When You Find Yourself outside Your Comfort Zone

Oct 12 09:53 2007 Michaela Scherr Print This Article

You've just landed a new job, your relationship has just changed, or a new learning experience has been thrust upon you.  What happens now?

Life is an ongoing learning experience for many and whilst I personally get immense enjoyment from this especially when it involves reading and researching (anything),Guest Posting when I start the ‘doing’, it has, on the odd occasion, produced some interesting and uncomfortable feelings. 

What I’m talking about is the feeling of physical discomfort in the chest area, frustration, tears, ranting and raving, and immobilisation. 

The physical pain I experienced within my heart area was very real and uncomfortable when I wrote my first newsletter; when I first designed and wrote copy for my website; when a close relationship was breaking apart; I literally experience this pain whenever there is a ‘first time event’ or major issue I need to work through.  The upside of this is once something new is mastered, the physical pain miraculously disappears and once again life becomes comfortable. 

It’s a comfort zone thing.  The comfort zone is a place of security; comfort (naturally); safety; and protection.  Stepping outside the zone can be scary and lonely.  It involves the stretching and the growing of our Self; and this where physical pain can manifest. 

Remember back to when you were little and your legs or knees ached.  Maybe the grown ups told you these were growing pains.  This is what I was told and for me, stepping outside the comfort zone and experiencing new things is much the same.

The positive aspect of working through all this discomfort is the end result – Mastery!  When mastery is finally reached a side product might be increased inner strength, new-found confidence and a feeling of liberation.  These feelings will be different for each individual.

This doesn’t only apply to the ‘big stuff’.  It applies across the board, no matter how big or small.

Below I’ve listed 5 easy things to help become comfortable with the uncomfortable, starting with the most important:

1.  Start by noticing what you notice.  Each time you do something different notice what your reaction to it is and where this reaction manifests within your body (breathing rate, tightening of shoulders, tingling feeling etc)    

2.  Keep a journal or diary of what you’re experiencing (feelings, reactions, inner dialogue etc) as you continue to learn and grow through stepping out of your comfort zone.

—    Write at least three pages for one month (or more if you like) in your journal or diary each morning about your ever expanding comfort zone.   When you’ve done that, reflect on what you wrote starting from page one, and notice any patterns, useful or not.

—    Use a different coloured pen for things that worked for you in becoming more masterful.  Colour all positive statements in big, bold lettering.

—    Use a grey coloured pen to make note of what definitely did not work.  Reflect on these statements and reframe into how things could work with a developing a new strategy.

3.  Ask yourself probing questions around your growing and stretching experience.  For example:

—    “What needs to happen now to make this less painful for me?”

—    “What are the benefits for me in mastering this new thing (relationship, job, task etc)?”

—    “If I give up now, where will I end up?”

—    “What am I learning from this experience?”

—    “What am Inot learning from this experience?”  “Am I repeating a pattern which no longer serves me well?”

4.  Reframe negative self-talk into more upbeat and positive speak.  When positive self talk is practised often, the more comfortable it will become for you, until it’s fully integrated and natural once again.

5.  Know it takes time and patience to become comfortable with a new comfort zone.   Unfortunately there is no instant fix or ‘cure’; I would have discovered it by. The quicker your mastery level rises the faster the comfort zone returns.

In dealing with uncomfortable feelings, some suggestions to help deal with this may be to learn meditation within a group; do some breath work; have some transformational coaching sessions to help find inner peace; or find a flower essence practitioner near you.  There are many ways of dealing with discomfort; allow your creative genius to find the right way for you.

The outcome of your efforts will be living how you want to live, and a knowing that you’ve achieved this through your courage to expand and grow.   

A very close friend of mine once said to me “Become comfortable with the uncomfortable”.  This has since become something of a mantra for me during my own uncomfortable periods when I step outside that familiar comfort zone I love so well.

Nothing in life is permanent and this includes experiencing physical discomfort when the comfort zone is no longer there to keep us safe and secure.  Whilst resistance to change can increase our discomfort level; going with the flow of learning and growing can make life that much more interesting.

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About Article Author

Michaela Scherr
Michaela Scherr

Michaela is a Transformational Coach, Intuitive and writer from Australia who is totally committed to helping others create positive and action oriented changes to their lives.


Michaela is the author of several e-books and many articles.  Find out more at http://www.michaelascherr.com/.

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