It was an afternoon of painting and conversations as an effort to stay away from my comfort zone. Meaning, staying at home as usual. We headed to one of those paint nite events in New York City. Later, I took a walk around the Battery Park City area of Manhattan. During my walk, I thought about the past hours. I went to paint nite with the confidence of a novice who fantasizes about being discovered at first sight in one afternoon. Joking of course. I mean painting could not be that hard, or is it? I thought, “just a couple of brush strokes here and there, and voilà!…here comes art!” The reality was that between giggles, laugh, and in-between competition, I barely managed to save my first painting masterpiece from complete destruction.
I struggled with keeping what was supposed to be essential flowers on the painting from not ending up looking like fried eggs. What a mess! Of course, I was not successful. Therefore, artist of the world, I salute you! You will always have my respect. I looked around in my group to see who did the most damage and yeah, it was the left-handed girl. It was me. Note: don’t hang out with good painters. In the end, I was happy I tried painting even though I sucked. I’m slowly and happily embracing changes in my life. Years ago, I felt trapped in my personal future goals. Never the present. I was unable to enjoy daily simplicity. Gentle laughter or firmly saying NO to what others wanted from me. Crazy things happened since then and the necessary changes entered my life. I examined my struggles and past mistakes. And in many ways, I’m deeply thankful for each of them and the woman I hope to become one day.
Years ago, I felt trapped in my personal future goals. Never the present, and I was unable to enjoy daily simplicity, gentle laughter or firmly saying NO to what others wanted from me.
When we go through dramatic changes in life, we become similar to a blank canvas. Our life becomes a remodeling project and as a blank canvas, in need of colors and new inspirations. The same as a painter who pauses to think about the inspirational creativity before painting; We are also forced to stop, think and face the upcoming or needed changes. Life is creation. Neglecting or not taking responsibility for creating in our everyday lives means sabotaging our very own existence. It is a life-saving process for us to open up the mind and body into searching for the things needed and deserved. Pausing inside our comfort zone will always be our self-destruction. We need to learn how to become our best friend and heroes. The only way to reach such a path is through an honest conversation with the soul or abandonment of our current level of satisfaction in a familiar setting. Let’s face it. There is no excitement around the comfort zone. It is the place where we drown ourselves with boredom.
We are also forced to stop, think and face the upcoming or needed changes. Life is creation. Neglecting or not taking responsibility for creating in our everyday lives means sabotaging our very own existence.
I believe the number one step to get out of the oh-so-fearful comfort zone is by learning to make a fool of ourselves. Learning to laugh in front of life’s struggles is the perfect shield. And it helps us support and nurture our courage. It helps us to correctly disregard others’ people opinions and influence into what is right or wrong in our lives. When we are the only ones in need of making decisions for ourselves.
Let’s face it. There is no excitement around the comfort zone. It is the place where we drown ourselves with boredom. I believe the number one step to get out of the fear-comfort zone is by learning to make a fool of ourselves.
Listening to Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert on Audible. The saying goes that if you want to learn how to write, then read. Want to learn to write better? Then read a lot more. I am not a writer. Just someone who enjoys the process of writing and I am in a “blank-page” mode. I want to write about other people’s stories, things and places and all I feel inspired to write is about my personal life. And not the good part either, just the old boring chaos. Ha! So that is a no bueno. (Brain, please stay in your lane!) Creativity does not want to listen or coöperate; I need to try cheating with my primary weapon against it: a strong sense of curiosity (which occasionally gets me in trouble. But that is another story). Let’s see if the books work. They usually do. If not, I will try “mild” trouble.
If you are a creative human and need to step away from your comfort zone and revive your creativity, then like me, you will love Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Elizabeth nailed it right to the problem of most creative people: fear of giving life to your creativity and what other people might think about it. It is a superb book if you are a new writer, blogger, graphic designer, painter and anyone else creating their magic. This book is for you. It will make you shake your head on every chapter and write post-it notes all around it. At least, I did. Big Magic is definitely among my favorite books. Another book I would recommend is A Short Guide To A Happy Life, by Anna Quindlen. I know this is not a book about creativity or comfort zones. However, is a book which talks about embracing life, the small things which make us happy and on persisting in our search for happiness. This book gave me such a beautiful stimulus and made me sit and think about all these things that I want. I realized as the author that indeed my happiness was also on the small details and many of the moments that she mentioned in the book. Living a life surrounded by creativity is in the group to achieve happiness.
Also, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks is a remarkable book on self-awareness, conquering fears and facing what is indeed holding you inside the comfort zone. It is an exciting book. This book will inspire you to seek new explorations and experiments. This book is a New York Times best-seller. Highly recommended before starting any big dream in life. I hope my story was helpful. People have so many stories to embrace beginnings. Which one was your story? How did you overcome it? And also, is there any other book that you would like to add or recommend?
With Love, Wen
All opinions are my own.