If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site

WARNING

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

RSS Feed

Posted on 04-18-2016

Comfort Zone

Written by Nicole Buie

Originally posted on April 13, 2016

Each day we are given small to big opportunities to step outside our routines and be bolder. To challenge ourselves to do more, be more than the box we often create for ourselves. Most of the time that box isn’t even bad, it’s great, content, safe. Although, ask yourself are you really living to your fullest potential? One of the fundamental truths that we can always learn to count on is change. Nothing ever stays the same. For some the thought of something changing is terrifying, and for others ,it can be an exhilarating feeling. Most of my life I was someone who feared change, actually, I hated it. I preferred structure, order, and routine to what I thought change meant which was chaos to my life. It wasn’t to say I didn’t challenge myself or face some of my fears sometimes, it was just in a very controlled way. Within my boundaries of a very comfortable zone, a box I had created. When I look back at my life, all the struggles, triumphs, and failures happened during certain changes in my life that were either within or out of my control. The times I struggled the most through a transition were when I fought against what was happening thinking I could control the outcome by resisting the change. Those moments I can say I soared and grew the most as an individual were when I let myself ride the wave through it. I let myself explore the uncomfortable zone and stopped resisting. Looking back now it was those very moments that forced me to look at truth by self- examination and blew apart my theory that it is better to grow within a safe zone to pieces. I know now that without change and uncomfortable times there is no growth, and chance to really explore yourself, life, and truly live.

Through these past years, it has been through teaching, traveling, writing, and being a student myself that has helped me continue to step out of my bounded comfort zone on a regular basis. I admit it still is terrifying at times, but mostly it is exhilarating! I have discovered me and what truly makes me happy to what I only thought did. Just so we are clear though the fears and self-doubts don’t necessarily go away. I frequently ask myself right before I’m about to step out of my little box, Why? I still tell myself everything is going along fine, I am content, happy, or I haven’t failed in a while so why challenge it. I also question the energy it will take, the risks, and potential stress that can come with it. I mean I do that every, single time because I’m an analyzer. I just plunge forward despite the nagging questions now.

And to this day, each time I take a leap there hasn’t ever been a moment after that I have regretted courageously stepping out. It doesn’t mean I haven’t had some missteps or a bruised ego, but I can say I would do it all over again because of everything I have gained.

So I wanted to share five ways I believe stepping out of my comfort zone has benefited me:

  1. I’m more confident in my own authenticity.
  2. I don’t rely on people to make me happy. I know my happiness comes from within and anything else is just an added bonus! I realized as I learned to do things my own way based on my values, and beliefs, instead of driven by fear of what others will think of me that I have found things that truly excite me. I have found passions, and a desire to share that part of me to help others.
  3. I blow my own mind. Meaning I have discovered I am capable of doing a lot more than I used to give myself credit for. You don’t have to be defined to one role in your life.
  4. I gained control over my decisions. Instead of making my decisions controlled by the fear of a certain change I now let myself make my decisions for the right reasons, not on emotion.
  5. It’s exhilarating! When I see others really doing life to the fullest I’m not judgmental of myself anymore because I feel less than. I’m not even envious but instead, I am inspired to keep pushing myself right along side them.

However, the best thing that has come from me stepping out of my comfort zone is truly learning what self-love means. I know my worth and that I am enough. I feel more alive than I have in a very long time. I would say the reason most don’t want to take a leap is many of us fear the regrets, losses, and failures we may experience. We stay in our tiny boxes on the off chance we won’t get hurt. Although the truth is even in our safe boundaries you never know what life is going to throw at you. So step out and grasp the unpredictability of life and watch how you grow from it. It won’t always be easy, nothing in life ever is, and it may not end up the exact way you planned. You might even make a mistake or two along the way, I have, but you will learn, grow, and develop. It was Bréne Brown who challenged my thoughts on my feelings of regrets and taking chances. She states, “No regret doesn’t mean living with courage, it means living without reflection. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life.” This idea of hers helped me learn to live my life by knowing regret is a powerful emotional reminder that change and growth are necessary. Once I stopped fearing failure and that I might have regrets I trusted in myself more, and my faith in God’s grace to keep getting uncomfortable.

So I’ll say it again stepping out of your zone doesn’t always have to be a big first leap. You can start small. We are given chances each day if you’re open to being present to your life by exploring what it feels like to take a chance. You can try to do something new each week that lets you embrace feeling whatever it is that scares you from opening up.

Below are some small to bigger ways to take that leap:

  1. Drive a different route, or go to a different store
  2. Look people in the eye, smile, speak, and engage
  3. Try a new activity or hobby. Preferably one you have never done before
  4. It is a proven fact that it creates a more positive environment
  5. Go to an event alone or better, one where you don’t know anyone to meet new people
  6. By exploring the world and other places we discover we aren’t that different when you break down the social barriers, stereotypes, and superficial layers.
  7. Be you all the time. Be honest with yourself first about your needs, expectations, and desires, even if it may not agree with the majority. It doesn’t mean you have to vocalize all of it. Know what is necessary and unnecessary to say. Then you will find you are being honest with others in your life because you are living your life through authenticity. A life full of kindness, compassion, and honesty can be extremely liberating.

No matter whether you take any one of these steps to heart just go try something. Keyword, TRY! Then try it again without attaching any sort of judgment or expectation to it and just explore.Transitions are an inevitable part of life. They are often uncertain, sometimes exciting, and sometimes terrifying. It took me a long time not to see it as chaos to my life. That I can let go and enjoy the bumpy ride by seeing it as a gift to challenge myself to get uncomfortable. To see what evolves because it’s only within those changing transitions that we grow and transform. Molding us to be something different, something bolder, something better, than we already are.

There are no comments for this post. Please use the form below to post a comment.

Post Comment

Exclusive Offer

New Clients Receive 90 Days for $99!

Office Hours

DayMorningAfternoon
Monday8 AM - 11 AM2 PM - 5 PM
Tuesday8 AM - 11 AMClosed
Wednesday8 AM - 11 AM2 PM - 5 PM
Thursday8 AM - 11 AMClosed
Friday8 AM - 11 AM2 PM - 5 PM
SaturdayBy Appt.Closed
SundayClosedClosed
Day Morning Afternoon
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8 AM - 11 AM 8 AM - 11 AM 8 AM - 11 AM 8 AM - 11 AM 8 AM - 11 AM By Appt. Closed
2 PM - 5 PM Closed 2 PM - 5 PM Closed 2 PM - 5 PM Closed Closed