Ah, the old ‘Comfort Zone’, yes the place where it’s all warm and fuzzy and yes the place that is challenged constantly. When challenges come we will often feel discomfort; the need to make adjustments will be unconsciously testing and measuring every day. Situations will come up regularly because we innately want to grow and our brain looks for stimulation and development. How we handle the discomfort and challenges is all about our thoughts and mindset. Being aware of what we are saying to ourself when in any of these situations is critical to how we show up. Some of our stretches or challenges will be learning to do something different, our children going to school (primary/high) for the first time. Letting children stay overnight for the first time, going on camp, having their first driving lesson. Us going for an interview when we haven’t worked for a number of years. Deciding to run our own business from home, going overseas for the first time or investing all our money into buying a business. Whatever it is, it can be freaky and will take us out of our Comfort Zone.
“Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone.”
– Neale Donald Walsh
Our ‘Comfort Zone’ is exactly as it states, it’s comfortable, and it’s easy to be in. We are here because we have learnt what we needed to learn to be here. Therefore we have no pressure and for a period of time we like it. We are strong and empowered here. However, if we choose to stay a little too long in ‘the zone’ we might find ourselves getting a little stale, bored, lazy, sad, tolerating, irritated, uncomfortable or at a loss. Eddie Harris Jr. suggests “The sooner we step away from our comfort zone; the sooner we will realise it really wasn’t all that comfortable”.
Now, getting out of it can be another story. Depending on the circumstances and/or the desire to get out, our body will react in many different ways. This can of course keep us in our ‘Zone’ longer because it’s difficult to move, or it could have the opposite affect and propel us to do something sooner rather than later. It will also depend on our personality type, our habits and/or the urgency to change. How much is it hurting us to stay where we are? How much pain are we willing to tolerate? It could be financial pain, emotional pain, disappointment or simply a desire to have more of the amazing stuff we already have. When we feel the sweaty palms, the butterflies in our stomach or even a feeling of nausea when considering getting out of our ‘Comfort Zone’ this is our unconscious mind protecting us. Yes, our unconscious mind’s job is to look after us. So when we go to do something new, different, challenging and growing, our unconscious mind jumps in and gives it to us. It will give us the negative, inner critic voice (yes the one sitting on our shoulder telling us stuff all the time). We might hear our parents’ voice telling us we cannot do it, we aren’t good enough. It might be grand parents, teachers or other influential people from our past. It’s all about what we do with these messages that is important to us moving on and growing.
Once we take the plunge and step up or out of our comfort zone and start living there, our unconscious mind says to itself. “Ah, this is okay, this is all good”. Until we go to move out again, then it will spring back into action. Remembering it only wants to protect us. It does its job very well. Making new choices in what we want and stepping up to extend the bridge is what our growth and development to live our life the best we can live it is all about. Take a look at how easy it is when we have systems in place to support us through any growth or challenge – extend ourselves in our own life.
Tips for our own development
- Be crystal clear on what we want – have the vision. Visualise every morning and night, seeing is believing and it truly works,
- Make a vision board – being very clear,
- Make a list of the support systems we have in place to help us extend ourselves. Now consider who else could be on the list,
- Listen to the voices holding us back, what are they saying – decide if they are true or false, hold onto the ones serving us and discard the ones that are not,
- Work with a Coach to choose the right thoughts to hold onto – and learn how to let the others go,
- Be as healthy as possible – a good strong body supports a positive conscious mind,
- Be the role model for our children,
- Do things to support us to be our best; walk, jog, exercise, do craft, hobbies, socialise etc,
- Learn more, join a class, meet new people and develop new ideas,
- Watch supportive and educational information to assist in getting out of our Comfort Zone.
“Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone so do one thing every day that scares you.”