question.. I always feel very socially timid, so this past year I made myself go out and meet new people thru some of my friends. The biggest thing for me though was learning how to be true to myself. :)

I expect great things for this new year!

Jen said...

this was interesting since I relate to a lot of what you say here. I am also unemployed right now, suks! My dreams have pretty much gone up in smoke the past year too, except I am still stuck in them, I think. I find it so hard to step outside of my comfort zone! I try and it seems ok and then I get comfie again. good questions. this year I am going to try my best to step outside of my comfort zone again.

Debbie said...

Wow. That is a great question. I think I will need some time to honestly ponder that one.
But I am so glad it worked out so well for you!

kys said...

The last time I stepped out of my comfort zone is when I started taking Zumba classes. I'm horrible uncoordinated and didn't know anyone there.

Jaime said...

how's this for irony: every time i step into the courtroom!

i'm actually a pretty shy person, until you get to know me. so going into a courtroom, being the center of attention, having to stand in front of strangers and argue my position makes me nervous every time. of course, people always say if you step into a courtroom and aren't nervous, it's time to quit. so maybe that's just a normal part of the job...

Jewels Diva said...

I'm not sure if I ever have. I've done things that others wouldn't, or I didn't think I would, and I definitely plan on grabbing whatever comes my way this year.

fgrngtllt said...

this has me thinking about my own life and how i need to try more and not be so afraid...

Little Ms Blogger said...

Natashia – Living like Oprah with all that money would be sweet, but fame, no thanks. I’m glad it felt right because it sounds as though it’s a decision you don’t regret.

P – I think it would be harder to date someone you work with and have to see them again if it didn’t work out.

Mandy’s Kidding – LOL. I completely understand your statement and wanting to just once stay off the rollercoaster ride. However, bet all the changes (by choice or force) have really helped you grow as a person and I bet you wouldn’t want to relive it, but wouldn’t change the experience.
Congrats on the marriage and am curious, did the writing take off?

Green-Eyed Momster – Thanks and isn’t working a smaller place so much better?

Dan – Very true, but I feel you’re never too old. I’ve had wonderful family members prove you can challenge yourself no matter the age.

Theschmuck – Very true.

Herding Cats – Sometimes moving outside your comfort zone is not always the fun one or made by your choice. However, in time, you’ll really appreciate it.

Jules – A new principal….having to prove oneself to a new boss is really tough, but as you stated, we sometimes need it.

Monkey Man – That is awesome! Counseling is a wonderful tool, if you’re ready to face your demons and want to make changes to help yourself. Congrats.

Erin P – I can’t speak for others, but when I stay too long in my comfort zone, I actually become a tad depressed.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Brian Miller – You’d know if you were keeping yourself in the comfort zone even if out there.
He is a keeper. How could I ever give up a man with some many fabulous ideas of things to do?

Working Mommy – High School? Wow. You’ve been able to stay in your comfort zone for awhile. I’m impressed.

Tricia – Awesome. Isn’t it an incredible feeling when you’re able to finish something you never thought you could?

DB – This year you will be definitely out of your comfort zone when you do the swimming portion of our tri sprint.

That corgi – I read about the homeless guy and my first thought after reading was “wow, what an amazing person to do something like this”. You redefine stepping out of your comfort zone.

Sunshine Mama – I think the hardest part when you choose to step outside your comfort zone is taking the first step.

CatLadyLarew – LOL. But, it sounds like you made the absolute best decision.

Spot – You’re right and I need to take a page from your philosophy on this matter.

Unknown Mami – Being a parent is a very selfish act and I always thought I was too selfish. However, one day I was ready and the option was taken away from me and I wished I pushed passed my comfort zone.

Kiristin – Congrats on believing in self and following your passions.

Little Ms Blogger said...

La La La Leah – Going back to school after years of being out would create a world of emotions for me too. Looking forward to reading all about it.

Melanie’s Randomness – Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone might mean staying true to self and not allowing toxic relationships in your life.

Otin – ya know my suggestion…become the Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

JennyMac – okay, I don’t have a fear of heights, but I’ve seen this done and am not sure I would do it…wait, I do plan on skydiving one day, but that’s different.

AriSpark – Wow 2 hurdles and it sounds as though you were successful at both. Meeting new people is always hard, but staying true to who you are and not trying to change into a different person is not something many people master. Kudos!

Jen – It’s definitely time for me to walk outside my comfort zone this year, WHENEVER POSSIBLE. Last year, I think I let my situation define me. I plan on defining my situation. I wish you a lot of luck in doing this, but it sounds as though your head Is in the right place.

Debbie – I realized when I finally had an answer to this question, I needed to make some changes in my life because it had been too long since I stepped out of my comfort zone and grew as a person.

Kys – I’m horribly uncoordinated and would agree with you 100% on this. I’d feel as though I’d take people down.

Jaime – I understand this. I’m pretty shy. Most people don’t see it, but I am and hated sitting around a table with 10 people from the other company and me. Ugh…all that spotlight on one person was too much. I dreaded those days.

Jewels Diva – I guess stepping out of your comfort zone would be going mainstream, laying low and doing nothing. I don’t advise that.

Fgrngtllt – the only way to overcome the fear is imagining the worst and living life the way you’d want to (e.g., if having a tough time at work imagine you get fired; diagnosed with cancer imagine death) I know sounds grim, but it forces you to look at what you really want and go for it.

McGillicutty said...

Every morning when I get up!!!

Seriously, i think it was just before Christmas when I decided not to charge gifts this year because I finally realized how pointless that is. I stuck to my guns and I'm so happy now, no CC bill but everyone still had a lovely time and didn't want for anything!!! who'da thunk it? sounds shallow doesn't it but i honestly would have charged so much before in order to look good to the rest of the family.