Real Talk: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

With the new year upon us, it’s easy to think of resolutions and ways to make our lives more joyful and fulfilling. When looking at those desires and plans, you might find that a lot of them require you to be more adventurous or take more risks – whether you’re inherently spontaneous or not. Those of us with cautious personalities may not be have skydiving on our bucket lists, but that doesn’t mean we won’t push ourselves each year to be better women, moms and friends. This got me thinking about comfort zones – how often we say we want to push through them, but how easy it is to stay put.

How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Though it can be anxiety inducing, sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to achieve a goal or reach new heights. This is a hard lesson to learn, and one that you’ll likely learn over and over again. It’s 100% reasonable to think, why commit to something where the outcome is unknown when it’s much safer here, in my comfort zone? That’s one way of going about it, and it certainly protects you from potential harm. But have you ever heard that saying, “If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done”? … Often the things we really want in life are things we’ve never tried – traveling to far away places, navigating motherhood, making a career change or following your passions – all of these require a bit of wading into the unknown.

Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to test the waters. I can’t say it won’t be uncomfortable – it can be downright scary! – but once you get over that hurdle, you’ll either get what you needed, or be on the right track to finding it. It’s tempting to stay where it’s familiar, but no one ever got anywhere by staying in one place.

It’s difficult to know whether taking a risk will pay off. Sometimes you have that gut feeling; sometimes the messages are unclear. However, if the risk can lead to something more positive or provide an invaluable experience… I think you’ll find it hard not to at least try!

What does stepping out of your comfort zone mean to YOU? I want to know.

Photo: Katee Grace Photography via our family photo shoot


How to Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is something everyone can practice, regardless of all of our differences as humans. It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, you can practice gratitude, because it’s all about how you choose to see the world. There are days when thinking about what you’re grateful for comes easy – you have that “aha moment” where you count your blessings. But on a bad day this is a much tougher thing to do, and it’s hard to muster up the strength to think positive! It’s probably no surprise that that’s exactly when we need a gratitude practice most.

How to Practice Gratitude via Tamera Mowry

There are so many ways to practice gratitude, and I’ve tried or heard about many. There are gratitude jars, journals and motivational affirmations. In the end, it doesn’t really matter exactly how you practice gratitude – just that you do. That’s because making sure to remember the things you’re thankful for isn’t just a nice sentiment. It’s actually proven to increase joy and transform our lives! Still, if you’re not used to having a gratitude practice, there are a few ways to start injecting it into each and every moment.

A gratitude journal is one way to express thanks for even the littlest moments. You can incorporate this practice by setting aside ten or fifteen minutes each day to write a quick list of gratitude. On days this is difficult and you’re really struggling to find the positive in a negative, it’s helpful to have a number in mind. Don’t let yourself close that book until you’ve got to 10 things, for example. And be detailed. What happened today specifically that you’re grateful for? Don’t be afraid to reflect on your accomplishments too – the things you can control. If you made a difficult phone call or a first step to a life change, it’s SO worthy of giving yourself a pat on the back! And what’s more, this is a great thing to do as a family. Never fails to cheer me up.

Although journals are a great way to practice gratitude, I find that expressing thanks is so important throughout the day. That means reflecting on things as they happen – good or bad. If something makes you smile, take the time to say a little prayer of thanks, and go about your day. It really works wonders when you’re in a not so good mood! Sometimes – and this is toughest of all – you even have be thankful for negative situations. If something bad happens, search deep down for a positive. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic, don’t let it kill your mood. Instead, be grateful you were in the car when your fave song came on. Or when big things happen – like not getting a promotion you wanted – be grateful you have the clarity about something that had been weighing on you.

On the day before Thanksgiving, it’s easier than ever to be inspired to invite gratitude into your life. I mean, friends, family, good food – it’s one amazing holiday. But the real test is keeping this practice up even when the day is done and life returns to normal and the positives aren’t as glaring. A few extra “thank yous” really do go a long way!

Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving. Would love to hear what you’re expressing thanks for this year.


Real Talk: Focusing on What’s Important

As any mommy knows, being a parent really puts things in perspective. It’s no longer about you – and as important as taking time for yourself is – you realize just how great your impact and influence is. And you realize that the little things that once seemed huge and daunting are really tiny compared to what truly matters to your happiness and the happiness of your family. Having a baby humbles in that way. Lately, it’s reminded me of something that I think others can relate to, parent or not, of a shift in focus that we could all use every now and then, whether or not we have little ones to care for.

