Expanding Your Comfort Zone

expanding your comfort zone

Sometimes what we think of as our comfort zone is actually not all that comfortable. There’s something tricky about comfort, and that’s that anything we’re familiar with, we become acclimated to. Even if that thing isn’t actually very comfortable. So, maybe you had an abusive parent. Being in a relationship with someone who is abusive can feel comfortable simply because it’s familiar, even though it’s really not comfortable at all. 

So it’s important to be honest with yourself about your comfort zone–is it, actually comfortable??

You’re reading the transcript of an episode of the How to Be a Better Person podcast. If you’d rather listen, click the play button below.

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And you can find out by asking yourself: Do I truly feel at ease and my best? Or have I just gotten used to discomfort? 

If you’re not truly feeling at ease within the status quo of your life, it’s a great sign that it’s time to shift your comfort zone a bit. 

The only thing to keep in mind is that you may have to withstand a little discomfort as your comfort zone shifts and expands. It is temporary. And it is worth it to get to a place where you are truly more comfortable. 

Here’s an example of how expanding your comfort zone is worth the initial discomfort it may cause: 

I grew up in a family where we did not really talk about stuff. If you disagreed with someone you mostly bit your tongue, until someone blew up, and then you basically never talked about it again. My husband is talker-outer. I love this about him. You basically never have to wonder what he’s thinking because it comes right out his mouth. But, when we were first dating, I was so fricking exhausted by talking about everything as it happened. Literally, my jaws hurt. Sometimes he’d start addressing an issue and I’d just want to go lie down in a dark, quiet room.

Even though it was tiring, and new, and therefore uncomfortable at times, it was also exhilarating. It had a zing of recognition, that THIS is how life could be. We could live in a relationship with clear air because we were continually clearing it. I had to build some muscles, but my heart and my spirit recognized it as what I need to be comfortable in my relationship–and that helped me get through the discomfort of all. That. talking. 

So as you go about the work of expanding your comfort zone, expect that there will be some inconvenience along the way, and that inconvenience may cause you to bump up against some discomfort. 

Just keep in mind that expanding your comfort zone is worth some inconvenience

Because inconvenience is just part of the journey, like the toll you have to pay to get to the really good stuff. While you’re going through that inconvenience, soothe your nervous system with some of  the 5 hacks to make your space cozier and and 5 hacks to make your body cozier that I shared earlier this week so that you can bring your comfort zone along for the ride. 

Daily Tiny Assignment

Your tiny assignment is to do some thinking about a new level of comfort that you’d like to inhabit. What kinds of inconveniences can you imagine you might encounter along the way? If you’re thinking of joining the Great Resignation and quitting your job without totally knowing what you’ll do next, can you imagine reining in your spending for the next few to several months while you get your next income stream up to speed? Maybe getting comfortable with reading more and going to the library so you can save money on streaming subscriptions?

This is just one example–and you can’t necessarily foresee every inconvenience. But if you go into it executing that some things will be uncomfortable, you’ll be less likely to doubt yourself and jump ship before your comfort zone has a chance to catch up to you. 

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