Comfort Zones keep us from learning about ourselves!
When I began working with my coach, I learned quickly that my Comfort Zone was in the driver’s seat of my life. I recognized a restlessness and dissatisfaction with my life yet, I was stuck because I felt comfortable with the routine. I learned, I even felt comfortable with the restlessness and dissatisfaction as it allowed me to not take responsibility for change and growth. Can you relate to this?
For me, each day felt much like the day before and I was full of stories about “What Would Happen If”. What would happen IF I said I didn’t feel up to going to a family event and would rather stay home? What would happen IF I requested a new job at work? What would happen IF I traveled by myself to a festival? What would happen IF I embodied my life purpose and passion?
The stories I played in my head were terrifying. I would be labeled a bad wife and mother, a selfish person, a rebel, delusional, you name it, I believed it. I would lose my family and friends. I believed if I spoke up for my wants and dreams, I would be abandoned and alone. This line of thinking resulted in my choosing to do what was most comfortable; go along and not make a riff.
Staying quiet was a pattern that allowed me to feel victimized, resentful and powerless. I had convinced myself this was safe.
Breaking the cycle required bravely stepping out of my comfort zone.
To break from this cycle, we need to reach beyond the imaginary barrier within us and start to uncover what we want, who we are, and how we achieve what we long for.
You may find it best to start with baby steps by focusing on your well-being. Are you taking time for yourself on a daily basis? What would be fun to add into your day?
Give yourself time to explore and connect into what you love, what feeds your Heart and your Spirit. Start making a list and choose up to three activities to add into your immediate daily well-being practices.
For example, my list included going on “Artist Dates” as described in The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. Having lost my connection to my love of reading, I carved out 20 minutes a day to sit in a comfortable spot and read. I also signed-up for a silversmithing class and attended a variety of yoga classes/styles.
All of these changes were easy as I knew I loved these activities, but what about the “unknown”? How do we discover things about ourselves that we don’t know? Guess what, it happens when we push against our comfort zone!
Bravely stepping out of your comfort zone, can be incredibly scary. It is also extremely fun! My coach encouraged me to find a retreat. Something that piqued my interest, that when I read or heard about it I could feel a level of excitement or bubbling energy in my body. The first reaction to the “thing”, not the next one, the one where the fear of something sneaks in and the tightness begins to infiltrate muscles, bones and tissue.
Going on a retreat meant I would be learning something new and be in a very unfamiliar setting, both location and being with people I didn’t know. I found one which required an adventure to California by myself. It was a wonderful opening to learning about myself; my likes and dislikes.
More and more, I started going on trips and retreats by myself. My husband wasn’t interested in joining me so I went anyway. I forced myself to go to things that were very new to me. Through the process, I learned so much about myself. I learned that I am very capable of taking care of myself in an uncomfortable situation. I met amazing people who opened up my perspectives about the world. I experienced transformation and breakthroughs over and over and over. These experiences stretched all aspects of me. I felt deep emotion, sadness, fear, pride, happiness, joy, love, judgement, connection, exposed, safety, and resilience.
When we step out of our comfort zone we create aliveness and new possibilities. We open our heart to others and we shrink the area within us that is unknown.
Are you ready to break out of your comfort zone?