Breaking out of Your Comfort Zone. Need I say more? If you have ever done so, and I am sure you have, how quickly do the sweaty palms, heart palpitations or general nerves take over? What’s surprising though, is that while it may not get easier, I have noticed that every time I do, I feel better. Happier even.
My life in the last two years has been a lot of movement out of the known zone to the unknown.
You would think it would get easier, wouldn’t you? I haven’t noticed it so far, but I’m hoping at some point I can talk myself off the ledge a little more quickly.
Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing each day that scares you.”
I don’t know if I’m quite ready for that but maybe one thing each week. Why?
Because complacency can kick in and then maybe “good enough” and then even “settle for”. Those attitudes don’t serve you well. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great thing to be appreciative of what you have and of enjoying the moment. Very good in fact, but like so many other things, appreciation and enjoyment can become dulled by the same old, same old routine we set ourselves up for.
I might adjust Eleanor’s statement to learn one new thing that challenges you a little or even, if I must, do one thing each day out of your comfort zone.
Pushing past the comfort zone opens us up to internal discovery
The intriguing part of breaking out of our comfort zone is that we discover pieces of ourselves we didn’t know existed. It’s a journey of self discovery.
We all seem to have these stories of ourselves that we acquire over time and soon become unyielding and unbending. Coats of armor that soon begin to block out the potential for new interactions and possibilities. They can weigh us down those stories, and soon we can’t tell the difference between what is a foundation quality, or protective gear.
Say for instance that you have decided that you can’t cook. You tried something once or maybe twice and it didn’t work out. So, you tell yourself that you can’t cook. You don’t say I can’t cook brownies, no you go bigger and better and say, I can’t cook. Then cooking becomes really far from your comfort zone. Trying any part of cooking again takes on a larger and more frightening context.
So, what are we to do with all this comfort zone business? Take it one step at a time.
Small step movements out of the comfort zone
If your comfort zone hasn’t been stretched for awhile, you don’t need to be taking life altering steps to challenge yourself. That’s a sure way to retreat into the rabbit hole and not re-emerge for a good long time.
Rather, try making a list with two columns. One column says I am a person who is/does … and then one that says -I am a person who isn’t or doesn’t. Once you have items in both lists review them. Are these things really true and if they are, where did they originate? Would you like any of them to be different? What would happen if they were? Tease it out a little and see what you find. Perhaps there is something you might like to test out, see if what is there is more comfort zone than truth.
As for me? Well I continue to work on the list. One of the stories I have recently challenged was “I am not good at negotiating.” As it turns out, it was more that I didn’t have the know how as opposed to the ability. Those are two very different things. A little like making brownies! I’m not an expert negotiator, yet! However I did get into the proverbial kitchen and stretched that comfort zone.
As always, I’m glad to hear your story. Leave a comment about what you have found and hey, thanks for stopping by.
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