By growing older, evolving, and sailing through life, I was convinced that the enemy to success and a fabulous existence is our holy “comfort zone”.
How many times did you hear “get out of your comfort zone, and magic will happen”? It sounds so cliche now. BUT is nothing but pure truth.
When we are born, we are given a limited timeline. We are the only ones responsible for our choices, for changing our path and direction, and for making our lives exciting and rewarding.
Time is a precious gift and a rare commodity.
Now Let’s Do A Basic Exercise, And If The Answer Is Yes To All These Questions, Maybe It Is Time For A Change:
Just take a look around.
Is your life pleasant and cozy?
Do you have a nice steady job?
Is your job well paid?
Do you have a cool group of friends?
Are you in a relationship?
Can you afford 1-2 vacations every year?
Do you have a loan for the house?
Do you have a retirement plan?
It all seems to be so safe and secure. But maybe something is missing…
Maybe you feel like you need something else in your life, but you don’t know what?
By the way, there is nothing wrong with the above. I know so many people that are pleased living like this. And it’s ok. I am not blaming anybody as we all have the choice and freedom to live the way we want.
All I am saying is that there is a little more out there, and if you dare to explore, you might be amazed … and I want to challenge you a little bit.
The above was me in 2009. I would have answered yes to all the questions.
I had a secured and well-paid job in a multinational company. I had a lot of amazing friends. I was dating someone. As an only spoiled child, I was living with my parents in a beautiful apartment in the center of Bucharest. I was never paying bills. I never cleaned the house nor changed my bedsheets as we had a maid. I was dancing salsa a few times a week. I was traveling a few times per year to a new destination. Shopping every month. And the list can go on and on. The routine was at its best, running my life with no worries or concerns.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Anonymous.
The first change came in November 2009 when I realized I actually did hate my job and I had no future in that multinational organization, and all I wanted to do was dance salsa on a professional level. I was 28.
One day after work, I went to the library to buy a book, and I found “Screw It, Let’s Do It” written by Richard Branson.
A few days later, I resigned. I had savings to live comfortably (let’s not forget I was not paying any bills or rent) for about 8-9 months dancing salsa and figuring things out.
Moving on, I got into a zone of freedom that was amazing. However, I was still living in Romania, with my parents but using my savings and slowly but surely getting bored of everything.
One day, in May 2010, I said to myself: “This is it! I just can’t live here anymore. I am so done”.
And I knew that If I don’t make a move and fast, I will be buried there. Everything was the same – same people, same places, same conversations, all was repetitive, and nothing was exciting anymore.
I had zero clues of where I wanna go and what I wanna do. All I knew was that I needed to pack and find my way. Shortly after the seed was planted in my brain, I found an announcement on Facebook that someone was looking for a Project Manager and Event Organiser for a very large salsa event in Berlin, Germany. The mix was fantastic: salsa, organizing events, meeting new people, moving to a new country. Holy Moly!!! It didn’t even matter that my German language was zero. I replied in a heartbeat and talked to that guy (he was endorsed by one of my friends, so I felt safe), and in July 2010, I went there for a short visit. He made me an offer, and I accepted.
In September 2010, with 2 pieces of luggage, I was in the airport waiting for my flight, feeling that my life had finally begun and that I had taken control of my destiny.
5 years later, I moved to Dubai without any plan. I am still here for more than 6 years. It is the place I call home. I have a great job, beautiful friends, a pretty house, and I live in a clean and safe city where the lifestyle is the most amazing in the entire Universe.
My story is that I quit a safe job, I left my home country and everything else behind to go and live in the unknown by myself (twice) Sometimes I feel like I have thrown myself to the wolves.
But your story of you overcoming your fears can mean a multitude of other things, such as:
- Start your own business
- Quit your super safe job
- Say “Enough” to a toxic relationship
- Register for another degree and polish your skills
- Start painting or explore any other hobby you might be passionate about – maybe start dancing salsa at 50 (why not!)
- Sell or rent your apartment and go on a 1 year sabbatical around the globe
- Start a new diet and working out
- Try a few extreme sports
And I will be honest, it is difficult, and it can take even years to have the courage to change something in one or more areas of your life.
Because change is scary and uncomfortable. It hurts. And it hurts real bad.
