As I sit here today on this rather bright Wednesday at the start of December, I look out the window and see a patch of blue sky and the sun trying to break through the clouds that mask it. In comparison to the dark, grey days of late autumn, it is a breath of fresh air.
It’s funny how we feel better when the weather is brighter, often enjoyed are winter days that are cold but bright, with blue skies and sun and a brisk air. It can be quite invigorating. And yet when organisations try and implement ‘blue-sky thinking‘ it doesn’t quite have the same feel to it does it?
Blue sky thinking, what does that even mean? Well, according to Collins Dictionary it is the activity of trying to find completely new ideas – creative ideas that are not limited by current thinking or beliefs.
I guess it’s a play on words with ‘the skies the limit’ and of course there is no limit to the sky. So that’s it then… get your thinking caps on and think your way into space! It’s not that easy is it? Thinking something completely new, doing something completely new, and yet each day we live presents opportunities for just that.
I recently finished a book by coaching guru, Robin Sharma, in it he states that: Every day is nothing but a miniature version of your life, suggesting that 24 hours represents a snapshot of the way we live, things that are in our life and things we choose to do.
This I find, is an interesting concept, for instance my day so far which I am 8 hours into, has consisted of planning, talking briefly to three clients, a bit of work on the computer (writing this and doing a bit of research), cooking and eating and a splash of housework.
I said goodbye to my husband as he left for work and goodbye to my step daughter who is going away for a few days. I have spoken to my mother-in-law, my best friend and a new friend. I have walked the dogs and fed the chickens. I drank a smoothie and a juice, both of which I made and had an hour with my supervisor.
Yes, I would say that’s a pretty good snapshot of my life. Busy, spreading myself thinly across several tasks, prioritising my health and cramming. Lots of cramming.
Now it has to be said we are creatures of habit and therefore create routines and ‘safety’ in those routines. Often termed as a ‘comfort zone’. But what is it about comfort zones and being in or out of them that is so interesting. Comfort brings safety. It gives us the ‘known’ and so we know what to do, what to expect, how to act and why most things are the way they are. There’s nothing uncomfortable about the comfort zone; you can practically feel the blanket wrapping around you as you think of it.
Outside the comfort zone lies a world full of scary encounters and many, many things to be afraid of. New experiences, new people, and lots of unknown. No wonder we like to stay where we are. However, it was once said, ‘There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone’.
If we stay where we are, we stay the same as individuals, if we peek outside of our zone we can experience new things and then grow.
But I’m not suggesting you leap out there into the unknown, but maybe think about trying something new, especially with new year coming up, who knows there could be a new part of you to come too. If you’ve ever fancied learning a language or a new skill or just trying a new recipe or a different car, you never know what you might find out about you.
Outside the comfort zone might be scary but it’s also exciting and innovative.You weren’t meant to be the same throughout your life. Can you imagine being exactly the same person now as you will be when you die? Life is to be enjoyed and embraced, not hidden from.
So, dust off those comfortable cobwebs and take a peek at something to help grow your comfort zone to include something new today.
Amy Bambury is a qualified person-centred therapist, practising in the Leicester area. Amy’s specialisation is within historical trauma, anxiety, depression and relationship problems. Ater working in many jobs, but always with people, she chose the path of counselling and considers it a privilege to help people who are in pain and have been for too long. Amy passionate about her health as she has ulcerative colitis and manages it by diet alone.