How Do You Jump Out of Your Comfort Zone

creativity

Peace of MindSpent all day working on a new membership learning site for a drawing course I designed and stopped dead in my tracks to ask myself “Where in the heck has the summer gone????

As I’m working away, taking a break right now, it’s nice to listen to nothing other than the hum of a fan and the birds chirping outside.   It’s so quiet outside… all the kids have gone back to school.  I tend to appreciate the quiet moments a little more now because there are some major projects coming up starting in a few weeks and I’m so excited to share it with you….well, no, won’t share it yet… but soon. :)

learning-to-cookHave you ever taken notice that your regular style has changed?

  • You have a recognizable writing style.
  • When someone sees your handcrafted greeting card, they instantly know it’s your design.
  • You are known for a fashion look.
  • You have a certain cooking style.
  • You have a signature design for jewelry.
  • When people see your artwork, they know it’s yours.

I used to be like that, but I get bored so easily and I’m always wanting to try something, not only for learning, because I love to learn new things, but to keep things fresh.

Learning to PaintRemembering a time when I painted using the same style, technique, medium and subjects, not so much because I liked it, but because I felt more comfortable.  As usual, when someone dares me to try something new, rarely do I pass up that opportunity…. but I’m always on edge when starting because I hated the feeling of failure.

Fast forward to the present…many, many years later now, when trying something new, I do it in smaller chunks so I’m not overwhelmed.  It also lessens the chances for failure because I’m building up the knowledge and practice slowly.  But who cares if I fail at a new art technique.  I now know what works and what doesn’t.

Perfectionism is something that affects so many people and I used to suffer from it.  It’s taken a long time, but it’s so much more pleasant to enjoy the journey.    I’ve adopted the mantra “the art police isn’t welcome to this party”!
Never Stop LearningIf you suffer from perfectionism, you can try to approach learning something new as “how can I make a mess?” or “how can I learn what not to do?”

The one thing that I really want to do is paint using a more impressionistic style, but find it extremely hard to do that since I draw pet portraits in a realistic style.  What helps me is creating small studies in a style that I want to work towards.  Small sketches or painting studies that are done very quickly works for me.

I’d love to know how you jump out of your comfort zone.

Comments

20 Comments

  • Evelyn Willette

    Reply Reply September 10, 2015

    I really enjoy your newsletters Gisele. They are always so interesting. From this one I will adapt the motto of the art police not being welcome :).

    As far as my comfort zone….I don’t know if this happens to anyone else but sometimes when I draw or paint and it’s halfway decent, I am actually afraid to continue on because I worry I might ruin it. This is when I wish I could agree with the belief that there are no mistakes in art. And this is also the point where I have to come out of my comfort zone and try to push through. This is probably not much help to anyone else but I just tell myself that no-one will ever have to see the finished piece. I can hide it, scrap it, whatever. I just try to make it a bit unimportant. Funny as it may sound, it works for me most of the time because psychologically it helps me to loosen up. It will be interesting to read how others try and push through their comfort zone.

    • Gisele

      Reply Reply September 10, 2015

      I’m so glad you are enjoying my blog!

      I can so relate to you right now. Thinking back when I did a portrait of a little girl and her puppy. I put in so many days/hours into it and each day, I wanted to push the contrast more and more. It worked out, but it’s that little devil of a monster that sits on your shoulders spouting out nasty little things that questions your self-confidence. At that point, I just take another break.

      btw, love the photo of the butterfly!!!!

  • Evelyn Willette

    Reply Reply September 10, 2015

    Talk about comfort zone… How embarrassing. I am sorry Gisele, I didn’t mean to leave the huge picture under my comment. I thought by selecting it, it would be the picture next to the name. If there is a way for you to delete it please do so. Thank you.
    Evelyn

    • Gisele

      Reply Reply September 10, 2015

      I removed the image as you requested.

  • MARSHA

    Reply Reply September 10, 2015

    I wish I could find a comfort zone sometimes. I love to watch others do wonderful things but when I sit down to create I freeze up. If I do start a project and it looks like crap it stymies me for days wondering what I did wrong.

    • Gisele

      Reply Reply September 10, 2015

      Hi Marsha,

      So are you comparing your art to what someone else created? or that you just freeze up in general?

      Would you be comfortable either posting a picture here of something you say “looks like crap”?

