Making Changes...Taking Risks...Gaining Confidence Part 1
The 3 C’s of Life: Choices, Chances, Changes
You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. – Zig Ziglar
This quote attributed to Zig Ziglar has recently been making the rounds on Social Media. When I encountered this very same quote on my Facebook feed I was suddenly struck with how closely this mirrored my life at the moment and how much truth it held.
In the Fall of 2018, I was feeling restless with where I was in life and began thinking of what I wanted for my life at 72 years old. What did I want? What could it look like? I began imagining the possibilities and opportunities. I then made a CHOICE to begin taking steps to manifest what I wanted. Easy? Absolutely not! So, I got out my Stretch, Risk and Die (SRD) Tool © from the Fearless Living Coach Certification Program where I completed my certification as a Fearless Living Life Coach in June of 2018. The (SRD) Tool was developed by Rhonda Britten, founder of the Fearless Living Institute. It is a great tool when you want to break down a big project or change you want to take in your life into smaller more manageable steps.
(SRD) Tool: Picture a bull's eye with 3 concentric circles. The inner most circle is your COMFORT ZONE. This is where you live, what you usually do, your default actions live here. You may at times feel uncomfortable in your comfort zone but most of the time you feel safe in this zone. The next zone is the STRETCH ZONE. This is just outside your comfort zone. Not that scary, stretches are something you know you could do and just have not done. You may have even done it in the past, just not recently. FEAR recognizes your attempts to tip toe out of the comfort zone. Fear says, "watch out" it's scary out there, you could fail, it is not safe. The third zone is the RISK ZONE. This is scary and FEAR is on high alert patrolling this border. Risks are things you don't know you can do, you have never done them before and you are not sure you will be successful. FEAR says, you'll fail! What are you thinking? People will judge you.
The last zone is the DIE ZONE. YES, if you take this risk, you feel like you will die...maybe not physically but you definitely feel like you might. You get cold, clammy hands, your heart begins to beat faster, and the feeling of impending doom surrounds you like a heavy net.
How did this translate to my life? My COMFORT ZONE was living alone, in a 2-bedroom duplex. I was teaching at WSU College of Nursing part time and coaching clients part time. My time was my own and I loved my alone time. I craved it and needed it to recharge from outside activities. Health wise I was not in the best shape. I tended to be sedentary with short spurts of activity. Depression was something I dealt with constantly to keep it under control. I also have RA and chronic pain was my daily companion. Finances were a big looming reality with more Month than Money. My apartment was cluttered, piles of papers everywhere. Way too many tchotchkes! Closets and cupboards stuffed with items I rarely used. A garage packed with more stuff and a storage unit full of boxes I had not opened or needed since 2005. I felt totally overwhelmed when I thought about tackling any part of that mountainous clutter and excess.
I knew I needed to change my lifestyle in big ways. Move to warmer climate for my RA. Get rid of the chaos of the clutter and excess. I was 72 and had worked hard for the past 60 plus years. I needed a change, I longed for a simpler life, a more mobile life.
Enter the SRD Tool. I looked at my COMFORT ZONE in great detail (see above). I was in a rut. I needed to step out and take some small steps/stretches. My personal goals: to declutter the chaos, get rid of excesses, reduce financial drains, and simplify life with the ultimate goal of traveling more. THAT was a MAJOR project! Could I accomplish all I set out to do? Could I turn my life around? Could I have the freedom I was longing for? Could I be fearless and break this ginormous project into bite sized pieces. I knew that FEAR was nipping at my heels as I considered the steps it would take. I knew that I needed some small stretches to get started and gain some more confidence in my ability to tackle this HUGE undertaking.
Deciding where MY GOAL was on the SRD diagram. I decided it was between a RISK and a DIE considering what my COMFORT ZONE looked like.
Creating a list of Possible Stretches I could take to gain more confidence and also see successes.
1. Clean the dishes that had piled up over a few weeks’ time.
2. Declutter my jewelry boxes and keep only what I really wanted.
3. Take photos of tea pots, tea cups and other tchotchkes and post on Facebook Market Place for sale.
4. Declutter my closet of clothes, shoes, and purses that no longer served me.
4. Acknowledge myself for every step I took each day.
5. Write 5 Gratitude each night. (I will have a post about Gratitudes in the coming weeks.)
Execute plan. One day at a time, one stretch at a time. Stay focused. Set a timer for 15 minutes at which time I could take a break, get a snack or water, then return to my selected tasks for the day.
Reward myself for completing a task (Ice cream, chocolate treat, a nap, TV movie)
Thus began my journey to Freedom. I did accomplish the 5 tasks on my Stretch List. I did gain momentum and confidence. I also gained some cash money from my sales on line (an unexpected reward.) I met the buyers in a parking lot near the museum, so I accomplished getting out of the house at least once or twice a day and socialized a bit (an added bonus!) This might all sound like small and insignificant progress, but to me it was huge!
Remember Speed does not matter. Forward is Forward!
Stay tuned for next blog post: Part 2: Taking Risks and Facing Fear head on...
Questions for Reflection:
How would you describe your comfort zone?
How might you step out of your comfort zone more and move into your stretch zone?
What are some possibilities and opportunities if you were to take more stretches and risks in your life?