I recently came across an article on Success.com from August 1, 2017, entitled, “10 ways to overcome fear and break out of your comfort zone.”
The top 10 are as follows:
- Take nothing for granted
- Switch up your routine
- Move toward your fears
- Give up control
- Try something new until it feels comfortable
- Ask questions other people don’t want to
- Start conversations with strangers
- Agree to something you wouldn’t normally consider
- Get in front of the camera
- Keep a list of growth goals
I laughed out loud as I read through the list.
As a parent of teens, this list, or at least most of it, is your life. Breaking out of your comfort zone happens automatically against your will. Like, overnight. Kinda like this pandemic.
All of us can attest to regularly being drop-kicked out of any sense of normalcy. All ten steps complete. Not. Thanking. You. Very. Much.
Parents of teens don’t need experts to give tips and tricks on how to break free from everyday routine. Because as soon as you reach a space where you feel like you can catch your breath for go on cruise control for even a moment, you are reminded that there there is no such thing as autopilot.
Everything surrounding the teenage season is outside of the comfort zone.
Instead, maybe what parents of teens really need is a list of best practices to survive outside of your comfort zone. And we could especially use that kind of guidance right about now.
We are all so outside our routines and there is about zero sense of normalcy. Nothing makes sense. All bets are off. Tomorrow is a mystery, and we’re really just trying to make it through the next hour.
We’re establishing new rules for survival on the fly. Food, shelter, health, and safety are all that matters. But does it sound all that different than regularly navigating the teenage years?
So, if we were going to create that survival list what exactly would it look like?
How about this for starters:
- Take nothing personally (well, do your best)
- Change your perspective where possible
- Surrender your fears because they’ll eat you alive
- Remember most things are out of your control
- Make peace with the uncomfortable—it’s the new normal
- Find a village to support you (even if it’s a virtual one)
- Keep a journal for your sanity
- Accept your teens for who they are right now, not who you hope they’ll be some day
- Find things to laugh about. Lots and lots and lots of things.
- Keep a gratitude list
Now, this survival list may help you better manage this perpetual state of uncomfortableness. But the truth is whether you feel like it or not, you have already achieved superhero status. You may not have wanted to and you may still be fighting it, but you’ve become a master at living amidst all things not resembling comfort.
I encourage you to take a long hard look at the first list above from Success magazine. Then give yourself a well-deserved and loving pat on the back for doing every one of these things daily. Plus surviving. That is some real badassery that you should own and be proud of.
We can all do hard things. This is for sure. The resolve of the human spirit is something to behold.
But that doesn’t make any of the hard stuff easier. It just makes it real. And living out of your comfort zone as part of parenting teens is very real. Just know that the world sees you and feels you now more than ever.
This was a contributed post from Shelby Spear. Shelby is a sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, pro-LOVE Jesus adoring mom of 3 Millennials writing stuff & doing life w/ hubs of 25 yrs. She is the co-author of the book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”) You can read her open heart about the revelations, screw-ups, gaffes, and joys of motherhood on her blog shelbyspear.com, around the web, and in print at Guideposts.
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