But fear is a natural and essential part of growth. And I can assure you, stepping beyond your comfort zone allows you to achieve things that once seemed unreachable.
Insanity: Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results” Albert Einstein
- Slow Down for a moment and think about your life. Are you happy? Are you where you wanna be? Are you surrounded by the people that you want? Do you live in a place that makes you happy? Do you make enough money? Do you like your job?
- Analyze – Start planning and preparing a timeline once you figure out what you want and the person you want to be.
- Time to shake up those routines – Sometimes, it will take a day or two to make a change, and other times it might take months or years. My advice is not to think that much. However, we are all unique individuals. We all have different motivations, constraints, and, more importantly, our own rhythm of taking action. Do it at your own pace
- Make the First Move – After you answer these questions, you will have a pretty clear idea of the next step. Whatever you want – quit your corporate job, get out of a broken relationship, move from home, buy that ticket, sell your apartment, start that business – just do it.
- Stay Positive – Keep your spirits high. Once you make that first move and your life starts changing, you might begin to experience challenges but always choose to see the whole part of the glass. Be that person that thinks that every problem has a solution and not the other way around. My life in Dubai is far from perfect and easy. Still, I enjoy all the beautiful things around me that make me so happy. At the same time, I am working very hard every day, juggling a demanding job, my blog, administrative duties, and social life.
- Keep Your Options Open – Sometimes, you think you need a specific change. Still, after analyzing, you might be surprised to figure out it is something very different. This is actually good. Work on it and keep exploring what you want and, more importantly, what you need.
- Be Friendly – being social and talking to people will only open doors and expand your horizons. You will make more friends and learn new things. Plus, one person will always lead to another, and you will start building your network.
- Don’t Ever Give Up – This is a critical step. Crucial, I would say. It was never an option for me. I have been through really rough, challenging times but going back home to mommy and daddy was a no-go. Because I am telling you, things might get messy and complicated, but you will waste all your hard work and achievements if you give up. This is life anyway. No matter what we do, we will have obstacles. The idea is to learn how to overcome your challenges and move on with even more confidence and determination.
- Don’t Settle – Once we get comfortable again, the tendency is to stay there. And it’s ok, it’s human nature. And we can stay there for a while. We need that, but have a personal check-in with yourself every once in a while and see if you are where you want to be.
- Empower other people – Sharing your experience and empowering other people is one of the best rewards, at least for me.
- Its never too late– If you think you are 35 or 40 or more and your time is expired, please think again. I broke up with the Psycho at 26, quit my safe job at 28, moved to Germany at 29 and to Dubai at 33, and started this blog that I know will be very successful at 40.
Beautiful Things That Will Happen When You Will Start Exploring New Territories
- Build great memories
- Empower yourself
- Meet incredible people
- Interact with other cultures
- Learn new things and sharpen your skills
- Personal satisfaction
- Grow as a human being in so many areas in your life
- Develop on a professional and personal level
- Revisiting your greatest successes and accomplishments helps you remember that courage is one of the qualities that got you there
- It’s a fun ride
“A ship is always safe at the shore but that is not what is built for” – Albert Einsten
Nobody says to be in a continuous changing mode, put constant stress on your shoulders, or to always be on the run. We all need to pause for a while, breathe and do what we have to do. We need to settle and be comfortable here and there. But the idea is not to stay there for too long, and if you start feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to take action regardless if you start small or big.
To open new doors, we have to close others. Closing is the equivalent of pain and fear because change is challenging. But opening new doors will only bring tremendous opportunities.
If I look back, I am not who I was in 2010. I didn’t change to my core as fundamentally. I run my life on the same system of values and beliefs. But I became better, I’ve grown tremendously, I’m wiser, brighter, sharper, less judgemental, and more open-minded.
If I had stayed in my home country, dealing with the same patterns, I know I would not be who and where I am today.
Photo Credit ruffa-jane-reyes-P6mdg0z5tHc-unsplash.jpg
Therefore kill that comfort zone girl, don’t doubt yourself; embrace your fears, and magic will be on its way. I promise you that 🙂
“Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end … because in the end, it shows you a whole new world. Make an attempt!” Manoj Arora
Have you ever broken your comfort zone?