A journey out of the comfort zone
Lessons in letting go from a former structure addict....
If you would have looked at my Facebook and Instagram feed at in 2011 (feel free to head on over and back-stalk!), you would have thought I had it all going on. I was on a successful TV show, I had a handsome, rich “loving” boyfriend, all of my photos were filtered and smiley and effortless. I was that girl with the “perfect” life that you secretly hated.
This is proof that you what we see on people’s highlight reels is usually just that. A very well currated highlight reel of what they want others to see. What was really going on couldnt have been further from what I had so carefully displayed on the pages of social media.
The reality was I was lost, unhappy, unfulfilled and my “perfect” relationship was falling apart. Right before my 26th birthday, it did.
I found myself broke and alone in NYC for the first time with no idea who I was or what the hell I was going to do with my life.
I always love the saying “sometimes shit has to happen for the shift to happen.” -it’s a good one right!? I am so grateful for that rock bottom moment and all of the “shit” that came with it because it was what initiated a massive shift that essentially brought me to where I am today.
For the 5 years following that fateful day, I worked my ass off to create a life for myself that finally felt aligned with who I really was. I began to live MY life instead of someone else’s and became pretty successful doing it.
I built a six figure personal training business, I created an amazing circle of friends and I was able to afford my own apartment in NYC. Life was good… but after a few years of coasting in the goodness of everything I built, I stopped growing and started to feel stuck.
What I realize now is that I was living in constant fear. Fear that something or someone would come in and screw up what I worked so hard to build. So I became really awesome at always staying “safe” and cozy in my comfort zone and I, like many single successful women, became addicted to structure, control and routine.
I set very strict parameters for my food, my workouts, my sleep, my relationships and even my bedtime. This method kept everything working perfectly like a well oiled machine. Great right? Wrong. What I didn’t realize is that while I was protecting myself from all of the things that could “disrupt” the control I thought I had, I was pretty much blocking myself from allowing ANYTHING to happen at all- good or bad. I was keeping myself stuck.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was clearly using what I thought were my “healthy habits” to protect the comfortable little bubble I created for myself. As long as I “controlled” every aspect of my life, nothing (or no one) could come in and throw me off or worse- hurt me.
I so badly wanted to find love again, but I kept a huge protective guard up and sabotaged every opportunity. I wanted to travel but the fear of not having my precious routine kept me from going anywhere too unfamiliar.
My business was running great, but never had any growth. While I felt like I was working so hard to keep my life running without any bumps or mess ups, I was actually sabotaging every opportunity before it even came.
Turns out, you can work as hard as you want to make things happen but if you always play it safe and tightly wound, you will never have those big wins that change your life.
Because you know what happens in club comfort zone? A whole lot of nothing.
My goal in 2017 was to get UNCOMFORTABLE. To fail. To do things that were scary, spontanious and risky. To let go a little. To say yes…
Guess what has happened….!?
I fell in love, my business skyrocketed, I created some unbelievable new friendships and have already traveled to a bunch of places I never thought I’d see. All of that scary stuff I feared would happen if I let go of my strict “safety parameters” never happened.
Lesson learned: life is meant to be messy sometimes. You are supposed to live imperfectly. To fail. To fuck up. To get hurt. To stay up too late sometimes because you are having fun with someone special. That’s how we grow and learn and find deep connection with others and most of all-ourselves.
I have had the pleasure of learning this important lesson this year and the more I implement flexibility, spontaneity, vulnerability and openness into my life, the more I manifest mind-blowing miricles that never would have happened in strucureville.
Don’t get me wrong- I still enjoy some structure throughout my day. I think the right amount actually gives us freedom. But I make it a point to shake shit up way more often now. I take more risks, I do scary shit. I let people in.
So my ask to you today is to get a little more comfortable being uncomfortable. Take that risk you have been too scared to take. Call that person, start that project, book that flight. Ditch the routine for a day and head on over to that place that’s just outside the comfort zone. Magic goes on there I promise!