Stepping out of your comfort zone

I’m taking a winderful online class with Danny Gregory called “Sketchbook Skool”, which is helping me step out of that comfort zone. Here is one result.

 Yes, I’m still out here. Being creative (drawing, photographing, writing) when I manage to come out of my rabbit hole and face the light. Oh, but it so cozy in there–I’ve got wifi and e-books and all my stuff and fresh almond milk in the fridge (don’t ask how THAT happened). I also have my IPad, which is now about 2 1/2 years old and has sort of become my link to the outside world. Starting my day by checking email, the ever-important updates on Facebook (she says with a bit of sarcasm, but really, it’s very addictive). But, speaking of rabbit holes, it makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland when I start reading the links people post and go far astray from the practical concerns of the day until the white rabbit is looming in my face with his big watch saying “We’re late!”. For a very important date (yes, that laundry doesn’t do it itself).

That is a very well-defined comfort zone. It keeps my fears and unmet desires at bay. It is also a place where the inspirational posters on the wall tend to hinge on the negative, giving me reasons to stay in, peering from behind the curtains muttering “I can’t go out because I’m too…(fill in the blank)”. Stepping out of it is always a little daunting, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. Even being creative is a bit daunting at times. For me, being creative is jumping out of my comfort zone, even if using my creativity is what I seem to be born to do, in this case to share with you (the reader) something that inspires me (which means putting my words or images out there for all to read). Moving out of your comfort zone means being exposed and vulnerable. It also means paying attention to what is going on in your head, instead of focusing on other people all the time. That’s not selfish, as one (well, this one) might assume, but oh so necessary.

On a LinkedIn email, I clicked on this post by Holywood Producer Brian Grazer, about “disruption” and how stepping out of his comfort zone to talk to people inspires him. I found his words to be quite true, and a reminder that stepping out of that zone will reap benefits and help you grow. I hope you find it equally inspiring:

It’s a reminder to me that most of the learning moments and memorable times in my life have come from stepping out (in some cases being dragged out, but thankful later) of my comfort zone. It’s much easier to lie in bed with the covers over my head at times, but I get a lot more out of life by pulling them off and taking the first step into the day ahead. It doesn’t mean I should do something dubious, unlawful, or against my moral character or common sense, but taking the time to listen to an opposing or unusual viewpoint (yes, listening can be a creative act–intake informs output), or facing your fears can be character building and informative. Even trying to do or be something you never imagined you could do or be, or talk to someone you couldn’t imagine would give you the time of day. Or even getting around to do something that seems like it might be boring (really, that is one of our fears, too, isn’t it?) and finding hidden gems of truth and life. Life is short, opportunities pass. (Oh, young friend, you will learn that time only speeds up as you get older.)

Yep, staying in the rabbit hole is sometimes necessary, too. You do need time to digest new experiences and to let ideas percolate and form. But don’t stay in there forever. Peak out and see what the day holds for you. order your jolt of caffeine small, medium or large: have something new for breakfast, go to talk with Grandma for lunch, or have a big meal after you cannonball off the high dive into the pool, screaming all the way down (metaphorically speaking, whatever that means to you–just be sure there is plenty of water in the pool, you want to live to tell about it). Small or big, it will give you something to grow on and share. Maybe the laundry will do itself.  

Thamks for the inspiration, Brian!


About jrwilsondesign

I am a graphic designer and art director with a love of art, nature, words and music and the ways in which they can be combined.
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8 Responses to Stepping out of your comfort zone

  1. Kim Bailey-Manzella says:

    “No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late. I’m late, I’m late!” Great post , Jane- I keep trying to get out of my box, but the sides are sooo high.

  2. Stephen Scanlon says:

    A delightful essay. Louis

  3. Great post! Going inward nourishes us to go outward, even when going out is scary!

  4. Kit Dunsmore says:

    I feel like all creativity has its moments of uncertainty, when we don’t know if thing are doing is going to work out the way we hoped, and that’s one reason lots of people don’t even try. Uncertainty is uncomfortable and failure is scary. But you gotta make some messes and be willing to fail in order to succeed. (Isn’t Sketchbook Skool great?)

    • Kit, thanks for your comment and for following me. As you can see, I have not written any posts for a while, but perhaps I should dust this off and try again. I am inspired by other creative bloggers such as yourself who find creativity in every aspect of their lives. Yes, I love Sketchbook Skool! It’s been inspiring and also a great way to connect. PS I look forward to seeing Tiny’s other costumes.

      • Kit Dunsmore says:

        Sketchbook Skool has greatly improved my drawing, some with the teaching, and some by just giving me the opportunity to practice. If you look around on my blog, you’ll see Tiny was Elsa from Frozen last Halloween. I was really nuts and knit that one.

      • KIt, I went and had a look at Tiny as Elsa. Too much fun! LOve it! I think I will let my self have more fun with whatever inspires me. Although, I don’t know how to knit, so it will have to be something other sweaters for dinosaurs.

      • Kit Dunsmore says:

        Do what you love. Happiness and creativity will follow.

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