How to Get Out of the Box


And the day came when the risk to remain, tight in a bud, became more painful then the risk it took to blossom.

This quote by Elizabeth Appell (often attributed to Anais Nin) perfectly describes the transformation I have felt in my own life and seen in many of my clients and friends.

It is our natural inclination to choose the pain we already know. It is miraculous when we witness a person crossing over that invisible line where they choose the unknown, the world in which they don’t have certainty, where they don’t know the twists and turns that lie ahead.

Yesterday, it was impossible to change. Today it is impossible to stay the same.

My co-writer, Jenny Watson, and I were not familiar with this quote when we created the “Out of the Box Girls” with our artist, Elizabeth McKnight Sloan. In each chapter of Unwritten Travels: a self-guided journal to charting new territory in your life, we featured a girl breaking her way out of the boxes that had previously constrained her (pictured above).

For so many of us, it is easier to find rest inside of the box.

When we are able to meet and match the expectations that we, or others, have for ourselves, there is a sense of relief. We think, I did what I was supposed to, now I can rest.

And then, one day, we can’t rest until we get out. This Out of the Box Girl, still inside of the box, but reaching out with her whole heart, inspires me. Once the heart makes it’s way out, the rest will follow.

In his book, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, Harry Browne gives us tips on how to get out of the boxes that have etched their way around our real selves.


How to Get Out of The Box

1. Identify the box you are in.

2. Decide what the box is costing you.

3. What will it cost you to be rid of this box?

4. What will you do with the freedom you will have when you are out of the box?

5. Pay the price.