If you stare at the door for too long, you may miss the window opening. Listen, there are 16-year-olds competing at the Olympics, and I still push on “Pull” doors. So, when was the last time you did something new and different? Believe it or not, some of our limitations are self-imposed. Do you welcome new experiences or shy away from them? Perhaps there’s a food you’ve always wanted to try. Some days, you just have to be thankful for all the different ways to eat potatoes. By the way, do you also plan your outfit based on how much food you plan on eating. I get it.  There may be a place you have always dreamed of visiting. Why haven’t you? It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.

What do you wish you had done? Did you always dream of playing guitar? Yes, I pick you. So how can a guitar player get $1 million? Start off with $2 million and then try to earn a living by playing guitar. Do you think about taking a photography or cooking class? Be kind to your photographer. The power of editing is in his hands. Hey, I had to give up my career as a photographer. I kept losing focus.

Maybe you imagine yourself riding a horse. It’s been said: One can get in a car and see what man has made. One must get on a horse to see what G-d has made.

New events and encounters can enhance and enrich your life. Sure, it may seem uneasy at first, but think about how much happiness or fulfillment a new opportunity can bring. Pick a fresh place and go for that weekend getaway.

Disconnect at least once a day. You’re tech-savvy enough to know how, so unplug please. Disconnect to reconnect. How can you possibly reach new heights if you insist on staying in your comfort zone? If you avoid risk at all costs, trust me, you will plateau.

Sure, it takes courage, guts, and grit to make behavioral changes and to move in a new direction. Make sure you take on some tasks that stretch you. Take advantage of your personal strengths and make sure you know what they are. Remember that your toughness does not come from what you can do, sweet friends. It comes from what you overcame when you thought you couldn’t.

Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of those pieces. But truly, we must abandon the illusion that we can always be safe and in control. It’s been said: You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.

Do you view setbacks as failures or opportunities? If there’s one thing life isn’t, it’s predictable. The best way to predict the future is to create it. Don’t shy away from exploring alternative positions and perspectives in life.

If you feel stuck in your old ways, chances are you may be trapped in your comfort zone. Please find at least one person you trust and share honestly how you feel and what you truly think. Being truthful may not get you a lot of friends, but it will get you the right ones.

Awkward is your specialty? Risk feeling off-center if you try something new, sweet friends. You may initially be nervous, and your knees may knock, but you will feel at home out of that comfort zone in no time.  Try doing one thing every day that challenges you. You know what they say: Becoming is better than simply being.

Focus more on your hopes than your fears. After all, isn’t it better to think about the best thing that can happen rather than the worst that could happen? Thinking about running a marathon? You may be a runner if you see 5K, and automatically think 3.1 miles, not $5,000. You know you’re a runner when your most expensive shoes are sneakers. You do know that runner’s high is still legal in all 50 states. Start slowly. Walk, don’t run.  Break down your ambitions and aspirations into achievable parts. One step at a time – literally.

Sure, your comfort zone feels comfortable and safe. We all love shock absorbers. But if you wish to truly test your talents, take the plunge. Get out of that box. It is the primary way by which we humans grow. Be fearless. Be flexible. Bending sure does beat breaking.

The risk I took was calculated, but boy am I bad at Math. Find some risk takers that you respect and hang out with them. I know you’re scared. So am I. Saddle up anyway. Fears are simply stories we tell ourselves. Take baby steps and small bites.

Sure, you celebrate his success, but do you know the path that got him there? Rest assured that her journey was marked with some failure along the way, as well. Need a jumpstart? Decide to do something kind for someone every single day – even if it means leaving your safe harbor for a spell.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.