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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Break Out!

Beyond the Comfort Zone

The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.”
Dan Stevens

I don't know about you, but I love my comfort zone. I love to be in my house, sewing, writing, cooking; doing all the things I feel competent at and nothing that I don't. I like schedule and routine, and function better when I know what's coming. Meeting new people, having new experiences, going new places, entertaining new ideas—these are outside the comfort zone for me, and for many people. The only problem is that the comfort zone is deadly when it comes to creativity.

We all need a comfort zone that functions like “home base.” We return there to decompress and surround ourselves with the familiar. We feel grounded in the places where we know and understand the rules and dynamics; where there are few surprises. But we also need to move outside our comfort zone to be refreshed with new ideas, to challenge our imaginations to new creativity. When we go places we haven't been before, when we are exposed to people whose lives are different from ours, right away we think about what we could do with those images, with those ideas. Our minds begin rolling with inventive notions. When we never move off home base, we become like two week old bread—a bit stale.

It is a good idea for us “homing pigeons” to choose a few new things to try in the new year. We don't have to go wild and crazy, and throw caution out the window, but putting a toe in the water won't kill us. If there's something you've wanted to try for a while, now's a good time. Conquering the fear of being outside your comfort zone will feel awkward at first, but in the long run will give you courage and confidence. It will get your juices flowing. Then you can come back to home base fortified, and get on with the business of creating something fabulous.

                                                      In the Spirit,

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