There is so much buzz about going inward, finding clarity within and embracing the act of slowing down, but what if that is the exact thing that is keeping us small? Over the past 10 years I’ve gone from overachieving and having every minute of my day scheduled, to completely blissed out with not many other plans aside from yoga. But it’s the realisations along the way that have been deeply clarifying.
For years I over extended myself, I was everything to everyone, and uber determined to have success in my life. I did everything humanly possible to make my life unfold in the way I wanted it to. And as the pattern goes, I burnt out. Did someone say control freak?
I have inside knowledge here too, I know I’m not the only one. In fact, there are thousands of women who have had an incredibly similar experience. I know this because I coach them (you!) and I hear the incredible parallels between my life, and that of my clients, every single day.
Naturally after burn out (one end of the spectrum), most of us do a 180, and come to a complete stop. We see everything that we did in our life to that point as the evil reason why we burnt out, and turn our back on it all, often opting for something a little slower paced.
And let me just tell you, I personally believe that is awesome!
We burn out because we push too hard, and pushing too hard always comes from fear.
Fear that there won’t be enough (food, money or love, for example).
Fear that we aren’t worthy unless we prove ourselves to be.
Fear that if we slow down, we won’t keep up.
Fear that we won’t be loved and accepted without a label or a title.
The list goes on.
To change the pattern, we need to work with the opposite of fear, and that is love.
So how does flipping to the other end of the spectrum, fit under the love over fear stakes?
Every choice is ALWAYS about the intention behind it.
Are you choosing to slow down out of love and kindness for yourself, or because you believe your body let you down by burning out, and you really don’t feel you have a choice?
Do you see the difference?
Let's chime back into my personal experience with this ...
My burn out showed up as adrenal fatigue, and then I chose love. I chose to honour my body, slow down, and put my needs first. I chose to take responsibility for my own health and wellbeing. I knew what my body (and soul) needed, and I acted on it.
High fives, right?
But it’s what came next that became a little bit of an issue.
I got stuck there.
I got stuck in the slow and steady.
I got stuck in the lack of routine, lack of desire, and introversion.
I didn’t really have any desire to put myself back out into the world, I was happy to hide behind my yoga classes, and sweats, and just live without too much responsibility.
And guess what that meant? It meant I was back in fear.
In order to live a life that is fully aligned, and forever stretching us to become the highest version of ourselves, we must constantly check the motivation of our actions.
Initially my motivation had been love, but in time, I got lazy, and I was back inside my comfort zone, no longer stretching myself in the way that I hope to my whole life.
My question to you today - are you disguising your comfort zone with a label?
Are you keeping yourself small, and telling yourself it’s love, when deep down, you know you’re actually just super comfortable where you are?
And here’s the thing, you can stay in your comfort zone! Just make sure that you’re honest with yourself about the fact that that’s where you’re living.
Your comfort zone will look different to mine, and the next persons. So it’s not something you can really look to other people for, to show you the way. Ask yourself, where am I playing small? Where am I selling myself short? Where do I feel comfortable?
Here are some areas of your life you might be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone in…
And a hot tip, the things that triggers you the most, is usually the best place to start!
- Your relationship with your partner (is there something that you never talk to them about, but really want to?)
- How you care for your body (maybe you want to try a different healing modality or research a different method of thinking)
- Your career (Is it challenging you? Do you feel like your contributing to something bigger than yourself? Do you feel like you’re using all of your skills, plus some?)
- Your relationship with money (Do you want to step up how your handle your $’s? Maybe save, or implement a new budget? Pay off a credit card that you just can’t seem to make traction on)
- Food (Do you adventure with food? Does the thought of a charcoal smoothie make you nervous? Where can you expand here?)
- Personal development (When was the last time you read a book, or listen to someone speak outside of your immediate inspo circle? Can you find a new genre of podcast to listen to)
- Political views (Can you step up and make your voice heard, instead of hiding behind the masses. Maybe joining a conversation group, or a protest that feels aligned for your beliefs)
- Travel (Do you always go on tropical holidays? Can you explore the idea of a trip to the snow, or the outback? Can you take a hiking trip with a friend, or volunteer over seas?)
I truly believe that expansion is what keeps us alive and constantly checking to see that I am gently taking steps outside what feels comfortable, is how I stay motivated by love, continue to grow, and always feel proud of how I’m showing up in the world.
I’d love you to reflect back in the comments below and share with me the area from above (or another one) that you feel called to expand in, especially because it feels outside of your comfort zone!