You know the place; where it’s all cozy, 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 recognize 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 be 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 it’s 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 and 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 behavior, 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. 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:
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!!
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