We’re drowning and don’t realize it.
Instead of water, we call it
“the comfort zone.”
– P. June Diehl
Many feelings can impact us in ways to keep us inside our comfort zones. Unworthiness is the foundation of this wall. Other feelings compound and build our comfort zone walls higher.
Here are some things (remember the nasty voices?) to look out for:
Don’t do this. You’re going to hurt yourself. (fear)
Who do you think you are? (guilt)
You don’t deserve this (unworthiness)
Don’t ask people for things. They’ll just let you down. (hurt)
You can’t….<fill in the blank>… (discouragement)
Do any of these sound familiar? Do you listen to them? Believe them? I try to hear what those voices say to me. Hey, maybe they have something of value, or maybe not, but I can’t tell until I listen, evaluate, and decide how I’m going to react to that voice. (Also known as THE SHIFT!)
I also use my intuition as a part of my evaluation. This is another listening process – one of listening inside. This is a big factor, or me, in coming to a decision.
Each one of us has the power – WE make the decision how to react.
Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waiting for, it is a thing to be achieved.
– William Jennings Bryan
The comfort zone does have a purpose. As infants and toddlers our parents wrapped their own comfort zones around us for protection. This was a good thing.
In order to keep us safe, our parents taught us FEAR. This can be translated: Don’t do anything new. When we take the lessons our parents taught us to the extreme, we throw another twenty thousand bricks on the comfort zone wall.
When we did what our parents told us not to do, this might translate into guilt. When we were caught and “corrected” we began to feel bad, wrong, naughty, no good – and this grew into feeling unworthy.
We learned from the adults around us about feeling hurt. When someone didn’t deliver, hurt walked in on the emotional rollercoaster.
Sometimes this feeling of hurt can turn into anger. Some people lash out while others blame or withdraw. All the while we learn and throw up higher and higher walls on our comfort zones.
The environment and our heredity shape to make us who we are – who we become from where we came, our experiences. Our reactions today are the result of where we came from. Our reactions to the fears, guilt, hurt, unworthiness, and anger grew out of a place that was meant to keep us safe.
There is no blame in this.
We are who we are. BUT once we realize that we don’t need to stay in our comfort zones, we realize that we also have other qualities: courage, compassion, vision, wisdom….and many others.
So I say to myself: I accept who I am, all my gifts including what some might call limitations, for I need these also to help create inner balance.
I’m not a big one for taking risks. Baby steps allow me to function outside my comfort zone. When I wish for change and growth, I keep my focus here. I know myself well enough to know that if I leap now I’m setting myself up to become overwhelmed, to fail.
Baby steps for me equals success.
And I will rejoice in each of those steps.
Challenge for today: What do those nasty voices say to you? Do you question them? How do you respond back to them? How might you use them to MOVE OUT of your comfort zone?