Pamela Cummins On How to Grow Beyond Your Comfort Zone to Grow Both Personally and Professionally
An Interview With Maria Angelova
Prayer helps me go through the fear and other emotions in every aspect of my life. It helps me to feel protected. Do you remember I mention how it’s scary for me to speak to a live audience or during an interview? I always ask my Higher Source to speak through me beforehand. At first, I may feel scared or insecure, yet within the first few minutes, something takes over, and I’m in the spiritual zone. I feel comfortable and usually have an enjoyable time.
It feels most comfortable to stick with what we are familiar with. But anyone who has achieved great success will tell you that true growth comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. What are some ways that influential people have pushed themselves out of their comfort zone to grow both personally and professionally? As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pamela Cummins.
Pamela Cummins is an expert dream interpreter and spiritual growth coach. She loves helping her clients understand the meanings of their dreams, access their inner wisdom, and accelerate their personal and spiritual growth. Pamela is the author of seven books and creator of four oracle decks. Learn more at https://pamelacummins.com/
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My younger sister and I spent most of our childhood in Morristown, New Jersey, United States. My mom was an artist and homemaker, while my dad taught English Literature at Farleigh Dickinson University and published stories and books. Both my parents are Jewish, but they didn’t bring us up religiously. We celebrated Passover, had a Christmas tree in our living room, and gorged on jelly beans and chocolate bunnies from our Easter basket.
I was lucky enough to travel with my family to different countries in Europe. When I was nine-years-old, we spent six months in a small village in the county of Oxfordshire, England, because my father had a sabbatical. My sister and I went to school in Long Hanborough, which was so different from our school in New Jersey. The best memories I had were home cooked lunch, and the teacher reading a chapter from the book, Peter Pan, every day. Yet, the worst school memory was my first kiss. A boy told me he liked me and gave me a wet, sloppy kiss on the lips. I replied, “Yuck,” while wiping the spit from my lips. Hopefully, that experience didn’t damage him for life!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is from the Talmud and it is “A dream uninterpreted is like a letter unread.” As a dream interpreter, I understand how important it is to understand the wisdom and messages of our nighttime dreams. Dreams give information about who we are, answers to our questions, solutions to our problems, and guidance for our life direction. Dreams are an important gift in my life, and I want others to experience the benefits of their dreams.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
There have been so many books and films that have impacted me that it is hard to choose just one. So I’ll go with what first popped into my mind, the movie Born Free. For you young whippersnappers who don’t know what the movie is about. Born Free was based on a true story about Joy and George Adamson’s journey to raise an orphaned lion cub, Elsa, then train her to survive and live as a wild lion. They successfully released Elsa into the wild!
Besides wanting a lion cub, this movie inspired a respect and love for all living things. I learned the impossible can be achieved despite the opinions of others. It also taught me the importance of having relationships with animals, and how they can be part of the family. While I never owned a lion, I have many domestic cats who I’ve served.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Let’s start with a basic definition so that all of us are on the same page. What does “getting outside of your comfort zone” mean?
Change is what I think of when I hear the phrase getting outside of your comfort zone. We humans like to be in control and comfortable, which is why some people stay in horrible jobs and marriages. Even if it’s not the best situation, they know what they have, while change scares them. Change forces us out of our comfort zone because the unexpected can happen.
Can you help articulate a few reasons why it is important to get out of your comfort zone?
The number reason to go beyond your comfort zone is growth. When you move out of your comfort zone, it opens up new opportunities. These opportunities may involve new people, jobs, more business, or travel. Besides growing, you might meet the love of your life, have more enjoyment in life, and earn more money.
Is it possible to grow without leaving your comfort zone? Can you explain what you mean?
It’s difficult to grow when one remains stuck inside, but it’s not impossible. However, it’s a slow process, and often a painful way to live. An example is staying in a job you hate with a rude boss, so you can pay the bills. It might take months or years of daily dealings with an obnoxious boss to have the courage to make boundaries or report your boss to human resources.
Can you share some anecdotes from your personal experience? Can you share a story about a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone and how it helped you grow? How does it feel to take those first difficult steps?
Being self-employed forces me to step out of my comfort zone. When I started my business, it was terrifying not having a weekly paycheck, taking the steps to rent an office, and finding clients. It can be uncomfortable or scary speaking in front of an audience, doing a live video, or learning a new skill. In business, I have dealt with people spamming their services, friends and strangers asking for freebies, and draining clients. These people taught me how to create kind and strong boundaries, policies for my business, and to only work with my ideal clients.
