Chain(ge) Reaction

Just as a tremor in the ocean can cause a Tsunami thousands of miles away, a small courageous step can lead to a series of ripples in other parts of our lives. You don’t have to quit your job or move to the Bahamas to reap the benefits of shaking things up.

It can start with running once a week or finally making time for that photography course. Doing something good for yourself, taking care of your body, or completing that mini-project that has been on your to-do list, are all flavors of creating positive change in your life.

Step Out of that Box!

Breaking out of your comfort zone can be the first step towards personal transformation. It can begin with a salsa dancing class that gives a stay-at-home mom an enormous boost in self esteem, causing her to finally start that baby clothing business she has dreamed of for years. Or the painting lesson that reinvigorates a senior’s love for art and travel. When you break out of your comfort zone, you jump start a part of your brain that has become dormant. It triggers nervousness and excitement. The glands in your body start pumping out adrenaline, making you feel like you did in high school, just before asking your mega-crush to the dance.

As we get older, we become increasingly lodged in daily routines and our way of thinking. Our brains form a barrier higher than the Berlin wall, to new ideas and thoughts. We are increasingly scared of new situations and people. We do our best to create a cocoon of friends, work and family that support our hibernated stage. Lately, I have been trying to break out of my cocoon. And whenever I am feeling intimidated by a new situation, I think of the Oprah show fan who ran in her bikini through the neighborhood to finally break free of her negative body image and her fear how others perceived her weight. If she can run through suburbia in a bikini, I am sure you and I can get over our silly inhibitions!

The first step can open the door to other changes. When you do something that pushes past a fear or inhibition, you start to wonder ‘what else can I do that I previously believed I could not?’. As Tangila (the Oprah viewer) says, ‘When you want something you never had, you have to do something you have never done’.

I tend to curl into a ball when I am around people I don’t know. As a way to step of out my box, I am going to be more outgoing. I will make plans with friends that I have not seen in a while and put myself out there in social situations.

So what will you do to push yourself out of the box? A class that appreciates the beautiful art of Haiku poetry? Or asking out that cute chick you see everyday in the elevator? Just do it, because all you have to lose is the sense of regret.