Finding the Courage to Live Out Loud, Starting Now

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” ~Unknown

We’ve been taught that being negative means being realistic, and being optimistic means being unrealistic. We’ve been led to believe that you are “too old” or it is “too late” to follow your dreams. We’ve been taught to associate the feeling of doubt with failure.

It’s time to bust these myths!

We need to know, and let it be known, that doubt is just a feeling that comes to us when we are about to step out of our comfort zone.

We are all familiar of the good old comfort zone—it’s the tiny little circle where we all feel safe. But here’s the deal: When we stay in our comfort zone for too long, it begins to shrink.

We start to die—not a physical death, but a spiritual and emotional one.

We are so afraid to try something that creates feelings of doubt, for the fear of failure. As a result, we miss out on opportunities; we miss out on what could have been amazing, mind-blowing experiences; and eventually we start to live a life filled with what-ifs and regret.

Does this sound all too familiar?

I used to be controlled by my ego, at the expense of my happiness. The ego is a protective mechanism that tries to protect us from the unknown.

However, if we never venture, then we will never have any adventures, and we will never have lived.

I used to be afraid of situations where I had no control of the outcome. I avoided social gatherings like the plague for this reason; what would happen if I couldn’t interact with anyone?

One day I decided I had enough.

I stepped outside my comfort zone. I started to say “yes” even though I felt overwhelmed. I said “yes” without even knowing how I would bring myself to do what seemed to be a daunting task.

At one point, I was enrolled in BSchool, an online business course run by Marie Forleo. As I am a budding entrepreneur, I felt scared to interact with BSchoolers, as most of them already owned established businesses and brands.

When there was a Perth BSchool meet-up coming up, overwhelm started to pour in, and my ego said, “You can’t go! You don’t even have an established business!”

However, I soon discovered a simple method that I now use to assess every situation that is out of my comfort zone. The guide taps into your intuition and helps you assess if you should or should not proceed to step out of your comfort zone.

The guide:

  • Think about the situation in question.
  • Turn your attention inwards—focus on your breath, stop doing what you were doing, and just breathe.
  • Imagine it playing out in your mind.
  • Does thinking about it give you a sense of expansion (yes) or contraction (no)?

Sense of expansion: Your chest opens up. You feel joy, excitement, and anticipation (positive).
Sense of contraction: Your body posture slumps. You feel anxious and fearful (negative). 

You can make a solid decision by asking your intuition and tuning into what it wants.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.” ~Steve Jobs

So I tuned in—and the thought of meeting BSchoolers gave me a sense of excitement and anticipation. I quickly said, “yes,” without even knowing how I would get there and be at the event. Everything worked out magically—I went, and I now have incredible new friends.

These are the friends who I’ve been waiting for—the ones who are willing to take risks. The ones who uplift me so much, who inspire me to do things out of my wildest imagination; the ones who aren’t afraid to share their ideas because they know there is more genius where they came from.

I have gained so many genuine, authentic, true friends, all from stepping outside my comfort zone.

I am still no master of doing this, but we can all agree that now is the time for a paradigm shift.

Can you picture a life of living with what-ifs and regrets? What if I had the courage to do this? What if things could have turned out another way if only I tried?

I’m not sure about you, but I’m steering clear of that path. I am going on the road less travelled.

As Robert Frost said, “I took the [road] less travelled by. And that has made all the difference.”

This is it. There is no “later.” There is no waiting for the perfect time and circumstances.

There is only “now.”

This is the only life we have. This life is the only thing that is real. The present is the only moment that we can be certain is guaranteed.

Everything happens in the now.

Let this be the sign you’ve been waiting for. Let this be a sign for you to start living courageously.

It’s time to start creating your life as what you want it to be instead of creating it by default, living on autopilot, or being trapped by dogma.

You don’t need to wait for the right moment, the right situation, or the right tools to take control of your life.

Whatever you need is already within you, and the most important time in your life is right now.

The magic happens outside your comfort zone.

What is that thing you’ve been putting off because you’ve felt scared?

Do it.

Right now.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Let it begin now.

Photo by Brian Tomlinson

About Jia Ni Teo

Jia Ni is an inspiration junkie, writer, healthy foodie, yogi, and the creator of the mind-body-soul blog Happy Healthy Abundant. She is currently studying holistic health coaching and nutrition. Her purpose is to guide and inspire people to live with bliss, health, and abundance. Visit Jia Ni at jianiteo.com.

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