Finding Comfort Outside of Your Comfort Zone

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Melissa and I have been dreaming of taking a mindless vacation where we can sit on the beach and have frozen cocktails brought to us at our whim.

And in theory, it sounds amazing.

Until the mental clutter starts chattering:

  • Is it responsible to travel for pleasure during a pandemic?
  • How will it be to wear a mask for five or six hours straight?
  • Who will take care of our kitties?
  • I’m already an anxious flyer. Won’t it be even worse given the current world conditions?
  • What if we end up with one of those loose cannons on our flight who rages about the mask policy and a fight breaks out?

The voice convincing me to not go is LOUD. However, there’s still that quieter voice reminding me of my chosen word for 2022: DiscomfortAs in seek it to grow.

This is where the rubber meets the road. Am I going to honor this word?

I’ve had a travel agent diligently working on options for us yet find I’m shooting holes in all of them for one reason or another.

How do I step out of my comfort zone when it seems so much is working to keep me firmly in it?

The million dollar question, eh?

After all, we need some real convincing to venture into our stretch zones, don’t we?

Perhaps I’ll take the suggestion I often give my students and community members: pay attention to how you talk yourself out of doing something. It’s in that language that you’ll find some limiting beliefs. Then get to work on dismantling those beliefs by no longer proving them right.

A great place to start is to simply answer the negating questions that come up.

Take some of the ones I listed above as the example:

  • Is it responsible to travel for pleasure during a pandemic?
    Not entirely, no. But knowing how cautious and respectful I am and have been this entire pandemic, is my concern more about what others will think?
  • How will it be to wear a mask for five or six hours straight?
    Likely not comfortable, however, I can always go into the bathroom on the plane to have a break from it.
  • Who will take care of our kitties?
    A woman who cleans our house has already tended to them once and is willing to do it whenever we need.

    • But she doesn’t know their routine, personalities, and quirks like I do. What if they get stressed with me away and end up sick?
      She can take them to the vet or alert me to it and I can come home early. (Unlikely to happen, but isn’t it so interesting to pay attention to where the mind goes?)

Answering these questions can both be revealing and frustrating. Our fear and trepidation doesn’t like to be challenged. She likes to win and stay in her comfort zone. That is, until you show her how great the stretch zone is.

It’s a delicate dance, but the more you show her that you’ve got her back, the more she learns to trust you. With that trust comes less and less resistance.

What can you do today to step outside of your comfort zone and strengthen that trust with yourself?

No matter how big or small, whatever step you take today will help you take bolder and bolder moves in the future, opening up your world in ways you’ve been dreaming of!

Will I be taking that vacation? That’s to be determined. In the meantime, I’m going to stay in close communication with Little Kerri to help her feel safe with me whether she’s feeling brave or scared.

Here’s to shaking things up.

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