Ever heard of the phrase, “when pigs fly”? Meaning not going to happen, many assume the phrase is true, especially when it comes to change or trying something new. Have you ever said, “I can’t do that!”?

When we use the words “I can’t,” we are basically meaning, “Won’t” or “When pigs fly.” What if we can, but we choose to let a fear, past belief, or an excuse win because we don’t want to feel uncomfortable outside our comfort zone?

Our Comfort Zone is a mental and physical state of relative safety and ease. It includes our daily routines and ways of thinking. We try to minimize uncertainty, risks, get complacent, and stop learning/growing in our comfort zone.

However, research shows to improve performance, build resilience, confidence, reach new goals, change habits, learn something new, and be open to different ideas and opportunities, we need to experience a certain degree of anxiety. A dynamic tension between what is challenging but doable. This ‘Stretch Zone’ is located just outside our comfort zone and is filled with infinite possibilities. In this zone, we feel more energetic, productive, creative, and happy in life.

So how do you go about stepping out of your comfort zone? First, be curious and acknowledge doubts/fears and understand where they come from. Then adopt a growth vs. a fixed mindset. Anything is possible with time and practice. Expect ‘mis-takes’. They are part of the process, and we need them to grow. Lastly, understand there is no difference between anxiety and excitement, rather it is how we frame it (as positive or negative).

Take for example, Darren Harrison. On May 10, 2022, when the pilot flying the plane lost consciousness, do you think Harrison said, “I can’t”? No. He told the Air Traffic Controller he didn’t know how to fly and together they got the plane safely on the ground!

What if you playfully flipped the meaning of, “When pigs fly” to, “I can” with a “Bring it on!” attitude, as you courageously stepped into your stretch zone? We can choose to take consistent small steps forward. When a mis-take happens, simply ask: What went well? What could be better? What can you do next?

Ready to say with excitement, “When pigs, fly!” as you face those obstacles, and step towards your goals and dreams?

“What if I fail? Oh, my Darling, but what if you fly?” -Eric Hanson

(Original article: Gig Harbor Living Local Magazine, July/August 2022)

Content provided by Women Belong member  Jennifer Vazquez