I remember standing at the edge of the high dive staring into the lake water nearly 19 feet below me. I was scared to jump. It took awhile to get my courage up, but I did it any way. I wrote about it last summer. 
 
I like pushing myself to try to new things. I like learning and meeting new people and am naturally curious. I also have a “can do” attitude with my work, so in my graphics and website business when a client has a problem, I get excited to figure things out.
 
We often call this “getting out of our comfort zone.” When you do something that is unfamiliar and slightly uncomfortable. It may take encouragement from others or maybe it’s something deep down that you’ve always wanted to do.
 
Deciding to become a coach – definitely out of my comfort zone. I had the same career for 20+ years! But coaching is something that I HAVE to do… in fact I even have some open spots.
 
There are times, however, when something we’re doing is actually “out of alignment” with who we are or what we believe.
 
The tricky part is that these can often feel the same way in the body — faster heart beat, obsessively thinking about it, sweaty armpits, procrastination, and anxiety.
 
Your brain is screaming “I don’t know about this. It doesn’t feel safe. Let’s not, ok??”
 
But you’re committed and somehow, some way, you’re gonna do it. So, how do you know when you’re out of your alignment versus out of your comfort zone?
 
Here are three steps to follow: 
 
1) You have to do the thing and see ~ probably repeatedly
Only experience is going to give you perspective. Imagination and visualization are great for preparation, but only action creates clarity. And you have to do it more than once.
 
2) Pay attention to what happens after
Once the activity is complete, do you want to learn how to get better? Are you proud of yourself? Or are you just glad it’s over.
 
This is the KEY!!!!!!
Even if it was difficult or scary, was there some level of exhilaration? Did you go think about how you could improve, and what you could change? If the answer was yes, then this is something that is out of your comfort zone.
 
Try to notice, if there’s a sense of “yes, I can do this. I may have room to improve, but some part of me is called to do it again.”
 
Or did you just move onto the next thing, glad it was done?
 
If you weren’t proud, excited, energized, and thinking about the next time, then it probably is something out of alignment with who you are.
 
3) Be honest with yourself
I do not want to admit that I don’t want to jump off the high dive. I like physical challenges and this feels like a weakness to me. But I’ve done it several times, and I never feel proud or excited, it’s more like “Whew, glad that’s over!”
 
It’s time for me to be honest with myself that I have a fear of heights and that jump from that height is putting me out of my alignment.
 
The what’s next is up to you.
 
Is it something that you want? Can you let it go and adjust? Or will it continue to come up for you in your life? I’m not going to have to jump of a high dive every day, so that’s not much of an issue, but if there’s something that you HAVE to do that is continually challenging and uncomfortable, then there are ways to walk through getting over anxiety and making decisions to manage your fear.
 
And maybe it’s something that you can move from being out of alignment to being out of your comfort zone.
 
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Here are some other personal examples:
 
Out of my alignment: Writing website copy
This is ironic to me because I love writing, but this form makes me want to go Thelma and Louise and drive off a cliff, but when I compare this to the other parts of website development, I definitely know this isn’t something I enjoy.
 
Out of my comfort zone: Giving speeches
I love the way Brené Brown puts it (and I’m nowhere in her league, but this sums it up really well): “People often ask me if I still get nervous when I speak in public. The answer is yes. I’m always nervous. Experience keeps me from being scared, but I’m still nervous.”
 
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Out of my alignment: Workouts that aren’t fun
HIIT workouts that make me pee my pants or when someone is yelling “You’ve got 30 seconds, go go go” in a super mean voice
 
Out of my comfort zone: Workouts where I lose myself in the endorphins
Sprinting with 100lb sled or hot yoga at Sumits
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Out of my alignment:  Not being honest
 
Out of my comfort zone: Having tough conversations
Most of us don’t want to do this.  Being clear and kind is a really hard balance because we’re trying to control an outcome. But I would contend that the weight of holding it in is more to bear.  
 
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Out of my alignment:  Writing down measurements for recipes
I’ve tried so many times to write down ½ tsp of this and 1 TB of that when I’m cooking so I can come up with a meal plan, but I always end up crabby. Still working on processing this one!
 
Out of my comfort zone: Doing Facebook lives about food
I love share my knowledge about food and cooking. It comes easily to me and is very exciting. I can remember the first one I did at the grocery store. Oh how my heartbeat was racing!!!
 
To recap, what are the ways you can tell if you are out of your alignment or out of your comfort zone:
1) Have to do the thing and see ~ probably repeatedly
2) Pay attention to what happens after
3) Be honest with yourself
 
The process requires introspection and also, more importantly, being open minded to trying to new things. Don’t automatically discount something just because your brain tells you “no.” It’s trying to keep you safe, but conversely you could miss out on something that makes your heart sing!!
 
What’s the point of being in alignment?
 
You’ll live a more joyful life on your terms. You’ll be more judicious with your time and energy ~ reserving it for what you actually love and enjoy doing. You’ll feel more whole.
 
This can be really hard to do on your own, so having a coach to walk beside you and guide you through those recommendations is really beneficial. I’m here for you, if you want to do a free session to see what coaching is about ~ just hit reply. Or check out my coaching packages.
 
You are worthy of your joy!
Many hugs,
Laura
 
TLDR:
Being out of your comfort zone or being out of your alignment can often physically feel the same.
This is how you can tell:
1) Have to do the thing and see ~ probably repeatedly
2) Pay attention to what happens after
3) Be honest with yourself
What’s next? And how do you manage your fear?
Get a coach!!!
You’re worthy of joy!

 

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