Three Questions That Can Help You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

“Don’t Die With Your Music Still Inside You”.

Wayne Dyer

I first noticed my singing didn’t please everyone when I was in 4th grade.  My music teacher’s nose wrinkled in a funny way when I sang out loud and clear when he asked each of us to sing a line from “Maizy Oats.”  He followed up by suggesting that I sing quieter, especially at the holiday performance. The message was reinforced the following year when I was singing along to the album “Fly Like An Eagle” with two friends and my tone was so interesting they couldn’t stop laughing.  The final straw arrived at 16 when I faced down my fears and auditioned for my high school musical and my beloved drama teacher told me she would cast me if I promised to dance hard and sing really softly.

My lack of talent, when paired with the envy I felt for those who could sing, created some baggage over the years. 

When I declared my 50th year the one in which I would step out of my comfort zone, my family thought long and hard about what to give me as a gift… and since singing is so far out of my comfort zone that it’s actually in a galaxy far, far away, they decided to gift me with singing lessons. 

It took me 6 weeks to build up the courage to call to schedule my first lesson.  And even more to actually show up. 

And miracle of miracles, my singing teacher neither died of laughter nor developed an acute case of Misophonia.  I learned that just like any instrument, you need to learn to “play” your voice.  And while some people may have a more natural aptitude than I do, with practice, even I am slowly learning to sing. 

“Dying with your music still inside of you” is meant metaphorically, of course. But whether it’s learning to sing, taking an art class, learning a new language, writing, traveling, trying for a promotion, switching to a new career or any one of a number of possible desires, perhaps it’s time to sing out, loud and clear. 

At different points in our life, different people have told us no, shut us down or asked us to conform to their wants, desires and expectations.  Learning to sing out loud and clear is way to take back your power of decision. 

If you’re ready to decide for yourself what you want, these three questions can help get you started.

  1. What limit have you set for yourself based on someone else’s summation of your ability? 
  2. What boundary are you accepting that is holding you back from fulfilling a dream? Or stepping outside your comfort zone? Or just trying something new that sounds like fun?   
  3. What is one small thing you can do before the end of the month to test that boundary? 

POST SCRIPT: If you (or someone you know) is unwilling to die with their music still inside them, individual coaching can really help!