Stepping out of your comfort zone

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Jan 24, 2019

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Eagle Lake | Acadia National Park, Maine

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Stepping out of Your Comfort Zone

Hi everyone!  It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged on a regular basis, or at all!  So let’s catch up before we talk about stepping out of your comfort zone.

This fall I met myself coming and going!  I took on too much and my husband was working long hours to wrap up a huge 2 year project, so life in our house was more than a little crazy from September until Christmas break.    Christmas break was such a welcome and wonderful change of pace where we could all slow down and spend time together and focus solely on family! We all needed this break so much so thank you for hanging in their with me while I wasn’t present here on the blog.  I have so much from the past few months to share with you and some new things, too!

Recently,  I suggested I saw a volunteer opportunity and suggested my son  take part to fulfill some of his needed service hours for National Honor Society.  It was an activity I knew he enjoyed, but with an unfamiliar group.  Wearing my bossy-mom hat, I said  “Take a friend and step out of your comfort zone.”    He looked at me like he wasn’t sure who I was or if  I really just said that.

Merriam-Webster.com defines comfort zone as

1the temperature range within which one is comfortable
2the level at which one functions with ease and familiarity

Habits and Adventure

My son, with a good dose of amusement,  pointed out that not only do I like it in my comfort zone, I really like it in the “sanctum sanctorum” of my comfort zone.  By his definition, that is the place within my comfort zone where everything stays the same, and not even the weather changes.  I laughed, quite a bit and had to admit, he’s not wrong.   I do  really like my comfort zone.   Every time I go to Starbucks, I order the same drink.  When you’re paying that much for a drink, why take a chance that you’re not going to like it!  Every time I go to Chic-fil-a I order the same meal combo.  I really like the chicken wrap, and truly it’s all about their awesome fries anyway!  I park in the same area at the Y every time, I almost always take the same route from point A to point B, and I prefer to sit in the same spot in the living room every time. And I listen to the same artists on Spotify so much it drives my family nuts!  So yes, I’m definitely a creature of habit, but does any of that really matter?
I also love to explore new State/National Parks and hike new trails.  Trying new outdoor activities is awesome!  I found I love cross country skiing!  The first time  even  I spent more time on the ground than on my skis and my family thought I hated it.  Searching out new recipes to try is something I love to do, but rarely make time for.    None of those things matter much either.

Senior Guy| Nature setting

 Son who got me thinking….

New Opportunities

The conversation with my son got me thinking about really stepping out of my comfort zone.  I don’t do it often, but when I do those are usually some of the most rewarding things I have ever done.    I have a social work degree and when my son was in first grade I was asked to take a position at an adoption agency.  Being adopted myself, this was a huge step out of my comfort zone.  Lots, and lots of prayer and I accepted.  I learned some really hard lessons and some really good rewarding lessons, too.  That I have heart for working with international adoptions is something  I wouldn’t have discovered without taking this job.   I met some of THE most amazing couples and have been blown away by the story God has written in the lives of their families.
Last spring I decided to pursue volunteering at Forgotten Children Worldwide.  I met with the volunteer coordinator, and my one request was I don’t want to work alone.  I have a lot of alone time in my job, I knew I didn’t need more.  Starting small, I agreed to be part of a weekly group that pack and sort donated clothing to send to children in impoverished countries overseas.  I  showed up alone not knowing how many people would be there or if I knew anyone in the group.  That was pretty far outside my comfort zone.  They are a small delightful group that took me right in and made me feel at ease.  Packing with them is one of the highlights of my week!

The Big Step

It’s such a part of my life now   I almost forgot what a big step outside my comfort zone it was to start this business.  Seven  years ago began this business to help save for college and still be available for my kids.   I gathered up all my courage and launched my business with a plan to sell landscape art on Etsy.  I remember all the nerves of making it official and posting my first post on my business Facebook page.

 

Eagle Lake | Acadia National Park, Maine

One of my very first business post.  Still BEST VACATION EVER and one of my favorite pictures.

 

It didn’t take long before people started asking me to take pictures of their families. I wasn’t sure portraits were something I could do well, or would even enjoy. In faith, I  again worked on “stepping out of your comfort zone.  I  practiced a lot with my daughter; and headed out to my first portrait session. It was a lot of fun! One family lead to another, and another, and another….. Before I knew it, the focus of my business had changed from art to portraits.  Best of all, I was having a great time!

 

 

I could not have made this business happen without her willingness to let me practice on her.  Over and over and over….  Thank you so much!!!!

 

Some families, some back-to-school kid sessions and lots of seniors! Then the senior session that lead to a wedding!!! I will forever be grateful to the family that entrusted their wedding to me to be my first!  I completely fell in love with wedding photography! Since that first wedding I’ve invested in a lot in wedding photography education. I’ve spent time learning lighting, posing, editing, all things wedding photography!

 

Senior Girl | Confetti

Absolutely AMAZING senior session!!!!

 

bride and groom sharing first look, in winter grassy area bride and groom sharing first look, in winter grassy area bride and groom laugh together sharing first look, in winter grassy area How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

My first wedding, older sister of senior above.  So much fun, love and joy!  Thank you so much for trusting me!!!!

 

 

Continuing to grow….

One things I haven’t spent time learning is how to run a business.  Until now!  This year I am taking a year long business class!    Almost three weeks into the class and it’s been fun, exciting and scary.  Stepping out of my comfort zone scary.  This month the course goal is to begin working on putting more of  you into your business.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve seen a bit of this.   So this year I will be trying to share more of who I am in my business.  Putting a face to the lady behind the lens, and a bit of what I enjoy and what makes me, me.

I just have to give a huge shout out to a couple very special young ladies!  I’ve known both for years and both asked me to shoot their weddings with in the last couple of weeks.  The fact that they know me well and both said almost the exact same thing, makes this sharing of me a little less scary.  Yes, I teared up, both times….

 

Senior Girl | Nature setting

“Your work is beautiful, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else photographing our wedding day!” -Sara
Senior Girl | Nature setting Christmas Mini Session | Stauffer Farms | Markle, IN
“You did such a wonderful job on my graduation pictures and family picture that I couldn’t imagine anyone else capturing our special day.” – Autumn

Simply Seeking Photography | Owner

This is me!  Photo credit to my son!

 

Maybe you can’t wait for the next adventure and jump in with both feet.   Or maybe you pray about it, take your time.  Either way know when you step out of your comfort zone it can be one of the best experiences you’ve ever had!

 

 

Are you recently engaged?  I would love to serve you in your wedding journey.  Check out:  Top 5 things to do when you get engaged  and  The Next Steps: What to do After You Get Engaged
To learn more about the Simply Seeking Photography wedding experience click here:  The Wedding Experience 

 

Happy Adventures!

Julie

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