Updated: Oct 30, 2019
When we think comfort zones, we generally think of things like being out in public, talking to the other mom at pick up, talking on the phone instead of texting ....
What if I requested that you look a little deeper? Where are your comfort zones restricting your ability to manifest your dreams?
What about the boyfriends or girlfriends you keep attracting? How are your finances? Your children, are you seeing some things that mirror your family's past?
It all begins, and ends, with you.
“Do Not Lie to Yourself. We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone.”
When we read quotes like the one, it is so easy to nod and agree. It’s even easier to talk about it with friends; “I totally stepped out of my comfort zone today ….”
It isn’t so easy, however, when faced with chronic behaviours that leave us empty, stumped and friendless. What is really happening when we are sitting by ourselves feeling the anxiety of our comfort zone boundaries being stretched and pushed by others, situations, or even ourselves?
The indoctrination of our culture to believe old thought patterns which we learned, inherited and even photocopied from our family and friends, is a difficult one to see. It is, however, super easy to see it in others, though isn’t it?
My suggestion would be; if we can see something in others then it’s nearly guaranteed it is within ourselves. I would also suggest that the positive AND negative aspects we see in others is completely within ourselves, and also completely attainable and within our ability to alter.
Let me dive in a little more here….
I am basing these thoughts on some principals I’ve learned over the years about humanity and our amazing ability to learn, adapt, create and share. If you don’t believe me, that’s ok, all I ask is that you consider for a moment that what you “know” might only be a small part of what is available to you in this lifetime.
“We are so accustomed to the comforts of "I cannot", "I do not want to" and "it is too difficult" that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.”
I’ll tell you a little story about myself which will perhaps guide and illustrate what I mean, and how I came to some of these conclusions. (Even though, I have to add here, this is only the beginning of the vast knowledge we have available to us at any given moment, and this is just a short and brief snippet of my own learning and growing.)
I grew up in a Christian home, and most of what I learned was fear-based Faith. Fear that everything and anything you do, feel, think and know had to come from God or wrath would soon ensue. Your actions were autonomous and reliant on what the Bible said. Although in all that teaching, I saw a vast amount in inconsistency in “good behaviour”. I saw lies, anger, womanizing, alcoholism, verbal abuse, and a general pattern of “if you aren’t happy you cannot show it.” We were taught, in a non-verbal way, that appearance of your life was far more important than what was actually going on in your life. Sunday Best was to be shown all week long.
I am also directly from a line of immigrants who escaped war torn countries, so there was a distinct current of unresolved trauma which was passed on through the generations.
Mash all of that together and you have children covered in a heavy blanket of shame, doubt, fear, control issues and a sense of poverty in all aspects of your physical and emotional life.
This all culminates into a very distinct social disorder that I like to call 'non verbal emotional mismanagement and lack of personal responsibility'. I know, it's a mouthful. It's also known as 'We are the way we are; Life is what it is and always will be'.
Well, I'm here to tell you, it does not have to be that way, or any way, if we do not wish it to be.
Enter Your Comfort Zone.
Fast forward through my life: Anger, self doubt, emotion stuffing, manipulation of relationships, anger, self-conciseness, anger …. Oh, did I mention anger? I felt little emotion save anger, to be honest. Relate?
I would coast through a few months, not realizing my comfort zone of stuffing emotions was grooming me to be a powder keg of raw, unfettered A N G E R. I’d blow at the simplest and most meaningless things. I’d be mean, ignore, and manipulate those around me. Then pretend like everything was fine - this was “just the way I was”. Why? Because I’d seen it in other family members - My Normal.
Not surprisingly - I had a nervous breakdown.
One of the first things you have to talk about when you see a professional mental health worker is your family history. Her first comment to me was; “Well, I think you need to start feeling, hunh?”
I was confused. I DO feel? I feel anger a lot.
“No, I mean all those other emotions like love, sadness, happiness, anger in the moment, betrayal, joy …” Wait a tick. I don’t feel those? OH MY GOD. No, I don’t. Because that’s just not COMFORTABLE.
“Deep sadness is the root of all anger issues.”
Then I felt it. The sadness. The sadness from not being able to be myself in ANY situation. I was trained to be a certain way, because that is how everyone else was. And I’d grown accustomed to these trainings as if they were natural, normal, and “just the way I was”.
Fast forward again …. I began meeting new people outside of the bubble of my life. People who’d been down this road and were actively breaking out of their Comfort Zones.
Let me ask you some questions:
How has “Being Just the Way You Are” been working for you?
What is holding you back from change?
What is the ONE THING you would change RIGHT NOW knowing that your Comfort Zone is the only thing in your way?
What kind of life would you choose if you didn’t HAVE to choose your Comfort Zone default? (Hint: Whatever life you want)
How many more times do you have to ask, “Why does this keep happening to me?” Before you seek active change?
Part of what I do, as a coach, and now as a purpose driven magazine editor is help you ask yourself some (sometimes hard) questions that bring you into a space of “unknown territory”. What if there was a guarantee that you would begin to see your life in a different way? You will be challenged, you will feel uncomfortable, and you will see a difference in your life.
You might even tell me to fuck off while reading some of the things I write about - but at least something shifted enough for you to feel that your comfort zone has you so landlocked that you simply cannot move.
Tired of your Comfort Zone Life? Start asking yourself some of the questions I asked ... think of ways to break the cycle. If you don't like your life - change it. Personal responsibility requires all of us to stop - listen - and shift our patterns so as to discontinue the perpetuation of our history.
This, my friends, is how we change our lives, and the world, one comfort zone at a time.
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About the Author: Tracy Loeppky is Our Editor and Fearless Leader. Just to name a few things she dabbles in; Backyard Farm Aficionado, Reiki Master, Purpose Driven Coach, Clairvoyant Medium, Author & Actor. A Women's Lifestyle Guru, who wanted so much more, that she simply started her own media outlet.