Hi all! My apologies for the lack of posts on the blog lately. I needed to take some time to fill myself up. As Lisa Nichols and many others teach, it is impossible to effectively serve others when your cup is empty. So I felt the need to take a step back and soak up as much spirit and soul food as possible as I make some huge changes in my life.
A few days ago I had this fleeting memory of how much easier life was in my early twenties. I had a meaningless job that I was not only uninterested in, but I was doing mindless work. I had the freedom to take as many breaks as I wanted and I took advantage of that by surfing the web and talking on the phone as often as possible.
My personal life was just as flippant. I had no real direction and my main focus was friends, men and partying. I constantly dreamed and wished and complained about not having my dream life, but I was in no way taking steps to get there. I must have thought it was going to fall out of the sky and drop into my lap if I dreamed and wished for it long enough.
As I’ve gotten older and entered my early thirties, I’ve noticed how much has changed. I have stripped myself of many of my comfortable and familiar surroundings and embarked on this journey to find myself and live my dream life. As fulfilling and passionate as this journey may be, I must admit… In my fleeting memory of the past, I wondered why life couldn’t be as easy as “the good ole’ days.”
The most fulfilling, purposeful and passionate path is most certainly not the easiest. That’s why most people settle for the most comfortable and familiar even if it’s unfavorable, because why put yourself through difficulties and challenges at the risk of possibly not getting what you want?
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
That quote is pretty powerful. I’ve realized that’s exactly what I was doing – holding on to the suffering that’s familiar out of fear of the unknown. Although I’ve already pushed past fear and stepped out of my old box, this journey to my dream life requires constant stretching and leaping. Just like when playing a video game (I’m thinking of the old school days, playing Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo lol), once you’ve conquered all of the obstacles on one level, you have to continue conquering increasingly difficult obstacles as the levels get higher in order to win the game.
I’ve noticed so much resistance lately when making new and different decisions for my life, and now I see that I was holding on tightly to the new box I created for myself at my current “level”. I felt like, “Look, this is where I am and things need to happen in this realm and this realm only for me to be happy.”
But the truth is, my blessing is right outside of my box, and the same is true for you. As soon as you open yourself up, become flexible and step into the bigger picture you previously only peered at through your self-imposed glass window, the blessing you’ve been waiting for will be magnetized to you.
Yes, stepping outside of your box is uncomfortable. It’s inconvenient. It’s difficult and challenging. But the good news is, all you go through is worth it because you will be even more comfortable (i.e. happier and WAY more fulfilled) when you get through to the other side.
Think of it like this… When you get uncomfortable on the couch, you shift. I’m pretty sure you’re not moving much when you’re comfy on the couch. The same goes with your life. When you are in a situation that causes you discomfort, you are forced to shift in order to be comfortable again. It is necessary for you to be uncomfortable because if you remained comfortable in your life, nothing would ever change – yet the purpose of your life is to constantly evolve. So when you experience that uncomfortable feeling (whether it’s on the coach or in your life) it naturally compels you to shift into the experience you want, where you will feel a new level of comfort and awesomeness. 🙂
As soon as I decided to open myself up, let go of my fears, and believe in myself enough to succeed outside of my box, beautiful new opportunities have made themselves available to me. I am now contemplating my new level of comfort, and I like it! That’s the other thing, stepping outside of your box entails changing what you think you may like or feel comfortable with. You really don’t know how much you like something until you’re fully experiencing it. You can’t tell when you’re simply standing outside judging it.
So with that said, embrace change. Stretch yourself. Take the plunge. And welcome the challenges that come with the unknown of stepping outside of your box. Know that as soon as you let go of the limitations in your mind of what you’re willing to do and experience, the whole world will be opened up to you. You will automatically send a message to the Universe that you are open, willing and ready for all the wonderful things planned for you.
Even if you’re like me and you get to the point where you feel like you’re tired of shifting and you’re ready to stay firmly planted in one place because you feel you’ve changed enough…. Remember, there is no limit to the abundance that is in store for you. So the more you are willing to shift, the more you will receive. Don’t block your blessings. Know that the bigger and better experiences are right outside of your box.
Share your thoughts in the comments: Where do you see yourself peering out of that window instead of taking the step outside of your box? What are the uncomfortable feelings you try to avoid and how do you get over it? What benefits have you experienced from stepping outside of your box?
