Leaving Our Comfort Zone: 3 Things

Pop quiz: What do these three things have in common?

  1. Carol Newman Cronin business cardWorking with a client outside the marine industry
  2. Attending yoga classes with a friend
  3. Working with a partner

Answer: They are all new expansions to my previous definition of self. (And fortunately, Stacey Szabo designed me a new business card that’s totally flexible.)

Thing #2 may seem completely unrelated; I would argue otherwise. Could having the courage to step outside my usual industry and work with someone else have inspired crossing a bridge to attend yoga classes? I say the answer is “yes,” though I’d need a do-over to prove it.

A few months ago, a former colleague reached out to inquire if I’d be interested in helping with an editorial experiment, and even though I haven’t worked on a boat-free project since the late 20th century, I signed on. That led to partnering with another former colleague, which is a first for me. One new step led to another.

And the yoga? Well, that’s a bigger change than it might seem, because over the years I’ve developed a workout routine that doesn’t involve classes of any sort. But when a new opportunity arose to cross that bridge, I took it. Once we are rewarded for leaving the comfort zone in one area of our lives, it’s easier to make leaps elsewhere.

As we age, it’s easy to fall into comfortable habits that soon dig themselves into furrows, which eventually become deep enough to be called “ruts.” We find something we like, and we stick with it. There’s nothing wrong with that; good habits come out of being comfortable, just as bad ones do.

But the only way we discover new good habits is to shake things up once in awhile. Sometimes we’re forced to do that by an event outside our own control. At other times, we get the luxury of choosing change on our own terms. Either way, it’s important to say “yes.”

The day after the first yoga class, I was a little sore—a sure sign that I’d pushed harder than usual. Working with a new client and partner, the signs of growth and change will be more subtle. Who knows, I might even stretch the boundaries of that comfort zone.

4 thoughts on “Leaving Our Comfort Zone: 3 Things”

  1. Erica Beck Spencer says:

    “Once we are rewarded for leaving the comfort zone in one area of our lives, it’s easier to make leaps elsewhere.” So true! Well said and good for you!

    1. Carol Newman Cronin says:

      Erica, Thanks for the comment! You are one of my many inspirations for leaping out of my comfort zone.

  2. Simon Rutherford says:

    Kia ora Carol and friends, Living in Christchurch New Zealand we have another variation on SHAKING things up, and just after midnight on Monday our world shook for 2 minutes. In fact most of NZ shook back and forward about 6 to 12 inches and the North East of the South Island is now somewhat different. Actually I heard today that the S Island is now 4 inches norrower!

    Anwho as my sailing friend from Boston area would say a class of 25 students from the centre of the afore mentioned shaking left their comfort zone of home and school and came south 55 miles for a days sailing with me.

    Starting sailing can have a shaking effect on the rest of our lives (it did for me and my family 26 years ago) but more important than that I think for a few hours they forgot about how horrible life is when the earth shakes violently or a bit up to 25 times every hour all day and all night! They had a great time – got wet got challenged and went with it and want to come back again – real soon.

    Thanks for your thoughts Carol.

    Kia kaha – be strong.

    1. Carol Newman Cronin says:

      Simon,
      Thanks for your thoughts and glad you came through the shaking okay. The steps I’ve taken outside my comfort zone seem very small compared to what you’ve experienced this week, but I’m so glad you reached out. I’m also glad you were able to take so many kids out for a “shakedown” sail! Maybe they will remember that, even once memories of the earthquake have faded a bit.

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