It may be time to step out of your comfort zone. Are you currently facing a situation that you may have outgrown or that no longer suits you? Are you asking yourself why you are feeling such discomfort? As we mentioned in our article dedicated to change, moving towards a new situation can be very uncomfortable. Our reptilian brain convinces us that our purpose is to remain safe and survive. This means maintaining the status quo at all costs and entering into fight or flight mode whenever challenged. Establishing steps to best push out of the comfort zone is part of Aura & Meta’s work. But first let’s explore what discomfort means and how it contributes to personal and professional growth.
What discomfort means
When we avoid stepping out of our comfort zone, we seek the absence of risks and a life in a controlled environment. This cherished feeling of safety, especially during these times riddled with uncertainty, may induce a sense of safety, but only for some time. Then, we get that gut feeling, which may be interpreted as something we already knew, something our subconscious mind is reminding us of. This is why it is important to stay open to the feelings of need for change or to shift from our current position.
It is a general misconception that growth, in all aspects of life, is a regularly ascending slope, however it is actually impossible to standardise this deeply personal process. This is where stepping out of the comfort zones comes in, is a part of our natural evolution. Why do we need discomfort in our lives? Because it is often here to signal a new step into growth.
Discomfort as an adult also means going back to being a complete beginner at something. Society tells us we must be experts in our fields or have sufficient knowledge and experience by a certain age. From an executive coaching point of view, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone engages potential for significant growth. The uncertainty of starting a business is scary or taking on more responsibility might be unsettling but both cases offer an abundance of learning experiences. Apprehension may be a strong catalyst.
Acknowledging our right to failure
As noted previously, lack of accountability might mean distancing ourselves from our responsibilities, perhaps failing to see the bigger picture behind our actions, particularly in the long term. Are you engaging in avoidance or procrastination? These behaviours may signal a lack of accountability. On the contrary, taking action everyday and being able to look back at the progress we have made overtime supports an optimistic and accountable mindset. As a daily practice or a useful tool in challenging times, holding ourselves accountable fosters our ability to bounce back in the face of hardship.
Failure is part of success, if we haven’t failed a couple of times, have we even succeeded? Our society entertains a cult for bravery where acting with courage essentially means not having any fears. This is not quite the case when looking at personal and professional growth.When faced with a new situation and many uncertain parameters, it is completely normal to experience apprehension or fear. However, we can choose to move through it rather than let it plunge us into paralysis.
First, by voicing and acknowledging our fear, we may get to the root of them. This stage may lead back to unresolved trauma, which we look to release during kinesiology sessions at Aura & Meta. Second, it is about understanding the outcome we wish to see through pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone. Because every experience presents a success in what they have taught us.
Under the right mindset, worrying about negative outcomes can actually be productive. By that we mean that by identifying exactly what is causing you anxiety about the situation can help you safeguard it. By accounting for all possible outcomes, negative or positive, we may approach a new or challenging situation with the right tools and a proactive mindset. For example, in the case of experiencing anxiety towards a new collaboration, we may establish clear communication and a detailed roadmap checklist so as to show we are committed towards making sure everything goes smoothly.
In short, thinking hard about what could go wrong when we step out of our comfort zone but also what could go right, helps foresee blocks that arise along the way. Working on circumventing the issues means adopting a wider reaching vision, away from the reptilian fight or flight mode. Once we have managed that, our minds are more open to unexplored solutions and possibilities.
Finding your strength in discomfort
Getting out of the comfort zone means trying something new, possibly challenging our beliefs about a situation, our abilities or others’ behaviour. You may have heard the tale of the lobster that needs to break through its shell as it matures, quite a literal, and painful, take on growth. Similarly, we regularly experience discomfort at different stages of our lives. The experience of lockdown may ring true with the lobster’s growth cycle. We’ve had to stay at home in order to keep ourselves physically safe from the threat of a deadly virus, yet we are given an opportunity to grow. By taking the time to look within and face what is uncomfortable to us, in what context and why it is causing such havoc in mind or emotions, we may engage with the process of inner growth. This way, once we come out of lockdown we will be ready to stride into the world with what we have learned about ourselves and build a new ‘shell’ better suited for reaching our highest potential.
This current situation has forced us out of the comfort zone, a place with a lot of uncertainty. What we may come to realise is that while uncertainty induces fear, we can choose to embrace discomfort. There is a sense of strength in overcoming something we have perhaps never tried before. Once we are on the other side of the hurdle, this acquired confidence solidifies in our growth. In kinesiology, we call this reconnecting with our self-confidence and self esteem. We come to find safety within ourselves from experiencing our own resilience and ability to resolve stressful situations where the stakes may be high.
Embark on a unique journey back to yourself this February with Aura & Meta’s unique 8-week programme Reset, Realign, Restart: STOP existing. START LIVING. Book your spot now and get ready for an adventure into rediscovering your true Self starting February 15th.