pretty lady wrapped in comfort blanket

3 THINGS YOU NEED WHEN LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Ahhh the comfort zone. Just saying it feels good doesn’t it? The place our insides feel all cuddly and warm. Safe, secure and confident. We love it there. It’s familiar and predictable. The place where things go according to our plan. Where we have a sense of control.

So why would anyone ever want to leave it? This Huffington Post article gives us 6 Reasons To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.

Taking an intentional trip outside of our comfort zone can be good for us as well as fun. It can help us become more productive and creative. It can help expand our comfort zone. It prepares us for unexpected events in our lives. Especially the times we get forced out of our comfort zone.

Plus – It is exciting! It provides an internal rush of adrenaline and dopamine.

Doesn’t that make you want to go?

But there is a right and wrong way to do this.

How do I know?

Let me tell you a story.

I bought a ticket the other day to take a trip leaving my comfort zone. I got more than I bargained for.

It was not preplanned. I bought this “ticket” by enrolling in a writing course.

I attended a webinar to learn more about writing. That part I planned. I had attended webinars before so they were inside my comfort zone. At the end of this webinar was the opportunity to buy the course and join its amazing community of writers. I wanted to but I didn’t have the funds set aside for it.

The desire for the support and community it offered was overwhelming. But signing up for this would push me outside my comfort zone. I wanted and needed the growth this would bring.

I had passed up this opportunity before feeling it was premature. But this time, it felt like it was time!

I took a leap of faith. It was exhilarating!

But I failed to pack properly.

What do I mean?

There are 3 things needful to pack:

1 – Bravery. Leaving your comfort zone causes anxiety. This does not need to stop you. You simply need to be aware of it and calculate how much you can handle. Neglecting to acknowledge the anxiety or fear will not make it go away. Quite the opposite. The anxiety or fear will become larger unless you face it and choose to be brave. This quote taken from nytimes.com article Tiptoeing Out of One’s Comfort Zone (and of Course, Back In) says it well.

I think the biggest mistake people make is not acknowledging fear and uncertainty.

Brene Brown

2 – A return ticket. Doing something outside of your comfort zone expends energy that you need to replenish. Making an intentional choice to venture outside of it for a safe amount of time is quite beneficial. Yet you need to return to it. This is where you process your new experience and refresh. Your new experience must become a part of your normal structure to enlarge your comfort zone.

3 – Self-awareness / Accountability. The excitement can be addicting. Ever heard an adrenaline junkie? You need to know when you have had enough or have someone who will tell you. Going too far out or staying outside of it for too long is harmful.

How did I fail in my packing?

I understood I needed bravery.

What I did not know was that comfort zones are processing centers that we need. I thought they were just nice. I was unaware of how much I was demanding of myself because of the adrenaline. I rode the train of excitement caused by this new venture for too long like an adrenaline junkie.

What began as one step outside of my comfort zone snowballed into another and another…

At least 9 more steps without adequate processing.

At the end of the first week, something simple triggered a panic attack. I started to unravel inside. Nausea, dizziness, lightheaded, the rising feeling in my stomach of a tear-filled meltdown coming.

I had to take a Xanax. I hadn’t had to do that in a long time.

I was unaware of the truth. I thought living outside of my comfort zone was how to make it bigger and so was a good thing. I thought my success at doing so much for so long that I needed a Xanax was like a badge of honor. Like it was something to be proud of.

I was wrong. I over did it.

Blare June helped me see that in her article Don’t Burnout Babe: 8 Signs You’re Seriously Overdoing It

Knowing this I will pack better next time.

Taking a trip outside of your comfort zone is good. Just remember how to pack.

Taking a trip outside of your comfort zone is good. Just remember how to pack. Click To Tweet

Leaving your comfort zone is anything that takes you out of the familiar.

Taking a different way home from work.

Shopping at a different grocery store.

Eating at a different restaurant.

Starting up a conversation with a stranger.

Getting a new hairstyle. …and the list goes on.

 

Everyone’s comfort zone is different, and what may expand your horizons may paralyze someone else. 

Says Alan Henry in his article The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should)

 

Are you ready for a trip?

Is there something you’d like to do? Do it!

What takes you outside of your comfort zone?

Please share your thoughts.

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20 thoughts on “3 THINGS YOU NEED WHEN LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE

  1. Danielle, thanks for sharing your experience. You are an excellent writer. I feel you left me hanging though. How so??? What happened with the writing group you joined? Was it everything you imagined and more? Please share. 😀

    1. Thank you so much Ron! That means a lot. You have been with me since I moved away from my old site almost 5 months ago. I still feel so green. Your words give me air (encouragement).

