By Louise Veres
I love Dr. Seuss and one of my favourites is Oh, The Places You’ll Go. Here’s an extract from the poem.
And when you’re alone there’s a very good chance
You’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
That can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
As a kid, I loved Dr. Seuss because his works were fun to read and look at. But as an adult, I can now see and understand that there was much more to his work then rhyming stories and colourful pictures. There are strong messages in his works. In this one, the message is about facing your fears.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go explores the excitement of experiencing new and different things in the world and the various emotions that you might experience, especially when things go wrong. And how true is that for you? Each one of us operates within our own “zone” that feels comfortable and we make decisions based on the confines of that comfortable space. When we take a risk and move beyond what’s comfortable, discomfort, often in the form of fear, takes over.
When we are in our comfort zone we feel confident and at ease, often feeling relaxed, snug even – and that can be a very pleasant place to be. The question is; have you overstayed your welcome?
You can’t grow without discomfort because all growth requires change. Change means things will be different – and when things are different we need to adapt and learn. So, when you feel uncomfortable, it simply means you are growing.
Are You Sitting (Too) Comfortably?
We all need to be comfortable sometimes as this allows us time to rest but how do you know if you are too comfortable?
Here are some questions to ask:
- When was the last time you tried something new?
- How much are you learning and growing right now?
- Do you feel you’re doing too much – or not enough?
- When was the last time you took a risk?
- Do you feel it’s time for a shift or a change?
In Dr. Susan Jeffers book, Feel the Fear…And Do It Anyway, she talks about expanding our comfort zone as a way of reducing our fears. One of the suggestions Jeffers offers is to take one risk each day – big or small to start expanding your comfort zone. If you are finding this to be a challenging task, think of the things you have been putting off – perhaps because they leave you feeling fearful or uncomfortable! This could be anything from making that phone call, updating your resume to taking an exotic vacation or starting your own business. Simply write down all the things you would like to do and make a commitment to tackle one thing each day. You will notice with each risk taken your comfort zone expands. As your comfort zone expands the more confidence you have and the more you are able to push through your fears that are stopping you from moving forward with your life.
Remember, action builds confidence but if you find yourself having a great deal of hesitancy in taking a risk, just repeat the following affirmation: WHATEVER HAPPENS, I’LL HANDLE IT!
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone ~ Neale Donald Walsch
Louise Veres, Transition Coach – Living Your Best – www.livingyourbest.ca
Louise Veres, BA Psychology/English, is a catalyst and guide for career/life discovery and re-direction. She helps professionals overcome their fears so they can master career/life transitions with clarity, confidence, and power. Louise provides one-on-one coaching and facilitates group coaching workshops on fear, goal setting and next steps.
Louise is a professional life coach, author, speaker, trainer, and is recognized as a master expert in self awareness and transformation. She is the co-author of No Winner Ever Got There Without a Coach and has been a contributing author for Chatelaine Magazine. She has also been nominated by Women’s Post Magazine as one of the Top Women to Watch in 2013.
As one of only 4 licensed trainers in Canada with Dr. Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, her recent focus is on helping her clients become aware of their fears and providing them with practical tools and strategies to help them manage their fears so they can move forward and Live their Best.