Moving out of your comfort zone – part 3

Moving out of your comfort zone can produce rewards beyond your expectations. This pastel drawing is the most recent result of my wife Gretchen’s actions to redefine herself as an artist after years as a high tech program manager. I am getting a framed copy for my office wall.

She did pen and ink drawings while in college, but raising a family as a single mother and a late-life career pushed her artistic endeavors off the stage of life for many years.

Moving to Floyd and being exposed to a supportive artistic community encouraged her to study painting again. She began with watercolors, then discovered pastels and that was all it took to unlock her creativity in a big way. She is now painting almost every day.

She has taken a few classes and now does figure painting every Wednesday with a group of Floyd artists who have been painting together for almost twenty years. She is also exhibiting regularly at the Hayloft Gallery.

This would not be happening if she had not been willing to move out of her comfort zone and into an area where she would be putting her talent on display.

It is never easy to put yourself in the public eye, but it can be done and is being done every day by people who never thought they could do it.

One way to make the transition easier is to find people you can trust and who will help you succeed. You want friends who are winning and want you to win too. They recognize that helping other creative people makes for a better game for all concerned.

People who view life as a zero-sum game should be avoided entirely because they view your success as their loss.

Try to find people who share similar goals and view you as an ally on the road to success. They will help you move out of your comfort zone into new challenges and new victories.

Let me know how it goes.

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0 Responses to Moving out of your comfort zone – part 3

  1. Tom King says:

    Welcome to the discomfort zone, Gretchen. The result was magnificant. You go girl.

  2. colleen says:

    I love it! I’m so happy that Gretchen is allowing her artist to come out. We all get to benefit.

  3. Girish says:

    Beautiful drawing! Talking of exposure to the artistic community, I’m certainly not an artist and I dont live anywhere near floyd, but your blog entries inspired me do a couple of drawings:


  4. Starbucker says:

    This is inspiring to me, because my wife has been trying to “redefine” herself too. Lately she has found more encouraging and positive people to help her, and I can sense that she is near a breakthrough. I am optimistic she will break out of her “comfort zone” just like Gretchen (great drawing!). I so much agree with the idea of surrounding yourself with winning and positive people – I couldn’t keep my glass half full without them! Many thanks.

  5. David Opton says:

    As someone whose artistic genes are something well to the left of absolute zero, I am filled with admiration. Clearly there is a “gift” here as well as the courage to surface it.

  6. Mary Beth says:

    Gail Sheehy once said that growth is painful. Clearly, it is also beautiful and inspiring. Congratulations, Gretchen, and to you, David, for sharing this story. I know that as I have begun to redefine my own identity and say “writer” — I halfway expect someone over my shoulder to guffaw and say loudly, “You? A writer? Who are you kidding?” But it doesn’t happen. Instead, I get affirmation and encouragement.

    More pictures, please!

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