• Christine Roslund, LMFT, CPC

Staying In and Steping Out of Your Comfort Zone


Just think of all of those times you’ve had to deal with unexpected situations, problems or issues. You managed them, even though it wasn’t what you would have preferred to do. You were pushed out of your comfort zone and into a place where you needed to make big decisions or take a stand in some area that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Looking back, you can probably see the value in those experiences. They taught you more about who you are and what you’re capable of. You learned that you can live outside your comfort zone if you need to.

Often, people don’t like to step outside their comfort zone. They fear not knowing what might happen to them. They ask themselves questions like: “Am I going to be safe?”, “Will I regret this decision?”, “Where will I end up – in a better or worse situation?” For example, you might be in a less-than-fulfilling relationship but choose to stay in it because you aren’t sure what the future holds. Or you dread going to your job but feel you have to stay rather than come up with an exit plan. It can be scary to take life-altering risks. Depending on what’s at stake for you and what it means to you often determines whether you will or will not take certain risks. This is understandable! You don’t want to be caught swimming upstream by creating extra challenging situations for yourself if you don’t have to.

On the other hand, when you take the right risks, they make you feel alive and more energized. This is when you allow new things into your life. Stepping out of your comfort zone and following what’s true to your core being can bring those positive enlivened feelings to the fore. When you’re living from your true self, aligned and in flow, you are coming from that deeper part of yourself that will allow you to be satiated in a way you couldn’t be otherwise. Many of my clients who desire to grow within themselves take on practices of moving outside their comfort zone. They have discovered that moving through their fear actually allows them to step into a new place – and a better place – in their lives.

Learning how to find the right balance of stepping outside your comfort zone and staying within it has much to do with the life satisfaction you experience. If you tend to not venture outside your comfort zone you may feel more safe, complacent, certain and protected. If you live too far outside your comfort zone you may feel vulnerable, out of control, ungrounded and disconnected. Creating a balance between the two is the goal!

Here’s an exercise that can help you discover where you fall are this spectrum which is the first step in seeing which direction you may want to lean.

  1. How do you rate yourself on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (very much) regarding 1) Your level of living within your comfort zone and 2) living outside your comfort zone?

  2. Rate yourself on how satisfied you feel in your life on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (very satisfied).

  3. What is one thing you can do to live more within your comfort zone, and one thing you can do to live outside your comfort zone that will make your life satisfaction number higher?

  4. Commit to doing those two things.

Finding your sweet spot can help you feel like you’re living right where you’d like to be.

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