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Motivation Mondays January 29, 2024

Your Comfort Zone

What exactly is a comfort zone? It quite literally is a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress. Put in that context, why on earth would you ever want to be any where else?

But is the comfort zone all that comforting? I put to you that it's a false sense of ease. We are always growing and changing, so what constitutes our comfort zones are also growing and changing. Think back to when you were a child. What was your comfort zone then? How about when you went off to college or started work? How about any of your other significant life decisions? Didn't those choices push you out of your comfort zone?

So why do we enjoy keeping the status quo? It isn't about laziness or lack of ambition. It's simply about fear. Fear of change. Fear of stepping wrong. Fear of making a fool of ourselves. But if we never push our boundaries, we never see the change that brings upon us great events! We all seem to want more of those great events. What do we have to do to get there? You guessed it - get out of the comfort zone.

Getting Out of the Comfort Zone

First we have to identify what our comfort zones are. It can be a challenge, in that how we feel is subjective to the day of the week, the hour of the day, the minute we are currently existing. Think about the things you do regularly. Housework, job, taking care of children or other family members, cooking, studying, exercising, your daily activities. Now, what are you putting off? Looking for a promotion? Trying a new dish? How about taking a class that's out of your area of expertise? Moving up in the next category of fitness? Any areas that you might be holding back when you are honest with yourself.

All of these are ways to actually get you out of your comfort zone. Sometimes being in the comfort zone is really just being stuck in a rut of habits. And the best way to change a habit is to carve out a very small section of time to make the change.

For instance, I hate getting up in the morning. It's always been this way. So how do I overcome the habit of sleeping in (which is my comfort zone)? When I wake up, I have to make the choice to stay in bed or get up. That one little, small decision is a step in changing my habit. I may not actually wake up earlier, but my day starts when I decide to actually get out of bed, and that is a small but important change.

Another example. Exercise. It's the new year, so we make resolutions to get fitter or add more activity, That can be difficult to adhere to - so what is one small change to get me moving instead of staying on the computer or watching one more episode? When I get up for a break, I make an effort to take a walk. May only be five minutes. But I have noticed that I keep making my walks a little bit longer, challenging myself to stay walking and away from my desk or couch!

These small daily activities will lead to huge gains when you add them all together and find that your comfort zone keeps expanding. It's all just what we are willing to do to put in the work to better ourselves and others. I think that makes all the difference.

Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

All of those great life events could not have happened if you'd remained in the same zone of comfort you were in as a child. So celebrate each milestone in your life! Each time you pushed yourself just a little bit and accomplished something, no matter how small, you succeeded when others might have failed. And you are deserving of praise!

Make a list of ways you want to better yourself. And then break that down into small steps. And break each of those steps into even smaller steps. Get the time down to less than five minutes! Sometimes it may need breaking down into thirty second intervals. But you'll start to notice that those really great things that you thought you would never be able to accomplish are actually happening and you won't even feel like you've really done anything. It's just that the comfort zone moved so slowly and expanded that you didn't even notice. In my opinion, that's the way to succeed - just tricking yourself into it!

You can do this. I believe in you.

Leave a comment below with your stories.

 Hope to see you soon!

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