A story I like to share with you is in March 2020, I ditched the dye and went cold turkey to allow my natural hair color to grow in. This took me way out of my comfort zone! Every time I passed by a mirror, I either felt ashamed, excited, or grossed out by my demarcation line. Then mix in the rude and so-called helpful unsolicited advice from people, which triggered anger, hurt, and other emotions. I was three months in when I was a guest on a video podcast, so I wore a cap to hide the skunk line. The host of the show was not happy about my cap, which made me uncomfortable, but the show must go on…
Fast forward to today, I’m happy to say I love my silver hair. Clients have told me they felt I was wise because of my hair color. This experience helped me grow, heal my hair story, and inspire other women to stop painting their hair. And motivated me to write the book, This Curly Woman Went Gray.
Here is the central question of our discussion. What are your “five ways to push past your comfort zone, to grow both personally and professionally”?
Here are my five ways to grow both personally and professionally by stepping out of your comfort zone:
- Prayer helps me go through the fear and other emotions in every aspect of my life. It helps me to feel protected. Do you remember I mention how it’s scary for me to speak to a live audience or during an interview? I always ask my Higher Source to speak through me beforehand. At first, I may feel scared or insecure, yet within the first few minutes, something takes over, and I’m in the spiritual zone. I feel comfortable and usually have an enjoyable time.
- Pro and Con’s List is what a former mentor always insisted upon and it drove me crazy. Yet it always helps me make decisions in my business and personal life. There’s something about viewing the pros to help me accept the cons, then move forward. Of course, the list has shown me it’s not time yet, or it’s not right for me.
- A coach is a great way to get unstuck and push past my comfort zone. I have several coaches and been in coaching groups, too. Coaching groups are great to have other people’s perspectives and understanding who are in the same position. A coach inspires, gives direction, and inspiration toward a goal. In fact, a former coach of mine helped me come up with my tagline Nighttime Messages, Daytime Wisdom.
- Psychic reading will either give me validation that I’m on the right path or insights to help with my life direction. Two psychics described my life mate before he came into my life. This made it easier to recognize Mr. Right and message him on a dating site. A psychic described my white cat, Merlin, a few months before I met him. It took courage to reach out to my former landlord for permission to adopt him. Sadly, years later, after my precognitive dream, the same psychic unknowingly confirmed his upcoming death. Psychic readings are useful for my business, too.
- Goals for the future may sound simple; nonetheless, they keep me focused and inspire me to push past my comfort zone. How? By visualizing the outcome. When I’m feeling afraid, whiney, or unmotivated, my goals keep me motivated. I even created a video that I watch every morning with pictures, affirmations/goals, and funky background music. It’s a great way to start the day.
From your experience or perspective, what are some of the common barriers that keep someone from pushing out of their comfort zone?
From my personal experiences and working with clients, I found fear of change and the unknown are the biggest barriers to staying in their comfort zone. Other barriers are other people’s opinions, it’s not the right time, the desire to control the outcome, and not listening or taking action on our inner wisdom.
There is a well-known quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “Do something that scares you every day”. What exactly does this mean to you? Is there inherent value in doing something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, even if it does not relate to personal or professional growth? For example, if one is uncomfortable about walking alone at night should they purposely push themselves to do it often for the sake of going beyond their comfort zone? Can you please explain what you mean?
What Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote means to me is to do something little that scares you. This could mean making a personal/business phone call or sending an email even if it’s uncomfortable for me to do. Or not taking a moneymaking opportunity that isn’t the right fit for me when business is slow. In my opinion, these little things enhance my growth.
I don’t feel we should do something scary to go beyond our comfort that might cause harm to ourselves. It’s dangerous for a woman to walk alone at night, especially in a bad part of town or in the woods. Nor would I suggest playing Russian roulette. Sometimes being afraid is for our protection.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
My movement is for inspiring people to listen to their inner wisdom. Whether that’s their intuition and/or the wisdom from their dreams of the nighttime. Our answers and life direction lie within us. Many ignore their inner wisdom. Instead, they will listen to others’ opinions, then they are living out of alignment and are unhappy. I’m not saying we don’t need other people’s advice or help. Instead, listen to their viewpoints and see if it resonates. If it does, great. If it doesn’t, don’t use it.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with Collette Baron Reid because she’s living her life according to her inner wisdom. Her oracle card decks inspire me with their fabulous messages. And I love her energy.
How can our readers follow you online?
Your readers can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn by searching for my name, Pamela Cummins. Or visit my website https://pamelacummins.com/
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.
About The Interviewer: Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl. As a disruptor, Maria is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike. As a mind-body coach, Maria’s superpower is alignment which helps clients create a strong body and a calm mind so they can live a life of freedom, happiness and fulfillment. Prior to founding Rebellious Intl, Maria was a Finance Director and a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate experience in the Telecommunications, Finance, and Insurance industries. Born in Bulgaria, Maria moved to the United States in 1992. She graduated summa cum laude from both Georgia State University (MBA, Finance) and the University of Georgia (BBA, Finance). Maria’s favorite job is being a mom. Maria enjoys learning, coaching, creating authentic connections, working out, Latin dancing, traveling, and spending time with her tribe. To contact Maria, email her at email@example.com. To schedule a free consultation, click here.