The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

The Comfort Zone

The words jarred me: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  It was a quote that another coach was using as a tag line and I wondered how many people think that this is what coaching is about – “It scares you?  Then DO IT!”  I’d hate a coach that’s only interested in taking me where I don’t want to go.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about the importance of being able to visit our Discomfort Zone.  But it’s also important that we spend time at other end of the spectrum – that place where all is familiar and, yes, comfortable – what I call my Comfort Zone.    

I love my Comfort Zone.   From this gentle place, where I’m aligned with life and life is aligned with me, struggle disappears and my talents have room to bloom. Its here I connect with my deepest desires and become familiar with what’s important to me.  When we’re in our Comfort Zone who we are is most clearly evident, it’s a rich place of certainty where we can explore the depths of our nature and talents.  It’s from the ease of my Comfort Zone that I discovered my love for writing.

When I was in college I took classes in sociology because they were easy A’s for me.  I enjoy people watching and sociology seemed like an extension of that, to me the concepts were simple and intuitive.  But because I’d grown up believing that school should be hard, it never occurred to me to major in sociology, it was just too easy.  How ridiculous – I wonder what my life would have been if I’d picked a major, like sociology, that I was already passionate about.    

But don’t get me wrong, I still see the value in being able to navigate my Discomfort Zone.  While I protect, honor and love my Comfort Zone, I’m fully aware that living in this world requires that I accept the uneasiness of doing things I don’t want to do.  My writing comes from my Comfort Zone, but for me to take it to the next step (my blog), and the next step after that (a book?) I also have to be willing to venture into my Discomfort Zone.

It’s just that we get so hung up on the concept that life should be hard, that scary is good and comfortable is bad that we can miss getting to know who we are when we’re in our element.  And when that happens we end up ignoring the best part of ourselves – the part that holds the unique potential that we alone have been blessed with.  

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4 responses to “The Comfort Zone

  1. Beth September 28, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Melinda, once again you have touched on a truth that is so important. You have expressed it beautifully and each of us need this reminder. I think of all the times in my life when I have really enjoyed just being in that place of knowing that is comfortable and easy. It comes from a deep connection to what is most important to us. It is my experience that we need to take that with us when we enter the discomfort zone otherwise we get lost and fearful of not finding our way home. Taking risks is a big part of life and adventure is part of the excitment. Still knowing who we are and what is comfortable and easy is what makes the risks and adventures truely valuable experiences. Thanks for always offering the balance of both in your continued exploration and writing. I look forward to your book!

  2. Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) September 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I love this balanced point of view, Melinda. There is value in inhabiting both the comfort and the discomfort zone.

    I have stayed in my comfort zone way too long and am so enjoying the exploration outside. It is making me challenge beliefs I hold about how much I can handle and what I can accomplish. It’s an exciting time, and I am learning so much.

    And sometimes I need to pull back and be comfortable again.

    • Melinda September 29, 2010 at 9:39 am

      Hi Gail,

      Yeah, the discomfort zone can be a wonderous place…and it can be really exhausting!

      I’ve struggled for so much of my life against who I am that just relaxing into being me, doing what I like and knowing it’s ok, is a luxury.

      Thanks for your comments!

      <3 Melinda

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