      I’m sorry it felt like I left you hanging. I wanted to write this so it would feel timeless.The truth is that all of this just happened. The orientation for my course was this past Tuesday. The panic attack was 1 week ago today. The course is designed to be for 8 weeks but our instructor (Jeff) encourages us to do it at our own pace. He repeats himself telling us to not get overwhelmed. He is so encouraging.

      It is more than I imagined. I have joined 2 Facebook communities directly related to the course. In one of the communities I was given the opportunity to contribute to a Best Selling book. That led me to 2 more online communities I am now a member of. I wrote and submitted my story for the book. The author who is compiling the book connected me to someone who may prepare my book (Emerging With Wings) so I can release it as an eBook. Joining this group has indeed been more than I imagined – and I’ve only just begun.

      Thank you again. Feel free to ask any other questions. I will answer as soon as I can. I have a rainbow grandson entering the world TODAY so I will be a bit preoccupied. :oD

  2. I love your writing style! I always feel like you take me on a journey when I read your blog. You made a good point about returning to our comfort zone after an “adventure” outside of it. So many things can force us outside of our comfort zone, but we need to come back “home” to rejuvenate so we’re prepared for the next excursion. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I hadn’t thought about the need to return to the comfort zone. That makes perfect sense that we need processing time. It is good to push ourselves to bigger challenges. That’s how we grow but I have found that it is a slippery slope for me and I go from pushing myself to driving myself. Going back to the comfort zone is definitely what is needed at that point!

    1. I can certainly relate to that slippery slope. That is why I need to pack self awareness and accountability. Thank you MaryEllen for sharing!

  4. These are real good points you mention. As in the case with MaryEllen in one of the comments above, I also tend to start driving myself instead returning to the comfort zone. Very valuable advice indeed. Thanks for sharing with us Danielle, and all the best with your writing course.

  5. I enjoyed this article as I struggle to get out of my comfort zone. Once I do, I find that it’s not as bad as I initially thought. I feel rewarded but acknowledge and validate my emotions. Without confrontation and validation, you don’t move forward. You get stuck in a rut. Slow and steady wins the race.

  6. I designated this day as getting caught up on my friend Danielle blogs. Boy am I glad I started with this one! I have been traveling “out”of my comfort zone quite frequently and not settling in before leaving again. I have been”Restless” and finding it very challenging …ok stressful to settle in at home again. Thank you once again for labeling this struggle and bringing me back to normalcy. I am a processor therefore i know I will read this again.
    I so admire your talent to convey an honest approach to yet another relatable topic.

  7. Great read Danielle! I found it so relatable currently in reverse. Recently I have been traveling and finding it challenging to settle back in to my comfort zone. This blog was just what I needed to source and identify the issue. I don’t need xantax!lol I thought I was not going to be normal again until I left on another trip. Thanks for another great healing journey.

    1. That is how I learned it too Ruth. In reverse. I wasn’t even stopping after I had to take that xanax. I was improperly proud of myself for pushing myself so hard.

      It wasn’t until I started writing about the comfort zone that I learned from the research I did. The articles I linked to in here.

      I read that one about the 8 signs you’re seriously over doing it and saw myself. I was having trouble waking up in the middle of the night numerous times.

      I’m thankful I learned even if it was the hard way.

      I love this quote: “There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.” Archibald MacLeish

  8. Interesting article! The idea of getting a return ticket from your comfort zone is food for thought! Instead, I tend to think of it as expanding the comfort zone to include the new place (an idea you also mentioned). Thanks for the insights 🙂 Btw, I’m here because I joined the same writing class & Facebook groups. Keep up the good work, classmate!

  9. Hey, there, fellow Tribe Writer! Thank you for this article. Your comment “help expand our comfort zone” pulled me up short. I stopped & pondered that intently for awhile to let the truth & comfort (no pun ingended!) of that statement sink in. It liberated a part of me. I’ve been resisting necessary changes due to tremendous loss the last 2 yes due to illness. I persisted for yrs to write a book requested by 2 pastors. Once completed, I started researching publishers & learned I’d no hope of marketing book w/out a platform. The only social media I use is Facebook and I struggle with that! So facing creating a successful platform absent any necessary skills and being unable to hire a professional to create one due to being unemployed from illness was daunting to say the least. Fortunately I found Jeff, too, and have progressed to the point I’m about to start my blog but still very hesitant with that as well as other unrelated issues in my life I due to anger and fears as result of being unceremoniously plucked from my well organized life and separated from my youngest son due to the illness. After contemplating that phrase about expanding your comfort zone, I realized I have the freedom to reframe my attitude about necessary changes to rebuild and create a successful, independent and productive life again. Many thanks!

    1. Oh my Terri. You have had a rough ride. I’m so sorry.
      But I am happy to hear you are on the upswing. Glad I could be of help.
      I’m sure I’ll see you around in the community. Thank you for sharing!

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