It's not always easy to tell when you're ready to bust out of your comfort zone and do something hard. We all have a little voice in our heads holding us back, telling us that we don't have the time, money or guts to do something adventurous.
That voice is perfectly acceptable, and here's why: it's there to protect you when things get crazy (like that time you thought buying white leggings would be "edgy," or the last time you tried to hold a yard sale). Now that your little voice done her job, tell her thank you — then shut her down. It's time to recognize that NOW is the perfect time to sign up for an adventure tour. In Michigan.
Still think you're not ready?
Here are 12 signs that point to the fact that you are, indeed, ready to move out of your comfort zone and into to something amazing.
1. Smaller obstacles no longer scare you.
It used to be that if something got in your way, you gave up right away. You shrugged helplessly and thought, "Guess it's not meant to be!" These days, obstacles don't faze you like the used to. You know that if you want something, you have to be willing to work hard for it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the hard stuff is the good stuff. Get through the hard stuff, and a whole new world of awesomeness opens up to you.
2. You've forgotten what it feels like to be brave.
But beyond the smaller obstacles, you can't remember the last time you really pushed yourself (and was rewarded for doing so). Backpacking with wolves kind of pushing yourself. Starting your dream business kind of pushing yourself. Even embracing your age and loving who you are kind of pushing yourself.
4. You find yourself staring out the window more often.
If it's summer (or spring, or fall), you stare at the road construction crew with envy, wishing you didn't have to sit in an office or house all day. Even if it's the dead of winter, you still long to get out and get some fresh air. "The mountains are calling, and I must go," said the great naturalist John Muir. Except in your case, it's Michigan's great outdoors that's whispering in your ear "C'mon baby, let's spend some quality time together."
5. Your journal is filled with longings to do something more with your life.
If you're not journaling, you should be. I've found that Julia Cameron's "morning pages" in The Artist's Way to be the most useful form of journaling, but any time you're writing out your dreams, random thoughts and even petty grievances, it's a good thing. You can't keep wishing and complaining forever; eventually you're going to have to do something about it.
6. You're wishing you had a new set of friends to inspire you.
It's not that your current friends are all that bad, it's just that they are all in pretty much the same place as you: bored, unfulfilled and not quite sure what to do about it. When was the last time you met someone awesome and thought, "You and I are going to get along juuuust fine." Adventure tours with women only give you that opportunity.
7. You know the difference between dangerous and courageous
You aren't interested in hang gliding, free-form rock climbing or traveling to Iran. But you do want to push your boundaries a bit. So why not do it in a safe, supportive environment, full of hugs, high fives and amazing food?
8. You refuse to let fear get in the way of a good time.
Fun. REAL fun. That's what's missing. It's been forever since you laughed so hard your face hurt from smiling and your belly ached. So instead of that thought making you depressed and you pour yourself another glass of wine, you're going to actually do something about it.
9. It's time you had better stories to tell at book club.
When was the last time you told a really good story? When you inspired someone else with your courage and ability to do something amazing? Inspiring other people is one of the most amazing feelings in the world — and there's no better way to inspire others than to lead by example (and maybe they'll even join you next time you break out of your mold).
10. You've (almost) convinced yourself that you don't really need to take care of yourself; taking care of other people's needs first is fine.
Sweetie, if you don't do it now, you may never do it. Taking care of other people is all well and fine, but by neglecting yourself day in and day out, you're dying a little bit at a time. Listen to that other little voice in your head that says, "Why not me? Why not now?"
11. Your life is calm, certain and predictable. And BORING.
Or maybe none of the previous ten reasons really applies to you; you're generally happy with the way everything is going. But that's a good enough reason for you to take a workshop or go to wine camp. Because you're that kind of gal.
So what's holding you back? Leave your reason in the comments. And remember, the adventure can only start when you sign up.
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Jill Hinton Wolfe