Who doesn’t love their comfort zone?
You know the place; where it’s all cosy, warm, snuggly and safe, very safe!
When you are battling a chronic condition, our comfort zone is our sanctuary. It is the place where we know our limitations. We recognise our abilities, so don’t really have to challenge ourselves too much. Nothing much happens in our comfort zone and we are OK with that.
Our comfort zone allows us to just be, where we are at, right now. In our comfort zone, we do what we have always done. Have the same coping techniques that may work on some days but not on others. We rely on the same medication because the doctor says that is what we should be taking. We accept what they say because, after all, they are the “expert”.
Yep, our comfort zone is certainly safe and comfortable but it is also a place where nothing grows. No hopes, no spark, no incentives and no change. Over time, left in our comfort zone we will basically stagnate!
The definition of stagnate is to “cease developing, become inactive or dull. Do nothing, become sluggish, lie dormant. Be inert, decline, deteriorate and fall – does this sound familiar?
When we are told that we have a chronic condition, that is ever changing and incurable, it is understandable that there is an element of resignation. I know certainly I have days where I think why bother? But the reality is, that if we settle and choose to remain in our comfort zone, then we may as well give up all hope of anything better.
Just tap “comfort zone” into Google and you will inundated with quotes about there being “no growth in your comfort zone”. How “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and “great things never came from your comfort zone”. The reality is every single one of them is true. The one that resonates with me is this quote by Albert Einstein:
He is right, it is completely insane for us to expect any respite from our suffering, if we continue to do the same things that we have always done without any results. If we continue to eat unhealthy food, then no prizes for guessing we won’t be feeling better any time soon. If we resign ourselves to the fact that we can’t exercise because its too painful, then we can expect to seize up and give ourselves more mobility issues in the future.
I completely get it, life is tough. We are in never-ending pain, our body is fatigued constantly and the inclination for stepping outside our comfort zone is non existent. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
But and it’s a big but…..remember Einstein’s quote. If we don’t make changes, everything stays the same. We stay stuck, we stay sick and we stagnate. Horrible word isn’t it, stagnate – but then so is our life if we aren’t brave enough to just look past what we have always done.
Another quote for you and I love this one. “Success begins with just one step outside of your comfort zone.” No, this quote is life changing, so I am going to say it again in bold:
“Success begins with just one step outside of your comfort zone.”
Seriously, just one step outside of your comfort zone has the potential to make a huge difference in managing your condition. Just challenging ourselves to try an improve our life is so important. Think about it, you have a medication or a protocol that works some of the time, what if you could find an alternative that has results all of the time?
Do we put limits on ourselves because somebody told us we should? Do we miss out on family parties and social events because we perceive we won’t be able to cope?
What if for one day, you could overturn your regular behaviour, push the boundaries and try something new? To try something different – how do you know it wouldn’t end up being the best decision ever for you and your condition?
So, today I urge you to be brave. To take one tiny step outside of your comfort zone and do something different. What do you have to lose? What is the worst that can happen? As Eleanor Roosevelt said:
“Do one thing every day that scares you”
There is a beautiful big world out there just waiting for you to be brave, be bold and take that step out of your comfort zone – remember, just one step!!
Thank you for these words! I totally get it, and I totally work to venture outside my comfort zone when I am feeling good (and also have time for recovery in the event of unforeseen repercussions!) If you tried going outside your comfort zone and it was disastrous, don’t do that thing again. Do something else. Or if something about the experience was okay, then try doing less of it. Bring an ally with you who will not only understand that you may need to dip out, but will actually help you escape by fending off other well-wishers who try to make you outstay your body’s welcome.
Thanks so much for your comment. You are absolutely right, not everything will work when you step outside of your comfort zone. But that should not mean that we stop trying to push for change in our condition. There are so many options out there for making our lives a little easier, it is just a case of stepping out and finding what works.
Getting stuck in your comfort zone can sometimes be blissful and feel safe, and other times feel frustrating and claustrophobic. It’s so hard to get out of, to reach beyond it, take a risk, but you’re right, it’s also incredibly important to. Fantastic post, I loved it!
Thanks for the response Caz, and yes comfort zone is the easy option. But as we know only too well that life isn’t easy and we have to take some risks along the way. We grow from the scary stuff 🙂