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New things are scary. Do them anyway.

On Friday I leave for Lisbon, Portugal for a month. New city, new country, new culture, new language. I’m traveling solo, working remotely and besides having a place to sleep (and of course a new yoga studio on my radar!) I have nothing planned. Does it feel exciting? Yes. Does it feel scary? Definitely.

The past few winters I’ve taken big trips away from Cape Cod to get out of the cold and experience something new while rediscovering myself. My love for traveling solo started in college over 20 years ago yet I still have moments of what the heck am I doing. At times I am lonely and uncertain about what may happen. Being in a new place where I know no one can be intimidating. Still, I keep going because the uncomfortableness always fades into enjoying a new experience. A new way to know what I’m capable of.

I heard on a podcast recently that about half of our day is habit. We are on auto pilot doing the same things and not being present. While some habits are great (brushing my teeth comes to mind!) a lot of what we do can feel repetitive, complacent, boring or even mind numbing. It can also bring up feelings of being stuck. Doing something new, no matter how big or small, has benefits. Creativity can be boosted. You get to know yourself better - your capabilities and abilities. Being afraid of new things becomes less scary and you become more courageous. You could meet new people, learn something that leads to a new career or even discover some hidden talents. Plus you can have fun!

So I ask you….what are you curious about? What have you always wanted to try? How do you want to grow? What is something new that you can do today, this week, this month. Something that will challenge you and also bring you joy. Repeat to yourself, what is the best that could happen?!

We all have different comfort zones and what is a stretch to me is very different for you. That’s what makes us all unique and amazing! So please let go of comparisons. This is all about you (the most important person there is!) and no one else. Here are some ideas to get stared:

  • Start small and keep it simple.

  • Enlist a friend or partner to join you. Learning something new with someone is a great bonding experience and way to strengthen relationships.

  • Know when to keep going and when to stop.

  • Trust yourself, your intuition, your body.

  • Stay rooted in the present moment of what is actually happening versus the “what-ifs”.

  • Remember the first step can be the hardest. Sometimes we need to ignore the mind chatter, take a deep breath and go for it!

Give yourself some grace if it doesn’t go according to plan. Part of trying something new is releasing control and being open to any outcome. If it is truly making you miserable, you get no value or you are doing it for someone else instead of yourself - stop. There is a difference between stretching and putting yourself through hell. While it may be hard, trying something new ultimately should bring fulfillment, create happy memories and help you know (and love) yourself a little more.

The time I really pushed out of my comfort zone...paragliding in Santa Barbara.

Ready to get clear on your dreams? Download the Clarity Audit Workbook. Uncover your core desires and the path to personal growth through relevant journal prompts.

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