I really enjoyed this post from Barb Patterson. It really got me thinking about how my thinking about feeling uncomfortable can stop me from trying to do, public speaking for example.
And what’s true for me could well be true for you. What would you do if you allowed yourself to get out of your comfort zone?
““Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone” – Neale Donald Walsch
There are a lot of quotes about getting out of your comfort zone. In my self-help days, these quotes would have the feel of a battle cry. They would incite a feeling of “Yes, I should do that”. That’s the way. Push past fears, put your big girl panties on and go for it. If you wanted something bad enough or you were really committed, you’d do whatever it takes including getting outside of your comfort zone.
When I started to explore and learn about the relationship between the quality of our minds and the quality of our lives and our results, one of the first things I became aware of was the amount of stress I was living in. I saw that my striving, pushing and “make it happen” attitude were actually keeping me from more states of flow and well-being.
I began to see my internal revved up state for what it was – a busy mind. I saw there was a distinction between adrenaline, restlessness and the joy & fulfillment that comes when we are engaged fully with a freer mind. That distinction has led to new levels of insights, connection, creativity and many wonderful new experiences. It’s been a huge gift.
As a result, I’ve had a bit of an aversion to any ideas or quotes that have that old feeling of “make it happen” push or strive.
However, the last month or so, I’ve started to see the idea of ” getting out of our comfort zone” in a different way.
What if I could be more comfortable being uncomfortable? Getting out of my comfort zone has gone from a ‘self-help’ mantra to a deeper understanding of our own potential.
While it’s true that in a freer mind, with less on our minds, we are more at ease and comfortable in our skin, it’s also true that we do not need to avoid or fear any feeling. All feeling is transient. We feel our thinking and thought is fluid which means our feelings are fluid.
What would you do if you were ok being uncomfortable? What experiences would you allow yourself if you knew you could handle any feeling? Are there things you’re not doing because it makes you uncomfortable?
Now, I’m not suggesting you ignore it and just “do it”. However, I do think we often limit ourselves because we do not like feeling uncomfortable.
As often happens when we are seeing something new, we see it everywhere. What’s that saying, “We teach best what we need to learn for ourselves”? Over the last few weeks, this has been somewhat of a theme I’ve seen with my clients and friends.
I started to notice all the things I was avoiding, or my clients were avoiding because we did not like a feeling.
We make our world small, our possibilities more limited, because we prefer being comfortable or knowing what to expect. We don’t try something new or go for something we want because we feel unsure or insecure.
Here are some examples…
I would not try different kinds of workout routines because they sounded “hard”. Ummm…isn’t that the point of working out and getting stronger? It may sound funny, but it was stopping me even though I would like to be healthier and more fit.
A friend of mine realized that she was avoiding online dating because she did not like feeling awkward.
A client realized that she was limiting potential new job opportunities because she did not want to feel uncertain. However, she really wants to spread her wings.
Another client was hesitating with a new business model because she was afraid of the feeling of failure. Yet, this new model could potentially triple her earning potential.
I could keep going for myself and what I see with my clients. We make our worlds more limited because we avoid certain feelings. We want to experience ourselves fresh and new and tap into new potential, yet we don’t want to feel certain ways.
We give ourselves a limited bandwidth of feelings. We protect ourselves from feeling awkward, insecure or incompetent and therefore we do not expand, learn or discover how strong and powerful we really are.
Beneath the temporary experience of our feelings lies our deeper nature. This is the constant. Our feelings are fluid. They pass. No feeling state is permanent.
When we remember this, we naturally start to experience more of our well-being and our inner strength. We see that we can handle a wider range of feelings and emotions. We do not need to be afraid of them. They are nothing more than energy moving through us.
We see that our feeling, our experience, is momentary and underneath our moment-to-moment experience is our true power. Our essence. It gives us what we need to rise to the occasion. We begin to realize we are ok, no matter what happens. Our well-being is not at risk.
This becomes a huge resource for us. We begin to give ourselves more room to go for our heart’s desires. We have more confidence in ourselves because we are less worried about feelings or needing to protect ourselves from certain types of feelings.
We get good at feeling insecure, awkward, nervous or being in the unknown. We see there is no “boogie man”. We stop avoiding and our world opens up.
What would you try or do if you knew you could handle the feeling? If you knew beneath your aversion to certain types of feelings or beneath your preferences for certain feelings, lies new strength and potential?
What would you do if you allowed yourself to get out of your comfort zone?”
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