Step outside your comfort zone.
I wouldn’t have hesitated in my 20’s or my 40’s. I’m in my 70’s now and am shocked I’m still being asked by the Universe to step outside my comfort zone.
Why? Why now?
If I believe the advisers and trust, the “why” is because it’s the only way to transform my life. Yeah, but, do I need to do more transforming? Yeah, but ….
The more time that goes by staying stuck in the same mindset without any transformation, the more disappointed, frustrated, and afraid I am. As we all know, the world around us is changing. It’s changing whether we’re in our teens or in our older ages. Lots of that change is complex and scary and lots is magical and uplifting and incredibly satisfying.
I believe the transformation helps us deal more successfully with the negative side of all change. In that sense, we can never stop transforming.
In my 20’s and 30’s I never thought about changing my life. I was happily entrenched in the direction I was headed with habits that were fully solidified in my life. I didn’t have any serious problems that warranted any changes – or at least I didn’t see them if they existed.
Life just was. I had my highs and my lows. I had my successes and failures. And I never gave much thought about the need to transform, especially based on the world around me. Yes, I had a failed marriage, but I had a good job, lots of friends, and I wasn’t addicted to anything (well, except food), and I wasn’t in jail for wrongdoing. Was this the measure of my life? I thought so.
My range of view is much, much broader these days. With age I’ve seen my life is more about the world around me than whether I stayed married or not, or whether I ate too much cheesecake. Yes, if I’d ultimately chosen a life that landed me in jail, I’d need more than just a peripheral transformation. Most of us reading this blog aren’t in that situation.
Most of us might be, however, in need of a reaffirmation that stepping outside your comfort zone can only enhance our lives. Lots of us elders work hard to keep things the same, never being willing to do that scary thing that might improve our lives immeasurably. We’re too old, too frail, too set in our ways.
What’s the benefit in stepping outside your comfort zone at this age?
If you are unhappy with any or all aspects of your elder life, let this be a reminder that you’re not stuck permanently in the life you have now. What’s that perfect cliché?
It’s never too late.
Staying stuck is an excuse, an excuse to not have to try. Reliving the past with “If only I had ….” does nothing to improve today. Transformation takes a little work, but any self-improvement that enhances your life is going to take a little bit of work.
Are You Ready?
If you feel looking outside your comfort zone beyond the tried and true, beyond the habits and actions that have brought you up short, can make you happier here are two things to do: 1) identify that situation or behavior that you want to improve and 2) list all the steps involved in getting to the better place.
A third thing when making any transformation is to be gentle with yourself. NO lasting change comes out of shaming yourself or beating yourself up if your trajectory is wobbly.
Are you willing to shake up your life a little and step outside your comfort zone to improve the quality of the final years of your life?