My dad was a heating contractor, I worked him for a short time in my twenties. There is a spot on a thermostat where neither heating or cooling need to click on. It’s known as “the comfort zone” or “the dead zone”. Think about that for a second. The. Dead. Zone. (More on The Comfort Zone – or Inner Alien)
Today I am thinking about my comfort zone. It’s where I live. I rarely NEVER stretch it. Its my warm cozy, soft, dark, but not too dark den of everything is just right. Living in my comfort zone has most certainly kept me comfortable in some regards. But it has made me restless, and it hasn’t made me happy. Funny, that unhappy can be comfortable. Comfortable is easy. Uncomfortable is hard. Comfort has contributed a lot to my weight. I bet if you reflect for a minute you will agree that comfort has contributed to yours too. This dead zone mindset has to be broken. I think it’s the most important chain to break in the journey to healthy living.
There are lots of emotions that well up inside our comfort zone when we attempt – or even THINK of attempting something uncomfortable. Fear? Guilt? Unworthiness? Anger? There are more but those are mine. Feeling uncomfortable often makes us feel discouraged. I tend to give up when I feel discouraged. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy, really. Feeling discouraged makes me feel I can’t, I give up so I don’t. Typing that sentence, I had a light bulb moment. Comfort is tied to grit. When my daughter is discouraged with her math homework and throws her pencil and yells “I CAN’T DO IT” I always tell her to say “I can’t do it YET”. I have never applied this thinking to my own situations. Is feeling uncomfortable a sufficient reason for not doing something? Not doing things kinda puts us in the “dead zone”! I don’t care what goal you’ve set for yourself…. Lose 100 lbs… start a new career…. Write a book…. Start a blog, you’ll never achieve it by giving up as soon as its uncomfortable.
I think the comfort zone in our minds served a purpose in the days of hunters/gatherers. It surely served a purpose to protect against getting eaten by the carnivores or drowning in fast moving waters or falling off mountains. But now, in my ever evolved life it has been stopping me from everything that is seven the slightest bit uncomfortable. It makes me feel justified in making excuses: it’s too hot, too cold, too wet, too slippery, too many bears to go for a walk. Its too expensive, too much work, no one will eat it, everyone will complain, I’ll just throw it out if I learn to cook healthy meals.
But you know what I have been noticing? Cool things don’t happen in my comfort zone (neither do HOT things). The comfort zone is always the same. If you visit my Pinterest page you will see motivational quotes about the comfort zone. My favourite is: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. So, the first leg of my journey is to expand my comfort zone.
How will I expand my comfort zone?
- Say yes more often!
- Really listen to the excuses I make and evaluate if they are true or if its my comfort zone bristling.
- Do (at least) one thing every day that is good for me that I don’t really want to do (go for a walk, drink apple cider vinegar etc)
- Learn something new.
Tell me in the comments, how will you expand your comfort zone?