Happy New Year! Finally back in the groove after travel, the holidays and having my daughter home for her college winter break for the past six weeks.
As many of you know, I left off the last newsletter – back in November (oy!) – with a bon voyage as my family and I headed to the Philippines for two weeks.
And here’s what I learned since…
There’s nothing like getting completely out of one’s comfort zone to see life from a different perspective. We’ve come back in awe of wildly diverse country on every level and have been changed in a multitude of ways.
One of my biggest takeaways came from the people we met. People from every corner of the world, varying walks of life, and genders – all congregated on the tiny island of Lagen in El Nido, Palawan. Most of us didn’t even speak the same language. But somehow we communicated, somehow we got along, helped each other out, laughed at each other’s jokes.
There was the Sikh and his wife, a strikingly beautiful couple taking selfies left and right. They were intimidating at first, but turned out to be hilarious and charming.
There was DJ, a Filipino native living in San Francisco, who had pancreatic cancer – a death sentence, really – and was happy, the life of the party. And he was living out the rest of his life doing what he loved: travelling.
There was the Chinese couple on their honeymoon who seemed timid and prim, but turned out to be the first ones to take up our offer for beers-all-around on a tour boat. Neither of us spoke the same language so we conversed through charades – giggled and shook our heads to assure each other we understood.
And speaking of getting out of our comfort zone, back in Manila, we ate a variety of foods that were so foreign to us: roasted pig knuckles, century eggs, stewed chicken feet. And all turned out to be quite delicious. We drove through some of the most impoverished neighborhoods I have ever seen. And the children were playing and laughing and the parents were working – cleaning their sidewalks and cooking in large pots on the street and driving pedi-cabs. There was no place for lazy in Manila.
The trip has inspired me to continue to leave my comfort zone on a regular basis in 2018.
Of course, traveling to foreign countries is not financial feasible for this girl. But there are so many other ways – big and small – to push your limits. It could be striking up a conversation with the butcher in my grocery store, throwing out unconventional (but effective, of course) ideas in a meeting, or wearing a daring outfit (in public – ha!). Or to go bigger and braver, like jumping out of an airplane (um, no), doing cliff-top yoga (I can barely do a downward dog, and yikes), or remodeling a bathroom (which I plan to do this winter with my husband, and double yikes).
In 2018, I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. I’ve provided encouragement below. And please don’t be shy. I would love to get feedback about what you did and how it changed you – and let me know if I can share with Becoming readers. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Essential Articles to Help Nudge Your Comfort Zone
1. Learn the Science Behind Why We Have Comfort Zones
It’s quite interesting and will help you to push yourself…and recover.
2. Conversation Starters for Any Situation
Striking up a conversation isn’t always easy, but this is a comfort-zone-pushing opportunity you have many times a day and offers great practice to put yourself out there. This article gives you convo starter ideas for almost every situation that confronts you throughout the day.
3. The 2018 Fashion Trends to Give a Try
I’m always pressing myself and everyone else to "push your style," because I think for many of us, it’s a creative outlet and a source of confidence building. Brit & Co offers its take on the 2018 fashion trends. Visualize yourself in these and then give them a try.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Neale Donald Walsch
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