I know I’m a day late, but in keeping with the spooky season, I thought I should talk about things that scare us. I’m not necessarily talking about huge phobias or things like that- I’m talking about the fears we have that cause less severe anxiety, choice paralysis, contribute to avoidance, are irrational, and keep us from accomplishing our goals.
Growth happens outside of our comfort zones. The obvious thing about comfort zones is they are, well, comfortable. They keep us safe. They are known as opposed to unknown, and this familiarity creates a sense of security. There does come a time, though, when our comfort zones no longer serve our needs and change(s) need to happen. Change can be scary. Making choices can be scary. Trying something new can be scary- especially if it’s something we aren’t instantly good at on the first try.
What is that thing that scares you, that’s getting in the way of accomplishing your goals? What’s scary about it?
What would happen if you followed that fear? What if you did the thing, whatever that thing may be, but just did it scared?
What is the worst and best thing that could happen?
What is better for you- staying in your comfort zone, or venturing outside of it? Does it have to be all-or-nothing? Is there an in-between option?
Let’s look at a scale of 1-10 1 being just barely leaving your comfort zone, and 10 being the farthest away from your comfort zone you’ve ever been. Where are you currently trying to accomplish your goals? How did you reach that number? What would a number one above your current number look like/feel like? What would a number below your current number look like/feel like? What number do you want to, or need to, be at in order to accomplish your goals?
Going back to the all-or-nothing thinking of following fears, I want to say that following the fear and leaving your comfort zone doesn’t have to be a permanent thing. You could set a time for being in your comfort zone versus leaving it. What would stepping outside your comfort zone for five minutes look like? Thirty minutes? An hour? All afternoon? All day? A larger measure of time of your choosing?
Our comfort zones may also change when we follow the fear. It moves with us. Our comfort zones may expand or shift. What used to be comfortable may no longer be comfortable, and what was once uncomfortable may now be comfortable.
As you explore the fear of leaving your comfort zone, be gracious with yourself. Change takes time, and your comfort zone is a great place to practice self-care from. Self-Care is part of the wellness journey and is needed as we are growing and changing to accomplish our goals to avoid burn out.