I’m sure you’ve heard that we have to break out of our comfort zone many times. That there’s where magic, learning and incredible experiences happen.
It is true. If we want to grow and excel, we need to challenge ourselves, get out of our comfort zone and overcome our fears.
But what happens when someone is ALWAYS out of their comfort zone?
Sometimes we confuse leaving our comfort zone to help our growth with being busy all the time and doing as many things as possible. We might overload ourselves with an infinite number of tasks and set goals that are anything but realistic.
However, if we want to have energy to get out of our comfort zone, we also need to ‘charge batteries’ sometimes. We need to spend some time in our ‘safe world’, where we don’t feel challenged or exposed. We need to take care of ourselves when we need it, without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Taking care of oneself is as important for growth as growth itself. If you struggle with self-care, like most women do, I recommend you read this article on how to start taking care of yourself.
Balance is the key. If we never step out of our comfort zone, we won’t grow, we won’t thrive.
But if we spend too much time out of our comfort zone, it might have a negative impact on our well-being.
We might need to learn to spend more time ‘being’ and less time ‘doing’.
Also, we need time to integrate the learning that happens out of the comfort zone. It takes time to assimilate the challenging experiences, and that can only happen where we feel safe and relaxed.
Each person grows and learns at a different pace, and that needs to be respected. Something that we thought ourselves incapable of (like public speaking on traveling on your own) can become part of our comfort zone when we’ve done it a number of times. We become more comfortable in situations that started as a real challenge.
But that takes time and the process will be different for different people.
Also, the experiences that happen outside of our comfort zone normally require an extra effort. We might need to prepare physically or mentally for them, we might need to make an extra effort to overcome our fears or they might just require more energy and concentration from us at the beginning.
So it is necessary to go back to the comfort zone sometimes and just rest and ‘recover’ from those ‘intense’ experiences.
So how can we go back to our comfort zone when we need it?
1. Understand why you need to spend so much time out of your comfort zone.
What happens when you stop? What happens if you’re doing nothing? Why do I need to achieve so many goals? What for? If you struggle going back to your comfort zone, there might be some beliefs that are stopping you from taking a well deserved rest. In this article you can find out more about how to identify limiting beliefs and how to get rid of them.
2. Give yourself permission to rest.
Enjoy the moments of relaxation where ‘being’ is more important than ‘doing’. Some times we self-impose tasks that are not so urgent or necessary. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we forget we also have the right to rest. Write a note to yourself that says “I deserve to rest”/”I have the right to take a break” (or something that resonates with you). Keep it visible on a post-it or piece of paper so you remember next time you get caught in ‘busyness’.
3. Learn to celebrate the goals you achieve before setting the next ones.
Some times we spend a lot of time and energy on achieving a goal and when we achieve it we think “OK, done, so what’s next?” Allow yourself to spend time celebrating your results. Take some time to enjoy your achievements before thinking about what’s next in your list.
4. Put some time in your diary for rest/celebration/integration days.
When was the last time you had one of those? When was the last time you went on a trip/spa day or spent a day just doing nothing to celebrate the end of a project? Or had a well deserved break after an intense period of hard work?
Book those days in advance and add them to your calendar. Make them a priority. If you rest and have mental breaks regularly (before you burn out) you will be way more productive and you will have more energy for the next peak of work.
5. Prioritse your well-being.
Growing and challenging yourself is great but it should never affect your health. Whenever you start feeling stressed or you start noticing it in your body, it is time to stop and think if you are putting too much pressure on yourself. Are you challenging yourself as a healthy way of self-development or are you going too far?
Your well-being should ALWAYS be a priority, including your emotional well-being. Here is an article about how to manage your emotions that you might find useful for releasing emotional stress.
I hoped you like it, if you have questions leave a comment below!
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