by Janet M. Shlaes, Ph.D.
“The best things happen at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.”
Comfort zones encompass a variety of qualities depending on where you are in your life. At various times they can be seductive, soothing, restorative and sometimes detrimental. Everyone has their unique comfort zone set-point, based on a blend of personality, life, financial, relationship and biological factors. Sometimes, being in your comfort zone is exactly what is needed; it provides the requisite sanctuary to heal, replenish resources or integrate life lessons and experiences. There can be a dark side, however, to continually staying in your comfort zone; it inhibits growth and consumes vast quantities of psychic energy in an attempt to maintain the status quo.
I greatly appreciate and have learned to receive the inherent gifts in comfort zone respites and am committed to regularly moving beyond my comfort and competence zones. I find that jumping into learning and life adventures way beyond my skill level at the time has resulted in expansion and enjoyment. Moving beyond comfort can be challenging, frightening, painful and entirely worth it. Once I get past the “OMG, why did I think this was a good idea” moment and the fear of being immersed in the unknown, something miraculous tends to unfold. The fear usually dissipates pretty quickly and I rapidly learn new skills and connect with formerly hidden strengths. I also wind up having some delicious adventures and meet kindred spirits in the most unusual places.
Consider the possibilities beyond your comfort zone. What one step could you take today to expand your current comfort zone?
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