Risking the Unfamiliar – How to Step Out of the Safety of Your Comfort Zone and Say ‘Maybe I Could!’

Entering unfamiliar territory is not always easy, but it has the potential to be exciting and enlightening. There are so many new discoveries to be made. Usually, what attracts us in the first place is the desire or the need to satisfy our curiosity, to answer the question ‘What if… ?’ This is the voice of your intuition telling you that maybe the time is right.

How come you ‘hear’ at this moment? Well, you hear when you are open to it. You may have heard a faint whispering in the past but ‘turned a deaf ear’ because you were not ready then. But you are not the same person you were five years ago or even last year come to that. On a practical level your circumstances may have changed. Your relationships too will have affected you, psychologically and emotionally. Most significant of all is your relationship with your Self. If you can be open to your intuitive voice you will hear, ‘What if… ?’

But then that other little voice starts up. ‘I’m not sure’, ‘I’ve never done it before’. You may be aware of stepping out of your comfort zone, moving away from what is known, safe and familiar. Interesting how we tend to use the words ‘safe’ and ‘familiar’ in the same breath, because often what is familiar can be very unsafe. As when we are familiar with high levels of stress in our lives or when we remain in an unhealthy relationship. We may be miserable, even fearful, but at least we are familiar with our own particular brand of misery and fear. And then one day we hear the question, ‘What if… ?’ and we begin to wonder, ‘Could I… ?

Sometimes all it takes is someone who genuinely believes in us, perhaps a teacher, counselor or a good friend. This belief in us is enough to spur us on. I decided to backpack round the world at the age of forty-eight because my daughter believed I could do it. Before reaching a final decision, I took a few months to think it over and during that time did some extensive reading and visited a couple of travelers’ seminars.

So the next time you get the urge to strike out, tune in to the voice of your intuition, examine your doubts and fears to see how valid they are and ask the opinion of someone you really trust. But to minimize any risk, do your own research. Find out as much as possible beforehand so that you will be in a much stronger position from which to take that first step from ‘What if… ? to ‘Maybe I could!’

BOLA TANGKAS