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Outside the Box

September 28, 2011
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Katie asked two very simple questions last week, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them:

What scares you? Have you done something out of your comfort zone lately?

The simple answers? A lot. And kind of. But not really.


This wouldn’t be such a big deal if 2010 hadn’t been such a huge “outside the box” year for me. I made a lot of big moves, experienced a lot of big transitions, and took on a lot of big challenges. In the span of a year, I:

  • moved into my own apartment and started living alone for the first time in my life.
  • applied for, was accepted to, and started my Master’s program.
  • trained for and ran my first half marathon.

  • traveled to Israel for ten days with over 45 strangers.

Was 2010 an unusual year in terms of big things happening? Sure. It’s not every day that I get the opportunity to travel abroad with people I don’t know, or that I start a new graduate program. But Katie’s question did get me thinking about what I’ve done in 2011 that had me stepping out of my comfort zone and into new, possibly uncomfortable territory. When I think of it like that, I guess I have done a few uncomfortable things:

  • I bought a new car AND a new laptop. This is uncomfortable because spending large amounts of money totally wigs me out, even when I have plenty to spend (and have been saving up for these specific purchases). I know this might seem like a very frivolous example, but these were my first ever “grown up” purchases (with the exception of furniture). They were things that I bought with my hard-earned money, took the time to research and compare, and finally wrote the check for. It was a scary feeling, but I was also proud of myself at the same time.
  • I made it to the halfway point in my Master’s program in under a year. This was uncomfortable because it took a lot of time and sacrifices on my part. Taking two classes a semester is no joke when you are also working full time. It means essentially giving up weekends to read, study, and write papers (on top of my usual “teacher homework”). But I worked my ass off, and I did it. Now I only have two and a half semesters and a thesis to write before I have that degree in my hand.
  • I started this blog. This was uncomfortable because I’m not usually one to “put myself out there.” I have an intense fear of failure, and I didn’t want this project of mine to flop. Since I started the blog in May, I’ve learned more about blogging, photography, writing, and navigating social media than I ever expected.

I have to admit that, looking back, I did make some big moves this year. No, there was no live-changing trip or major race, but there was progress. I know it’s not even October yet, but thinking about what I’ve accomplished this year has already gotten me thinking of what I can do next year to get outside the box even more. I’ve learned to love the process of challenging myself, of setting goals, taking baby steps, and feeling proud of myself when I accomplish them. I’ll get started on a list and share it when I feel it’s complete!

So I leave you with the same question that’s gotten me thinking:

What scares you? Have you done something out of your comfort zone lately?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2011 10:00 pm

    Wow! Great for you and thanks for posting this thought-provoking post. What scares me is that I may not ever have my own successful coaching company. I worry and fear that I will always have to work for corporate America. I fear I may not work from home and be there for my family. And what I have done lately outside of my comfort zone is a talk on a nursing unit, created a Newsletter for nurses (check it out on my website, and decided to get some help from some experts on this. I typically think I can do things all on my own, but I realize that I need to reach out and get some support. I am super excited to be getting some inspiration from some wonderful coaching experts. Thanks for this post!

  2. September 29, 2011 6:29 am

    You’re right about going to school and working. I started another Master’s before I had the Crazies, got halfway through, and stopped. I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it…or if I even want to go into administration. LOL

    I think starting a blog is a HUGE deal…especially if you share it with everyone you know…huge.

    • September 29, 2011 8:33 am

      I honestly have no idea how people do this with children and families! But honestly, maybe it’s better that you don’t finish a degree in something you won’t even want to use. I’m just hoping this degree will actually be useful to me in the future (besides the pay increase!).

  3. September 30, 2011 11:55 am

    Thanks for the shoutout and link! I must admit, I got the thought from a quote at my gym.

    Sounds like you have done some BIG things this year, and you should be proud of everyone of them! Congrats and making it halfway through your masters program, on the new car, and the blog, etc! I love the blog! Keep up the great posts! I love reading them!

  4. October 4, 2011 6:39 pm

    I love this! 2011 for me, was like your 2010 – I did a LOT of things that scared me and would rather go back to being unscared for a little while 🙂 But those things really did remind me that life is short and the scary things also teach you a heck of a lot!

    I don’t know how you teach full time and take 2 grad classes. I take 3, teach only twice a week and I barely have time to bathe! You’re my hero 🙂

    • October 5, 2011 5:03 pm

      Oh, please. You’re plenty busy! We all have our own stuff going on; it’s how we deal with it and make it work that really matters!

      And yes, you did have a pretty intense 2011. Here’s hoping that the lessons we’ve both learned help us to have the best 2012 possible!

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