Recently, Diana and I spent the afternoon free climbing on some rather large rocks. The views were amazing and the drop offs were breathtaking. As we made our way up one particular rock formation, we stopped and began to analyze our decision to climb any further. (We had just re-entered our comfort zone) First, we began to make excuses why we would not be able to climb this specific rock. Next, we accessed our justification program, the sole purpose of which is to grant us permission to validate our excuses. After several minutes of this disjointed mind chatter, we made the decision to face our fear, leave our comfort zone and continue climbing. We made it to the top and we were also able to experience the additional euphoria of having successfully conquered our fears!
“Comfort Zoners” live safe, fear based lives. Here are several of the characteristics common to someone who operates within their comfort zone.
*”Comfort Zoners” are often hesitant to seek out new, personal relationships. They tend to have strong emotional attachments regarding how they are viewed by others. As a rule they will shy away from random conversations with people they do not know. They spend the majority of their time with people they deem to be “safe” . They are not comfortable being vulnerable. THE CHALLENGE… I encourage you to introduce yourself to a total stranger and engage in a conversation with this person. This exercise will allow you to experience firsthand, the non-threatening nature of a human interaction.
*”Comfort Zoners” are routine oriented. Exploring new opportunities, going on spontaneous adventures or trying a new type of food can be a tremendous stretch for someone who is routine dependent. When encouraged to try something new or different, the routine oriented “Comfort Zoner” will often make excuses, justifications or even become angry and demeaning towards the person who invited them to take part in the “new” activity. THE CHALLENGE…I encourage you to invite someone (that you have a relationship/friendship with) to participate in an activity that you have resisted in the past. This will help you build your muscles of confidence. *FYI… it may come as a shock to them if you have turned them down in the past.
*”Comfort Zoners” project their fears onto others. “Comfort Zoners” engage in a great deal of negative self talk. They are normally insecure and they frequently offer other people unsolicited advice and criticism. They are masterful at deflection. “Comfort Zoners” can harbor a great deal of anger and jealousy towards friends and family members who they perceive “have it all.” THE CHALLENGE…Identify a friend or family member who has just had a significant “life victory.” Call or personally visit them to congratulate them on their “win”. Genuinely express how proud you are of their accomplishment. Remember, it does not always have to be about you!
We will ALL experience fear! How we address fear when it comes up will ultimately determine the quality of our life experience. Remember that FEAR stands for FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. Each time you face and conquer your fear you have removed another brick from the wall surrounding your comfort zone.
I look forward to your feedback!