Are You Stretching?

Date posted: July 25, 2013

Now that we’re more than half-way through 2013, let’s check in on how your Stretch Zone Adventures (SZAs) are going! To refresh your memory, at the beginning of the year, I wrote about how I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I make a list of SZAs that I’d like to do in the new year to help dust off the cobwebs of life. You can read that post here.

This year so far, I’ve tried skiing for the first time, participated in a Bollywood flash mob, shared openly with friends and family (and in my writing) about my journey to health, explored scary, new boundary realizations, took an improv class, introduced myself to several strangers at a conference (scary for this introvert!), and more. Upcoming adventures include ziplining, hcomfortzone1iking a 4,000+-foot mountain, and participating as a teacher in an upcoming telesummit for female entrepreneurs.

It’s easy to sleepwalk through life and stay safely in your comfort zone, but that’s also a surefire way to stay stuck in a rut. If you want things to change, you’ve got to make change happen.

It may seem nuts, but what if trying something new is a vital step in leaving the job you hate? In finding the love of your life? In paying off your debt? What if my having a go at skiing back in January helped to propel my business to the next level?

I believe they’re totally connected. When I step into my stretch zone and survive (or maybe even enjoy it!), I’m teaching that vulnerable part of me about self-trust. And when she can trust me to take good care of her on the slopes, she’s more likely to trust me when I take the next big risk in my business. See the correlation?

It’s kinda cool to think that doing something that scares you and isn’t at all related to the change you want to make can actually move you closer to that goal. This idea really opens up the options of next action steps. Where you need to be careful is in thinking that these unrelated fun/scary steps completely replace the related steps. The magic is in the combination.

The SZAs fuel you in a very different way than direct action. It’s kind of like exercise. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, while good for you body to be in movement, it can also get bored and slip into a rut of this new baseline. To mix things up, you introduce different activities in your workouts. This kick-starts new movement and you start seeing fresh results.

Same thing with any other area of your life. As soon as something feels “routine”, let that be a heads up to sprinkle some variety in there. So what new spices will you be adding to your recipe?

Think back over 2013 so far — what have you done to scare yourself a bit? To mix things up? Where have you risked? Been vulnerable? What are your ideas moving forward? Let’s chat in the comments below and keep this momentum going!

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  1. Hi, Kerri.

    I have stepped out and made a few risks. I am working with a few people at an association that helps people who have had brain injuries/infections. The lady I work with in psychology encourages me to explore my emotions/feelings. We talk about them. However, she also encourages me to explore them through my writing. I am becoming more comfortable with this exploration and discovery.

    The team at the Brain Care Centre (Pardon the British/Canadian spelling! I don’t like it! :-)) are helping me become more comfortable. As a result, I am becoming more comfortable stepping out of previously large comfort zones. I am creating higher goals that I know I can achieve! I am learning so much about anything from effective communication to great memory strategies, and more! By the way, the “Tell Me Later” app that I learned about from Cheryl is a wonderful tool! 🙂

    I want to thank you again for all your wonderful work!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Cheers,
    Sarah Blanchette

    • Fantastic, Sarah! Doesn’t it feel amazing to get out of your comfort zone? You feel so alive in your stretch zone, right? Congrats on going for it!

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