When you come to the edge of your comfort zone

I have been participating in a blog challenge… at least sort of. I have been writing every day and feel so thankful to Natalie Sisson and her 10 Day Blog Challenge... but I haven’t been posting them. I have been learning a lot about myself. I know learning and transformation takes time. I know about myself that sometimes there is a “chrysalis phase” before something happens. I have been lucky to have wonderful teachers and wonderful opportunities in my life but wow, am I pushing my edges! For years working in a hospital setting I learned new things every day and was surrounded by wonderful mentors but rarely out of my comfort zone. Since entering this new world of being a nurse entrepreneur, I find myself struggling with the dualism of feeding the illusion of wanting my work to be perfect, or at least feeling totally together and on my game and allowing myself to be vulnerable, to be starting from zero in so many areas. I am excited to learn so much new! I am also at times overwhelmed and racked with self-doubt about all there is to learn and to do! And as I readily acknowledge, sometimes I tire of all things electronic! I have become aware of how vulnerable I feel in creating this new community. The blog challenge is to choose one “imperfect action” as a way to break through perfectionism and procrastination. Doing this challenge will benefit me in many ways but primarily I will benefit from allowing and acknowledging the feelings of vulnerability that come when stepping out of my comfort zone and then give myself a little nudge.

When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things: either there will be ground to stand on, or you will be given wings to fly.
- O.R. Melling, The Summer Kin

Allowing myself to be vulnerable is not new but professionally my “former days” had a lot more certainty and a lot less vulnerability! Acknowledging that for me the “learning something new” and oh there is so much to learn, is a lot easier than “practicing something new’’! Allowing myself to try something new “imperfectly” is really a challenge. I have been trying to master that fear a bit this last year by learning to speak Spanish. I have tried to not worry that I speak like a 3 or 4 year old! Ah, young at heart right? Yet my “professional self” seems to judge professional vulnerability more harshly. The blog challenge today was to commit to an “imperfect action” for the next 30 days… something that might feel a bit scary, something that might feel a bit “not me” but something that will help me to move toward the space and the place I want to inhabit as an entrepreneur. A new habit to help me inhabit a new space, a new place. Something that will push my buttons of perfectionism so I can push through the hurdles that get in my way and just let that illusion go!

Part of this daily blog challenge has demonstrated to me how “brave” people are for being vulnerable and putting their vulnerability out there. Many folks are praised for their strength and their courage during their treatment for cancer. Yet it takes a special kind of bravery to speak to the challenges that are not often addressed. Striving to move past the isolation and fear, the anger and the uncertainty, the challenges and the grief, that can be experienced after a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Striving to share that often after cancer, life can take a lot of energy, and there may be a need or a calling to learn to navigate life with a fresh approach and perhaps even a new community. Until recently many of these challenges remained in the shadows and were not shared. I am in awe of the courage and generosity routinely demonstrated by some of the folks I follow on Instagram (IHadCancer, fitter_healthier_stronger and yacancerbysteve are a few)… and those too, who choose to work with me. You see, they have acknowledged their vulnerabilities and are reaching out. They are courageous, having dealt with cancer and now taking the next steps and daring to live a fulfilling life. I admit that at times expressing my own vulnerabilities and limitations taps into my own inadequacies and my fears around how am I truly a help to others if I am still trying to figure out so much? Breathe. Breathe again. We are all here to grow, to be fulfilled. I am grateful for all of my teachers and guides. I am grateful for the skills and expertise that I have learned over the years. Brené Brown speaks a lot about vulnerability and I am so appreciative for the work that she has shared. As Brené Brown asks ‘Have you dared greatly today?’ What “imperfect action” might you start today to move toward a more fulfilling life?

“As frightening as the unknown journey of death may seem, the more present danger is just remaining a shadow of myself, frozen by fear, when all the vibrant beautiful bounty of my potential is waiting for me to simply move forward, one foot and breath at a time. I inhale and step.” 
-Rick Cowley #WhatCancerTaughtMe