Peace, Love & Change,
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I feel like I’m definitely stepping “outside the box” and my comfort zone with all this new social media networking. Just as I begin to almost get comfortable with FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn, then Google+ and klout and a whole slew of other newbies emerge on the scene and I’m feeling inundated all over again. I think it’s time to prioritize before my brain goes on overload and has a meltdown!
lol, Hey Sandra! I know exactly how you feel with that. I can’t even bring myself to fully deal with Google+ yet.
Welcome back Alexis! Good for you for taking some time out to restore and rejuvenate – hooray! I la la LOVE Lisa Nichols (my teens love her too!), and she’s always talking about building our resiliency and tenacity muscles, which we all need when we step out of our boxes. Building Bring Back Desire is providing plenty of stretching and courage building moments for me. Just because I’m a seasoned entrepreneur doesn’t mean it’s any easier the third time around. As Sandra mentioned, the social media tools alone are enough to send me back into my box. I’m also learning how to speak my truth about sensuality and intimacy, a topic that is often not broached in polite company! The hardest part was creating videos for Bring Back Desire – gulp! All the credit goes to video expert Ruth Sherman (http://www.ruthsherman.com), who talked me off the ledge and helped me embrace this fabulous and key medium for sharing the love. Whew!
Thanks for another great post – I missed you! @AndeLyons @bringbackdesire
Hi Ande! Thanks so much. Yes, building a business will definitely push you outside of your box, so I know exactly how you feel. And especially doing it on a taboo topic. Bravo to you! People need guidance in all areas. That’s why it’s so important to step outside of your box, not only for you, but for the people you can more effectively serve when you do. That’s awesome Ande! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Wow! That was some powerful self-revelation you just shared! I love it and the growth that’s truly taking place in you! Love ya!
Thank you! Love you too! I really appreciate your constant guidance and support. 🙂
It’s nice to see another post of yours again. Due to the kind of personality I used to have, I found myself always looking out the window instead of taking the plunge and stepping right out. I’m a fast learner and like Sandra said, I was always sacred of overload whenever I embark on something new. It took me a pretty long time to realize that growth is only possible if we willingly move a step further. I’ve also come to realize that most people leap out of the box instead of actually stepping out, one leg at a time. It’s a gradual process. Jumping out of the box would make you feel like you’re about to explode and when you do, you’re back to where you started from. Peep out, survey what’s in store for you, plan and then take it step by step. When you’re finally out, BURN THAT BOX so you don’t go back in. Really inspiring, I guess your brief break paid off. Thanks.
Thanks so much Lanre. You made some excellent points. You are so right that taking things one step at a time is really important to avoid overwhelm. Balance is the key to life. And I love the idea of “Burn that box” once you step out of it! That is exactly the move to make to ensure success. Thanks for your always insightful comments. 🙂
Your post was timely for me as I am at that place of stepping out of my box. As the late Jim Rohn said, “for things to change you have to change”. Yes things need to change so I am working on myself and praying and meditating asking for God’s guidance, as I make the steps one at a time. Enjoyed your post and I will share as I know many of my friends need to hear this.
Thanks so much Kathleen. People like you are exactly why I do this. It sounds like you are on the right track with prayer and meditation and working on yourself to change. I pray for much success for you and all of your future endeavors. 🙂
Hi Alexis, Popped over here today from Online Viz Boost on LinkedIn. I really liked the comment about being comfortable on the couch and not moving until there’s a real reason. I’ve heard/read quite a bit about this topic, but hadn’t heard it put that way before! Great way to look at it. Pretty sure I need to get off the couch, or at least change positions. Now, where to go once I’m up… that might be the next post 🙂
Thanks Cheryl. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m sure you probably already know where to go once you change positions, you may just be to afraid to really look at it right now. Everything will come in time. When you get uncomfortable enough, trust me, you will move. And you will know exactly which direction to move in to gain more comfort. You can always pray for guidance as well. 🙂
Hi Alexis. Thank you for an inpsirational and challenging post. Everything of value that I’ve learned in the world and most importantly about myself is when I have faced my fears and stepped out of my comfort zone.
Thank you for reminding me that it is time again.
Thanks Mike. No problem, and good luck! 🙂