  • Susan Williams-Goebber

    Reply Reply September 14, 2015

    Waw,loved your post
    “Where did the summer go?” I asked myself that question this year also. I could totally relate.
    I hate moving out of my comfort zone but I know how important it is.
    I get through it by complaining (not easy for others who live with me 😉 ). Then I pet talk myself into taking the first step. Then I reward myself for being brave, then I journal about how good it felt to jump.

    • Gisele

      Reply Reply September 15, 2015

      I hope you give yourself a great reward Susan 🙂

  • For me, jumping out of my comfort zone is simply doing it afraid. Just do it!!! I’ve learned that lesson well and now it’s easy to jump because I know blessings will come from it… if I make a mistake no one really notices cause they didn’t know what I was going to say or do, anyways! So less of me… just do it. 🙂

    • Gisele

      Reply Reply September 15, 2015

      Good for you! I love the term “just do it”.. it’s like pulling off a band-aid… just do it, get it done and don’t worry about it 😉

  • Ian Campbell

    Reply Reply September 15, 2015

    Ahhhh, comfort zones. Places to be safe and sound as life passes you by…. To get out of mine I adopted the attitude of “unless you try you will never know”. I use that to make myself do the things that would usually have me hiding away in a very far corner my comfort zone. I relate to this post a lot Gisele, thank you for sharing your way of overcoming the dreaded move from your comfort zone.

    • Gisele

      Reply Reply September 15, 2015

      you’re 100% right Ian. I think we were supposed to be wired with curiousity, but so many are afraid of trying something new. I love change, although I do complain about certain types of change, it keeps life interesting and I grow as a person, artist and entrepreneur.

  • Vatsala Shukla

    Reply Reply September 16, 2015

    I seem to be at my best when I am outside of my comfort zone, Gisele because by nature I like to do things differently even if it makes the people around me nervous. 🙂

    The point in your post that made me step back and think is about regular style. I believe that even when we change our style, an element of our signature still remains. I’ve seen it in my Mother’s artworks and many art critics have told her that even when she experiments, they know it is her work because she has a ‘signature style’ that is unique.

    So go forth and express your creativity – you will always be you and the viewer who truly appreciates your work will know your creation even if you change your regular style.

    • Gisele

      Reply Reply September 16, 2015

      Hey Vatsala! having that signature style is so important, something that people recognize.

      Thank you for sharing about your Mothers style.

  • Beverley Golden

    Reply Reply September 16, 2015

    Learning to trust the process has been huge for me. I don’t come from an art background (more music and writing), yet when I dove into Arscura – Art for Life, I realized that the outcome wasn’t as important and fully being in the process to get to the result. Our soul always speaks through our art and creating art is less about technique (although they don’t teach that in art school) and more about allowing yourself to express itself through the particular process you are moving through. I think you’d love what Arscura offers, as it is about as far away from reproducing or replicating a subject and more about exploring your inner artist and letting it speak through the art! Glad to hear you are taking more risks and daring yourself to learn and explore more as well, Gisele!

    • Gisele

      Reply Reply September 16, 2015

      Thanks Beverley for sharing your story here. Risk Taking should be my middle name 😉

  • Joe Butka

    Reply Reply September 16, 2015

    Getting out of my comfort zone I would have to say is writing Blogs.

    I have never been a writer and when a mental block hits that’s out of my comfort zone.

  • Good post on this topic, this happens to me so I can relate. As a entrepreneur I had a hard time letting go of what I knew as far as knowledge in corporate environments because it wasn’t the same with working a home based business. Yes I even got so comfortable to the point I was getting lazy and didn’t want to learn any new skills until I realized that time is valuable. I took a step back and on the day of my 35th birthday it hit me BAM! WTF! am I doing wasting time building someone elses dream and plan when I should be working on harder and learning all the skills I can to build my own plan and future. So I went back to work with a new attitude and mindset and now have been working part-time on my job and full time on my fortune as the great Jim Rohn said.

  • Joan Harrington

    Reply Reply September 18, 2015

    You are right Giselle! Never stop learning! Trying something new can be fun and help with creativity 🙂 Great post!!

  • Tamara MacDuff

    Reply Reply September 22, 2015

    I don’t usually just jump out of my comfort zone. I do, however, just jump when I do. Normally I change small things at first, taking a left to go to the office instead of right or changing the color of my shirt that I usually wear. Lately, I have started to do more to keep my personal branding color of lime green – I have that color in shirts, blouses and jewelry. I love the complementary blue too – so I work that in and it gives me confidence for when I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to give workshops and talks for my company instead of volunteering my time. thanks for sharing!

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