A few of weeks ago, our credit card company sent us a couple of new cards. They'd cancelled our old cards because of "recent unusual spending patterns" on our account. Apparently some of my new business expenses kicked up a red flag. It got me thinking about comfort zones (and stepping out of them).
Last month I embarked on a new career adventure born partly of necessity but also of desire. But the road was muddied with fear and anxiety. When things get murky like this, I try to boil them down to the bare necessities. Ultimately, the only question I had to ask myself was this: "If not now, when?"
My inner voice told me that if I didn't take this leap of faith now, that I never would, and that wasn't an option, so I leapt. I am leaping. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Part of my adventure is a huge undertaking which I hope to share more of in the near future. The short version is that I'm developing a training and education website for college students, faculty, and career explorers. After a decade in higher education, I'm ready to create my own product that will meet the unmet needs that I continue to see in my field.
Starting my own business has been a joy and a challenge. It's forced me to step outside of my comfort zone. I was talking to my web developer the other day as we processed some decisions that we'd need to make about the site.
"This is so awesome. I just realized we don't have to get anyone's approval on these decisions. We're the bosses."
It is a really heady feeling to be the one who gets to make all of the decisions and I'm so glad I've had the chance to experience it. There are risks and rewards of stepping outside of our comfort zone.
Part of my project requires the production of quality training videos, so last month I set up my own home studio.
But the purchases I was making for my new business weren't aligned with my past habits.
Gretchen Rubin, in her book about habits, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, writes that about 40% of our daily activities are repetitive behaviors. We get up at the same time. We eat the same breakfast. We shampoo and condition. And these habits serve us well. They free our brain from having to perform too much heavy lifting. Good habits help us to achieve balance in our lives.
Routine and habit can be the foundation of our lives. There are many daily habits that I value: meditation, yoga, expressing affection and gratitude, reading, writing, among others. Repetition and simplicity can breed humility. This week I've been eating the same healthy meal for lunch each day. It serves me well and it reminds me that there are millions of people in the world for whom variety is the least of their concerns.
But do we want our lives to be so easily predicted by a credit card company's algorithm? I know what I was buying before: groceries, books, clothes, and toys. Video equipment and editing software broke the mold. And I'm really glad they did. It made me want to challenge myself to break the mold again. New life goal: make my credit card company think I've stolen my own identity at least once a year.
How do you balance routine with novelty? Do you live entirely inside of you comfort zone or do you enjoy breaking your own mold?
This blog is focused on exploring ideas around yoga, career, intuition, purpose, and passion. Please leave a comment. Namaste.