How to Refocus on What's Important | Tamera Mowry

We all get caught up in things that we KNOW aren’t important or vital to our happiness… like petty drama we never meant to be involved in or life’s other little stresses. Honestly, who isn’t guilty of that? It’s okay to get caught up in that way occasionally – it’s only natural, especially given that we’re social creatures with a need for connection. But when we start to dwell on those little, insignificant things rather than what’s important, from the strength of our marriage to keeping the faith to simply making baby smile, that’s when we really need to refocus. I know that I’m not doing myself any favors by letting little frustrations get under my skin, or letting my mind wander where it shouldn’t!

It can be difficult to shift the focus, especially after a hard time, busy month, or a series of setbacks. And if you’ve really been through a lot, it’s hard to know exactly how to turn a negative into a positive. No matter the reason, big or small, when I feel myself going there, here’s what I do: Instead of forcing myself to ignore my emotions, I try to remember the important things instead, and the meaning behind them. I channel that overwhelming joy and love that comes with them. Not only does it stop me from filling with worry, I notice a change in mindset. Slowly but surely, the overwhelm of those little problems melts away. Everything is more clear, my mind is content and at peace. And the road ahead is a lot more joyful!

Sometimes you have to teach your mind to refocus just once, sometimes you have to do it continually throughout the day, just like you would do with an affirmation, but in the end, it’s so worth it.

What do you do when you find yourself focusing on the wrong things? How do you change your mindset?


Real Talk: Take Charge of Your Life

Motivation: Keep Moving Forward

Sometimes one aspect of life feels like it’s spiraling out of control (or worse, multiple aspects). Maybe we don’t feel like we’re on the right track in our long-term goals, or we feel like we’re in a situation with no outlet. Whenever I start to think things aren’t heading in the right direction, I know it’s time to take a step back and regain control. While you can’t change everything in your life, YOU remain in control of your actions, and believe it or not they have a great deal to do with the course your life takes! It all starts with a change in thinking. Taking that first step to owning your life can be scary—from switching jobs to improving a relationship—but it’s crazy how much easier those hard things become when you break them into simple steps, like the ones I’ve outlined below:

Put it on paper.

Write down everything. What’s going wrong? What would your situation look like if it were going right? If you don’t like your job, don’t just focus on what bothers you; instead, envision what the perfect job would entail. It’s also helpful to envision what your ideal space would look like—if your home has become uninspiring or stressful, think of what would make it better—this can be anything from physical to emotional. This helps you get to the root of the problem and makes it easier to locate why you arent at that point in your life. 

Organize those thoughts.

Now that you’ve put your thoughts down, it’s time to turn them into something tangible. A lot of times we’re overwhelmed because we feel like life is all over the place. Understanding all the pieces you uncovered in #1 will help you figure out how to take that control back…whether you realize that there are certain people holding you back, or that an insecurity is getting in your own way, you’ll have a place to start.

Talk to others.

Approach someone who you admire and are inspired by to help you get past that roadblock. It doesn’t have to be family; you can also talk to a therapist or connect with people in an online community. In the end, it’s helpful to get those thoughts that are on paper out into the open so you can find more clarity in theme—especially if it’s something you’ve been nervous to talk about. Having a support system of family and friends has helped me my entire life, so I always try to talk things through when I can. 

Create a plan.

Once you’ve looked at your situation from all angles, you can start taking (baby) steps to get there. Take a look at what’s holding you back, and sketch out paths to get there. You have a dream career—do you need to go back to school for it? If it’s a health goal, what lifestyle changes will you make to reach it? It doesn’t have to be totally detailed, just a basic, realistic look at what you need to do to regain control and ultimately happiness, in that area of your life. 

Check in.

How many of us have goals we’ve totally forgotten about? The most important part of having a plan of action is to actually act upon it! Jot down a few notes about what you want to have changed in 3 or 6 months, and pin it somewhere you’ll remember it. This little trick works wonders!

Remember, YOU are in control! Don’t wait to make a positive change.

Let me know if this plan would help you take charge of your life, or if you have a different methodshare it in the comments!