Whether at work or at home, if you’re feeling flat, de-energized, disinterested, or stuck in a rut, that means it’s time for a change. Time to wake up your energy and identify constructive actions that will help you to feel vital and vibrant.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow said, “You either step forward into growth, or you step back into safety.” Stepping forward into growth requires stepping up, and stepping outside of your comfort zone. To be reenergized, stepping forward may be exactly what you need to do.

Growth requires courage and the willingness to take a risk. An action can feel like a risk because it’s unfamiliar and the outcome is unpredictable. Yet, when we take a breath and plunge into the unknown, that action can lead to tremendous satisfaction and a boost in self-esteem. Sometimes growth comes from simply mustering the courage to act. At other times, new perspective and maturity is borne out of what we learn as a consequence of the action we took.

While playing it safe is sometimes wise, in many instances, we play it too safe, becoming the stone around our own neck – the impediment to our own success.

To step forward into growth, start by getting better acquainted with your thoughts and feelings – the ones that exist a level or two beneath your sense of fatigue, frustration, boredom, or your desire to withdraw. Think of your mind and emotions as an onion. On the outside is the dried up, crusty, familiar layers. You have to peel back the top layers in order to get to the juicy core.

You can move closer to your core by spending a little time alone – just you and your journal. Get quiet and contemplate these two questions: “Why am I feeling…(name the feeling)? What is …(name the feeling) here to teach me?” Jot down the thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, images or memories that come into your awareness. You’ll be surprised what you learn as you uncover and listen to your inner wisdom. You’ll expand your comfort zone and step forward into growth.