We all have them.
Comfort zones are the playpen of our limitations.
For most of us, we exist within these boundaries only to be challenged throughout our lifetimes to leave them. On a long weekend in South Carolina’s low country, I opened the door to exit my comfort zone only to realize that our own personal growth does not require us to abandon what we already know. Our comfort zones are our own personal story lines. As such, to leave our story would alter more than the plot. If we erase where we have been, there simply is no story…no zone!
On my long weekend away, I had the opportunity to kayak in the river on the resort property. A river rich in wildlife and alligators! Not a big kayaker, I was hesitant to join my husband on this adventure. After all, when given the opportunity on previous occasions, I declined, dismissing my decision under the scope of it not being something that I would enjoy. Then it dawned on me. I did not have to leave my comfort zone in order to kayak with my husband on what seemed like a calm, beautiful river. All I needed to do was to expand upon it!
This tiny twist in my point of view had large impact not only on my day and the experience that I allowed into my life, but also on how I now view the limitations of my own comfort zone and those of my clients. We don’t need to abandon ship, to run from what we know. Instead, we need to be willing to e-x-p-a-n-d upon the borders of these boundaries to allow in our own personal growth.
3 Ways to Flip the Script:
- Think Like a Beginner: We don’t have to know how to do something or to do it perfectly in order to allow in the experience. I knew that I would not be an expert kayaker, quite the opposite, and yet I knew that I wanted the experience, I wanted the challenge, I wanted to share this time with my husband. The wonderful thing about being a beginner is that you do just that…you begin!
- Fast Forward the Moment: Expanding upon our comfort zones allows us to live in the moment and to let change in. Having trouble deciding to do the unknown? Fast forward in your mind to just beyond the thing you want to do. Assume that you allowed this experience in your life. How will you feel when you have completed it? I know that I was very proud of myself for saying YES and not no to this 90-minute adventure. Our personal growth is tangible and measureable in the successes we allow into our lives. What can you do?
- Disrupt Yourself: If we always do the familiar we always get the known. Yet, think about it. Today’s known was yesterday’s unknown. We are not born knowing how to do everything. We learn. We grow. We expand upon our experiences. When we do this, we allow in opportunity and possibility. In my practice, I call this fearing “less” which is different from being fearless. Fears are a part of our individual makeup. Challenging those fears so that we can share our comfort zone with them, pushes the boundaries of that zone and rewards us with transformation and personal renewal.