If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal– Paulo Coelho
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all– Helen Keller
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?— Mary Oliver
Which, if any of the above resonates with you, one, two or all three?
What do you do when things become a bit stale, and you feel the need to expand/open your world to new possibilities? When you recognise it might be time for a new chapter or a new adventure?
Well, maybe now is the time to explore – try new things that stretch and move you beyond your comfort zone, as Oliver Page MD describes/suggests in his article, ‘How to leave your comfort zone and enter your growth zone.’
The idea of different zones is insightful as Oliver Pages presents a model that shows what happens when we move beyond our comfort zone through the fear zone, the learning zone and finally to the growth zone. Not always in a linear way.
But I hope to go a little beyond, try something new and push yourself outside your comfort zone.
So, what is happening or not happening in your world right now?
What are you noticing about yourself?
Let’s start with exploring your world as it is now by considering the questions below:
- What is draining you currently? / What is energising you?
- What are you tolerating?
- What frightens you?
- What makes you leap out of bed in the morning?
- What is your prevalent mood?
- What are you focusing on? / Where are you directing your attention?
- What are you grateful for today? Because there is always something.
- What is boring you? / Demotivating you?
And if you are prepared to have a go.
Take a large piece of paper, some colour pens, and pencils and draw a picture of your world as you see it today – all of it work, rest and play. Include your responses to any of the questions you are drawn to. This exercise is not a test of your artistic ability; it just provides a different way for you to explore what is going on. So don’t worry about stick men and women – the main thing is that you understand the relevance and significance of the things you have drawn. And ideally, you should take no longer than 10-15 minutes over your picture.
Adapted and used with the kind permission of CCS Ltd.
So, what does your world look like?
Some of the most memorable pictures I have seen include a snakes and ladders board representing the ups and downs of someone’s career, a sheet coloured entirely in yellow, and a tree whose branches showed the different parts of someone’s life. The main thing is that each person could explore those aspects of their lives at the forefront of their minds.
Once you have completed your picture – put it aside for a day or two before taking a good look at it. But when you do, consider how you feel about your world picture. What gaps are there, and what might that be telling you? What would you like to see more of, less of? What is the relationship between the different parts of your life?
You might find it helpful to talk through your picture with a friend, family member, colleague, or coach.
What changes do you want to make to your world, and how will you do it? Which areas aspects do you want to broaden or expand? Are you looking for an incremental change or a new broom?
Broadening out, taking some risks, trying new things, and opening up your world is likely to require the following:
Courage – to take that first step into the unknown, or as Brene Brown so eloquently puts it, ‘You can have courage, or you can have comfort, but you can’t have both.’
Assume you already have the courage to start and accept there is likely to be a level of discomfort as you seek out change and expansion. You might surprise yourself after you have taken that first step – but the thing is to start.
Curiosity – about what might be possible, curious people are open to new possibilities and fresh perspectives.
So, what are you curious about? What topic is piquing your interest? If time and money were no object, what would you try?
Lean into your curiosity about your world and the opportunities out there. I remember doing this when I started my business twenty years ago – clear blue skies represent opportunities I haven’t yet found. And I still take comfort in that.
Putting the two together, dare to see where your curiosity might take you. I did this when I signed up for a stand-up comedy course and it is playing a part now as I start to pull together ideas for a podcast.
So, where might your curiosity lead you?
And if you want to read more about curiosity, please click here
Two other aspects that are likely to help with opening up your world are:
Creativity – what does creativity mean to you, and how might you bring more of it into your life? Is this missing from your world picture?
During the Pandemic and the various lockdowns, I couldn’t help but notice how people kept themselves sane – gardening, painting, playing music, wreath making, dancing, and playing party games. It wasn’t just about creating art – but finding creative ways to express themselves or finding a creative outlet.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls― Pablo Picasso
So, going back to curiosity, what might you want to try for the sheer fun of it?
What aspect of your creativity are you curious about?
You can read more about developing your creativity here.
Confidence – as you start, your confidence may build to the point where you take bigger and bigger steps. New possibilities and opportunities appear, and you learn to trust in your abilities to manage the change:
Instead of seeing the rug being pulled from under us, we can learn to dance on the shifting carpet– Thomas Crum
And if things don’t work out the first time, remember that there is always tomorrow. Dust yourself down, reflect on your learning, and move on. When things don’t go to plan, I like to remind myself- that wasn’t your finest moment, Janice, but you can do better next time.
1.Take up a course – either online or in person, but something that gets you with and amongst new people. Find something that interests and energises you, something unrelated to your work. Consider how you might bring some creativity into your life. It could be just the thing to restore your mojo – fill in a part of you that might be missing.
I want to acknowledge that resources and funds might be an issue, but there are some free and or low-cost courses out there both online and in person, particularly if you are taking the first step:
WEA: – Worker’s Educational Association
2. Take up a cause – what fires you up, puts fire in your belly? What do you stand for and believe in? How could you make a difference? You could start by volunteering with a charity related to your cause.
3. Seek out people who interest you – I regularly follow people on Twitter and Instagram– because I am curious about their writing and stance on specific topics, even if I don’t necessarily agree with everything they say.
4. Review your reading – if you enjoy books, is it time to try something new? Consider authors and topics you haven’t read before. In the past, I have generally preferred biographies, autobiographies, and some historical fiction – with the advent of my writing course, I am reading and enjoying a broader range of stories and novels that I might not have otherwise tried.
I could say the same about what you are watching and listening to – video streams and podcasts open up a new way of creating and accessing content.
5. Get out there and physically explore – what new walks or routes can you find? There is plenty to discover in new places, but what about the things/ people under your nose? What could you uncover about your local area if you tried?
6. Identify and connect with your champions and cheerleaders – the people who will support your exploration into new territory.
Treasure those whose company prompts you to be playful and have fun – their gift to you is priceless – Anne Dickson
7. Make room physically and psychologically – if you want to bring in something new – you might need to create the space for it. Every yes has a no; if you are saying yes to one thing, you are likely saying no to something else.
Consider decluttering/pruning back on those aspects of your life that no longer serve you. And if that includes saying no – you might find this article helpful, elegant ways to say no.
Let’s see how you can open up your world and good luck with your explorations!
Until next time
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