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Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

When was the last time you tried something different? Most of us spend a large part of our lives trying to get more comfortable. We earn money so that we can have a more comfortable life, home, car, job, holiday etc. and we generally try to avoid discomfort whenever possible.

And yet we only learn new things when we step into unfamiliar territory. As living organisms, if we want to keep growing then we ought to seek out new experiences and put ourselves into situations which will often feel less comfortable.

From Fear to Success – A Personal Story

Some of you will know that I am a keen guitarist. Although over the past thirty years, I have played in a few bands, the experience of having regular gigs has been somewhat elusive. The thing about playing regularly with a band is that, over time, you develop an intuitive communication with the other musicians. Its a magical thing – but it is hard to achieve if you only get together once every six weeks. This year everything has changed, and I’m now delighted to be out every weekend with Soulville Express playing dance music. After successful gigs this Friday and Saturday night, we have been offered five new bookings.

Getting Doors to Open

But what I find fascinating and wanted to share in this blog is the path that led to the opening of these new doors. Last year I reached a point of frustration around my difficulty of finding other musicians with a band I could join. Determined to do something about it, I figured the only way was to start my own band. But here there was a problem. I have never been a singer, and I would need to front my own band – which means singing. And I had a limiting belief about playing guitar and singing at the same time. In short – I felt it was impossible for me. When I am playing guitar, my attention is totally focused and I have always felt that there is no part of my brain left free for speech or singing. 

Stepping into the Unknown

I then met Henry Ray, a wonderful vocal coach who explained that this problem was not unique to me – and that he could teach me how to overcome it quite easily. After a few vocal coaching sessions with Henry, I formed the band Tariqa, had a few rehearsals and by December I was singing two one-hour sets in local pubs. I now had the vehicle, but still needed to get regular gigs.

The next step was totally unexpected. Whenever you step outside your comfort zone, the universe conspires to make new things happen. I was asked to audition for a band that already had regular gigs. By weird coincidence, at the same time, other commitments came up for the other two members of Tariqa. I auditioned, got the part and am now greatly enjoying what I set out to achieve a year ago. My point is that the route taken was not under my control – but the journey started in earnest when I faced my own personal fears and stepped fully into my discomfort around singing.

I like the quotation by Doris Lessing: “Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”

Your Journey?

So what challenges do you currently face? And to what degree are you avoiding the discomfort of taking a new journey? Here at in8, we routinely help people overcome their fears in order to improve their lives. If you are hesitating to make a change in your life, or hesitating to pick up the phone and ask for help – the time to do it is right now! Here is a short video which explains what will happen next.