Sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone. Get out of our own way. Do what our brain is telling us to do, even if we aren’t sure how to do it. I’m not talking about the negative stuff our brain suggests, but the idea, spark of the imagination, something we want to learn how to do. It doesn’t have to be anything that requires a degree in rocket science (unless that’s what you want to do) but requires commitment, taking a chance on trying an new endeavor or idea out a different way. Maybe you want to learn how to make homemade pastas, learn a language before taking a trip, volunteering to teach literacy, etc. It could be climbing a mountain, literally or figuratively. It could be that you decide to train for a marathon just to be able to finish, or battle an addiction with a goal to beat it.
Putting yourself out there can be scary. Nerve-wracking. I’ve entered artwork and writing in contests, hoping the judges wouldn’t laugh at my entry. I’ve walked into a karate tournament, put on sparring gear and faced off a bigger, more skilled opponent in front of a group of master martial artists-and lost handily. I went back to college for an entirely different field of study from my career and didn’t even know how to turn on the computer.
I recently finished a project I started a while ago. I’d had a thought one winter morning as I walked, and it developed into a children’s book. I wrote it and did ink and watercolor illustrations. Taking it to the next level needed me to push my boundaries and get some education. I’ve studied art, graphic design, writing and self-publishing options in workshops and college. I’ve learned how to do things I didn’t know how to begin to approach. As I pursue these interests, I meet excellent and like-minded people who inspire me. I recently self-published “Bird Shoes” on Amazon’s Createspace. I don’t expect to win any awards or make a fortune, but it has been a labor of love, dedicated to my late mother. I have already started my next project in the same manner, armed with what I’ve practiced. The next book is far more complicated but my confidence level increased from my previous work.
It’s amazing what can happen when you give yourself a nudge, make some effort and make things happen—even if it means stepping over that imaginary line that separates you from your comfortable place in your mind.