This is the next in the Monique Musings series, where I take a look at topics outside of French weddings and today I am going to be looking at breaking out of your comfort zone.
Not matter why you read French Wedding Style (thank you deeply by the way) you will have a comfort zone, it is only natural and we all do. This comfort zone is the area in which our daily lives mainly operate, one that doesn’t cause us too much stress or anxiety.
It could be personally with the hobbies that you undertake and the friendship circle you have. It could be in business, in the business discipline that you are most comfortable with. It could be as a blogger in the field that you are immersed in and write about.
But the problem with staying in your comfort zone is that you are unconsciously limiting yourself. You’re narrowing the scope of the stimuli and experiences open to you. You ultimately are denying yourself the chance to develop and explore what you are capable of.
If this sounds like you and you are looking to change, then the way to do this is by positive actions.
This is what I am going to be focusing on today.
Often you hear people say ‘positive thoughts’ are the way forward, but think about it like this, if I am having a writers block, thinking that I need to go for a walk is not going to have the same benefit as the action of actually going for a walk.
So looking at positive action, one of the biggest actions we carry out daily is communication in all its forms. How often have you had a conversation with someone who is negative in their language? You ask “How are you?” the response “Really tired from working so hard”.
Geeze – I feel tired and depressed just writing that answer. Whilst you may indeed feel like that, the same content but using more positive language is “I could do with more energy” sets the brain in motion to think about how it can get you more energy.
But what has that got to do with taking positive actions and breaking out of my comfort zone? Once in the habit of using negative and weak language it seeps into all aspects of our lives. Have you made a date or appointment with someone who says “I’ll try and be there”? When they use the word ‘try’ do you actually think that they are going to make it?
No because ‘try’ is a weak word. It automatically comes with that get out clause. I am going to try and break outside my comfort zone. When in reality you are either in your comfort zone or you are out of it, trying actually infers a lack of action.
Make a small change, when someone asks you how you are, respond with a positive word, my favourite positive word is fabulous! Next when someone asks you to go or commit to something, respond with a positive ” I will be there” or have the courage to say no courteously and why.
Break through something that you think you can’t do. There is a time when we have all completed a task, however large or small that we didn’t think we could do. Do you remember the sense of euphoria that you experienced as you broke through that limiting belief?
What is it that keeps us inside our comfort zones is fear. I can’t remember where I heard it but think of FEAR as False Evidence Appearing Real.
So start by taking a small step outside your comfort zone and banishing that fear. Set yourself a task, something that you know you are uncomfortable doing. It might be tomorrow talking to 2 complete strangers, going outside without makeup on or standing in the middle of the street and sing a verse of the national anthem.
Massive action is for those who are looking to achieve massive results outside of their comfort zone. If in business you are looking to achieve a massive growth strategy, you would not achieve this by increasing your ad spend by 1%.
If you are wanting a different lifestyle, you don’t achieve this by taking a similar job in a similar sector and expect different results.
Here are some people who did just that, took massive action outside of their comfort zones and are now reaping massive results.
Meet Carey Hawkins
“There comes a time in everyone’s life when you are just ready to do something different. My husband Tom and I have always loved the French way of life and visited France for over 30 years! Leaving the UK, secure jobs and our friends/family behind was not an easy decision. Throw into the equation our daughter Isabelle (who was 18 months when we arrived) and the choices are tougher.
I spent many months researching the wedding market in our chosen region of France and luckily there was a demand for a make up artist and hairstylist for weddings, so Carey Hawkins Hair and Makeup was born.
So my business transferred fairly seamlessly to its new home. Starting a new business from scratch here is a very different story, which Tom used to help his clients when they are setting up businesses here too in his business Tom Larmar Consulting.
We decided to ease ourselves into life here by house sitting over the winter months, to get a real feel for the region and not as if we were on an extended holiday. This gave us the opportunity to see France in the harsh winter months (it does get very cold!) and to really immerse ourselves in the language.
The reality of life in France is as wonderful as it is challenging! We miss strange things like take-aways and pubs, but when the sun shines and you are drinking a glass of Pineau you realise what an amazing life we have here now.
Isabelle is thriving in her school and is nearly fluent French, we own a wonderful house, live in a safe and friendly village and both our jobs are busy. Or friends always ask us to explain about living in France and we always say that life here is the same as in the UK but different!”
Carey and Tom have lived in France for nearly 3 years. Isabelle is 4 years old.
Meet Lindsey Kent
“In 2011, my husband and I left our comfortable life in Colorado for an adventurous life in Paris. Having lived most of my life in Denver, making the move to a foreign country was a huge step out of my comfort zone to begin with. I didn’t speak any French so even simple errands – like going to the grocery store or dry cleaners – became a challenge.
In many ways the challenges gave me courage and slowly but surely I overcame my fears and fell into a nice rhythm in Paris. My husband was pursuing his passion for the culinary arts, and I also became motivated to find a new career calling. Photography had always been a hobby of mine, but it wasn’t until moving abroad that I thought maybe I could do it as a profession.
When my friends came to stay with us on their honeymoon, I instinctively toured them around Paris and took fun photos of them that whole week. That’s when it clicked: I could do this for other couples and families visiting Paris! Once the idea was in my head, I was determined to make it happen. So without much hesitation, my idea came to life and Pictours Paris was born.
Looking back on the last year and a half, I’ve probably spent the majority of my time outside of what I considered to be a comfort zone. But since I put fears aside and let myself chase after my dreams, I’ve created a new sense of normal and couldn’t be happier! Approaching life with a bit of reckless abandon really can provide beautiful results.”
We all need to try and move outside of our comfort zone and I am no exception. You might have heard me talk about my upcoming trip to Paris with Mr Trulove in April.
Although I don’t want to give too much away, whilst in Paris I have agreed to step outside my comfort zone for a project. I am extremely nervous about the experience and then the finished project, but I have kept saying to myself “what is the worst that can happen?”
All will be revealed later on in the summer. There is also one more task that I have set myself whilst in Paris that I need to take massive action on – deep breath……
Have a fabulous day and do leave comments below and let me know what you have done to move outside your comfort zone