Let’s face it…we all have one. And we want to stay in it. Don’t even think about trying to push us out of it. Right? I don’t even want to walk the line on my comfort zone sometimes. God will push me to edge of my comfort zone, but most of the time, I stand there with my arms crossed, tense, resisting the push, not realizing that if I will just have a little faith, the world opens up on the other side of my comfort zone!
The way I see it, this principle can be applied to all areas of our lives: relationships, work(art in my case), and fitness/health. Let’s break it down by these three categories with specific personal examples.
I’m not a naturally outgoing person, so when I am forced to make friends or meet new people, it causes me some anxiety. I’ve learned to adapt and live with it, but I clearly am “outside my comfort zone” in this type of scenario. What I’ve learned through our move to KC, which basically turned my world upside down and placed us all most definitely outside our comfort zone, is that I had to trust and have faith to push past that feeling of anxiety and discomfort. I did, and the rewards have been great!
We are happier as a family than we were before, and if you had asked me if that would be the case, I wouldn’t have said with certainty that it would. But my attitude towards the move was one of faith and trust that this was part of the plan, and when God firmly placed us outside our comfort zone, he then showed us that his plan is always the best one.
I don’t even know where to begin on this one. When I left Georgia, I hadn’t even started oil painting to speak of. I trusted that little nudge that said “try oil painting” after we moved here. Yes, my little demons of doubt wanted me to stay inside my comfort zone, but I listened and, ta da, here I am painting almost on a dailly basis with an art Web site!
This one is funny. I came to KC with an idea in my head that I would never find any dance classes that compared to the ones I took in Atlanta. I spent weeks searching online for dance classes that catered to adults and called around. I was discouraged and thought, well, I’ll just join the YMCA and stay fit and see what happens. I went to the Y and after the first pilates class I took, I spoke to the instructor after class about dance. She referred me to The Culture House.
I took one trial class, which didn’t end of being the right class for me–and in that class, I was WAY outside of my comfort zone, surrounded by advanced level teenagers. But I still listened and persisted. I tried this class called “Aerofunk,” which I thought was going to be like “Jazzercise,” so I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea. But, I stayed outside my comfort zone and showed up.
After the first class, it was evident that once again, God was holding my hand as I walked outside the lines of my own personal comfort zone. Aerofunk is a quirky, unique group of many (mostly) middle-aged women, united in our love of dance, led by an amazing Christian instructor. It seemed like a direct gift designed specifically for me!
But if I had given up and said “I’m uncomfortable with this.” Well, who knows where I’d be? Maybe 15 pounds heavier and miserable!
GIVE IT A TRY
So you can see from personal experience that I have been given a taste of what it feels like to stretch outside my comfort zone when I feel that nudge. Many more opportunities exist for me to reach beyond my comfort zone. How about you? I say give it a try!