Going Outside the Comfort Zone – Day 18 – Sean McGillicuddy
If you’re reading this, it means Rob of the Green has kindly included me as a guest contributor to his December daily blog challenge, so thank you, Rob! 2019 has seen me go further outside my comfort zone by trying some creative writing, poetry actually.
My first attempt was during Mental Health Awareness month in October in which I espoused, “Always try from where you’re stood, to look for that which makes life good”. Working to break down the stigma surrounding mental health is something I’m passionate about, so writing about it made sense. Having written that piece I hadn’t really thought about going beyond it, but I’ve since published a number of other poems.
So why am I writing poetry and what benefits has it provided to me? I would never have described myself as particularly creative and I think that fixed mind-set had become a barrier to me. Growth happens outside the comfort zone and can only be achieved by doing something which makes you uncomfortable for a time. Putting my poetry “out there” certainly made me feel uncomfortable! Thoughts about what people would think, “Your man has notions” etc. abounded.
However, having taken the plunge and realised I have some ability, I have continued to write, and am currently working on a piece about Good Friends. I have found a number of benefits from the writing process, including:
1) In trying to come up with ideas, this takes me away from being on auto-pilot in my head and nudges me into a more mindful and thoughtful frame of mind.
2) It also takes me away from technology, which, as a self-confessed LinkedIn addict, is a positive thing!
3) Coming up with something creative has given me confidence to try and bring that creativity to other areas of life, including work and family.
4) The encouragement of others’ engaging with my writing, has, to a large extent, allowed me to quieten the negative self-talk I sometimes experience.
5) Having discovered I can actually write poetry, however well or not, I am now encouraged to think of other areas in which I might dabble! My son is talented musically, so if he writes a tune and I pen the lyrics……………well why not! Potential royalties!
6) Ultimately, I’d like to publish and sell, in some form, a collection of poems, with any proceeds going to charity. This is now in my goal sheet for the next year or two. So it has helped me in coming up with a challenging, if not yet fully formed goal, and more comfort zone stretching.
The whole point of this blog is to point out that growth, achievement, and fulfilment can only come outside the comfort zone, away from the norm, something demonstrated regularly by my good friend, Rob of the Green, through his podcasts, one-minute Monday’s, Slack Challenges et al!
Realising this, coupled with finding ways to overcome any self-doubt, will release you from the norm and potentially take you to places you never thought possible. And believe me that is a great place to be!
Thanks for reading,
Sign up the #RotG #slack community & share your January challenge. We’ll hold you to account, in a psychologically safe way of course! You will feel less guilty over the holiday period of self-indulgence if you do!
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