Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone is a new monthly idea from my friend Leslie at Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After. Leslie described her new series as:
My vision for this series is to push myself out of my comfort zone so that I begin doing things that I have until now been scared or uncomfortable to try. Nothing illegal – ha – or too crazy!
and she has invited others to take this challenge with her. You can read about what others did to step out of their comfort zone through the link up at the end of this post.
Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone in April
What did I do to step out of my comfort zone in April?
I’m sure many of my regular readers would be able to guess. I took the Blogging from AtoZ Challenge. That means writing 26 posts from AtoZ, Monday to Saturday for the whole of April. It also needed to be theme based.
I hadn’t planned on attempting the challenge this year because it can be quite overwhelming and time-consuming. My BBB (BestBloggingBuddy), Leanne from Cresting the Hill and a NBF, New Blogging Friend, Jennifer from Tracking Down the Family & Next Phase Fitness in Life both ‘pestered’ me to do it that I gave in and joined up. ‘It will be fine’, they said! ‘You’ve done it before’, they said!
How is that stepping out of my comfort zone?
I can hear you saying that ‘this doesn’t sound too scary!’ However, I believe that one concept of stepping out of our comfort zone is about doing something different to your normal routine. Walking a different route on your daily walk, doing things differently which makes you think rather than doing them sub-consciously.
Writing posts daily from Monday to Saturday
I normally post 3 times a week, occasionally more. However, posting each day except Sunday for a month was certainly challenging, especially as that was in addition to my weekly newsletter, maintaining and presenting the weekly Over 50 & Thriving Guest Series, adhoc posts such as Wellness Wednesday and also co-hosting the Midlife Share the Love Party. It wasn’t just writing them but also scheduling in the time to write the post, schedule and then linkup to the AtoZ site through the Blogging AtoZ Facebook Group.
Stretching my creative side
Coming up with the idea wasn’t too difficult as Thrive is my word for 2018. However, thinking of words and subjects connecting with Thriving in Life for each letter of the alphabet was challenging. I was also trying to avoid the obvious word choices such as ‘T is for Thriving’ and finding something different wasn’t always easy, especially with those pesky letters like X.
I also had some difficulty coming up with my ‘K’ because I didn’t want to use Kindness. I eventually had a light bulb moment with ‘K’ is for Key- You hold the key to the thriving in life
Researching the topic, writing about it and also including a relevant quote stretched my capacity to work in a timeframe.
Keeping Quality while writing Quantity
I pride myself on having a high standard when it comes to writing. I might not be a famous author but each post I write is one that I am proud of and rarely feel that is it just writing for the sake of posting something on my website.
The challenge was to keep the posts on theme, informative and at a standard I was happy with.
Commenting and answering comments
Part of the challenge is not just writing the post but also answering comments from readers who have taken the time to read and leave me their thoughts. It also involves commenting on the bloggers who have taken the challenge.
This is important, because everyone has put in time and effort to take the challenge, so leaving a meaningful comment helps motivate them to keep going. It was encouraging to read other bloggers who write in my niche of midlife & beyond and connecting with them.
What did I learn from Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone with this Challenge?
- I learned that I do have staying power by not giving up, even though I sometimes had trouble thinking of what to write.
- I extended my creative thinking
- I learned some time management
- I connected with some new blogging friends and readers
- I felt a great sense of achievement at having accomplished my goal
I stuck with it for the whole month and was thrilled that many of the comments left by readers, suggested that they loved my theme of AtoZ Guide to Thriving in life and were also complimentary of the quality of the posts. It certainly helps to know that someone out there enjoys your work and thoughts so I always encourage my readers to leave me a comment when they visit.
I would love to share some comments left on my website with you.
You have inspired me to be more creative
Sue, I love the way you’ve combined lifelong learning with creativity.
You’ve chosen such wonderful words and thoughts throughout this whole challenge.
Another great post from an inspirational woman!
Taking a challenge needs support
Sometimes when you undertake a challenge, you need support and cheerleaders so thank you to the AtoZ Team and also thank you to everyone who spent some time to read a leave a comment at any time during the month. I appreciate your visit and thoughts.
I would also like to share some new blogging friends that I have made during the Challenge. They also participated and I was inspired with the creative ideas they each had for their AtoZ theme. These are all women who write about Midlife and beyond and their adventures, so I would encourage you to pop over to their websites to discover more about them.
A huge thank you to the A to Z Team for the support and encouragement shown throughout the Challenge.
Founder: Arlee – Tossing it Out
Alex – Alex J. Cavanaugh, Jeremy –Hollywood Nuts, Heather M. Gardner – The Waiting is the Hardest Part, Zalka – The Multicolored Diary, John – The Sound of One Hand Typing and J Lenni Dorner Blog of J. Lenni Dorner.
Will I take the AtoZ Challenge in 2019? You will have to wait and see…..however, if you have a theme you would like me to consider, I would love your ideas!
What is one thing you could try to step out of your comfort zone in May? Join the conversation as I love hearing about your ideas and what you think.