5 Reasons Why You Should Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

LISTEN TO EPISODE 89 HERE -> https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/xFqTFBDORxb

Welcome to Episode 89 of the Inspiration2grow podcast, the show to follow for optimizing your health through mindset, nutrition and exercise.  I like to refer to it as the trifecta of wellness. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a beat.

In today’s episode I am going talk about the 4 zones within your Comfort Zone Map, give you a recent example of how I was literally pushed out of my comfort zone and then I will provide 5 solid reasons why getting out of your own comfort zone is important as well as very advantageous.  Get ready to be inspired, friends. 

So, you have probably heard the saying, “Change only happens when you get out of your comfort zone.”

We all love feeling comfortable, safe and totally in control of everything we do, right.  But if we don’t challenge ourselves, we are unable to grow, experience new things, feel accomplished and proud after doing the thing that scares or worries you, find our purpose perhaps, live out our dreams and achieve our goals.

You might not be aware of this, but there are four clear zones within what I like to call the Comfort Zone Map that I am going to explain now.

Since we are talking about this in audio form, I need you to picture an onion with its layers that can get peeled back one at a time to get to the core of the onion.  This is exactly how I want you to envision this map I am about to walk you through. 

At the core we have your “Comfort Zone”. This is where you feel safe and in control.  There is no fear or discomfort and you feel at home, very comfortable or settled and always safe.  You might lead a very routined life, everything planned and everything happens as predicted. 

Let me just read a quote about the beloved Comfort Zone:

A comfort zone is a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person, and they are at ease, and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress.
Inside the comfort zone, people don’t typically engage in new experiences or take on any challenges. They only participate in activities that are familiar, making them feel “in control” of their environment.
This describes it perfectly, right?  Does this sound like you?  It likely does, because we all love and cherish our comfort zones.
Next we have the layer surrounding your comfort zone.  I refer to it as the “Fear Zone”. 

Once (or if) you have made the decision to leave your comfort zone peeling back another layer of the metaphorical onion, you will reach an unknown zone. This is the fear zone. To reach this zone of fear and evolve successfully, you must learn to see failure as a stepping stone to success. In the fear zone, you will probably lack self-confidence, which is normal by the way because you are entering (as I mentioned) an unknown, unfamiliar zone.  You might not have the skills or knowledge YET to be any good at what you want to do, whatever that is.

People who enter the Fear Zone complain to others, make and find excuses to quit and they listen to others’ opinions instead of their own. There is moaning and procrastination overload in this zone.

Three steps to keep in mind when moving ever so cautiously out of your zone of fear:

First off, you need to identify the fear.  What is it that is holding you back?  What exactly are you afraid of?  Fear is like a huge giant wall preventing us from growth.  We need to face it head on and acknowledge it. 

Next, you need to seek solutions.  If something is not working, you need to try something different. It’s crazy to think you can change, grow and learn by constantly doing the same things all the time yet expecting change. 

The third step is to seek comfort in change.  If you shift your thinking and view change as something good and beneficial for you and your growth, then you will welcome the change with open arms. 

If you’re changing, you’re developing.  If you’re developing, you’re growing.  If you’re growing, you’re moving in the right direction.  Keep it up, friends.
Provided you can move toward your fears and give up control over every situation, hope begins to grow. You start to focus on using problems or setbacks as learning opportunities and you improve because of them.  Then you know you’re on the right track moving out of the Fear Zone and into…

The next layer called the “Learning Zone”.  Essentially you are expanding your comfort zone, by stretching it.  You are acquiring new skills; you’re problem solving as opposed to allowing them to make you give up; you’re facing your challenges head on and coming out a winner.

The final and most exciting layer is known as the “Growth Zone”.  This is where the magic happens, if you ask me.  This zone is where we find out purpose, set new and exciting goals to chase down, live out our dreams because they don’t scare us any more.

We conquer any objectives which might arise.  We embrace uncertainly.  We live our values.

We can easily adapt to change, and the concept of change doesn’t cause anxiety in us any longer.

Those are the four zones or layers of going from your rather small, limited comfort zone all the way to your growth zone that will take you places you’ve never been before, allow you to discover your true potential and create exciting moments each and every day.

So, I guess that is the best segue into the recent experience I had in getting out of my comfort zone.

A few years ago, I finally completed my scuba diving certification.  While I love being in the water, observing beautiful creatures in their own environment, I don’t always feel comfortable diving.  Mainly because of the inherent risks that scuba diving present but also the fact, that I can’t communicate underwater if a problem arises.  Now, before you say, well, you have hand signals you learn during the dive course, and you could buy a small slate to write on underwater – I know all that.  But, I am afraid.  I fear the unknown, unforeseeable issues that could happen while diving. 

So, the sheer fact that I became a scuba diver made me confront my fears and go way out of my comfort zone of snorkelling on the surface where problems are minimal.
However, every time I go scuba diving with my husband, who is a very well-trained, experienced diver, it takes me further steps outside my comfort zone.  Each dive is a new, unknown adventure. 

Which brings me to the recent diving adventure in Florida.  We are here on a road trip and so, we decided to book a dive tour with a local diving operation.  My husband does his due diligence and finds what he thinks to be the best, most reputable company to book with.

On the day of our dive, we arrived and got set up with the tanks and weights needed for our two-tank dive off the shore of the Florida Keys.  I am not an experienced boat captain but even I could tell the water was very choppy and the swells were quite high for a pleasant dive excursion. 

So, here I am, sitting quietly, not uttering a word to anyone, not even my husband.  I could feel this was going to be one of those ‘less-than-perfect’ dive experiences, but I was still game to go and excited to see the breathtaking corals and creatures underwater.

We were given very thorough instructions by the first mate and our dive guide.  Then the captain took over and emphasized a few safety measures we had to follow.  All good, and I somehow made it into the turquoise blue water off the transom at the back of the boat. 

Things were very different during this dive but I was embracing it and not allowing my fear to take over.  Otherwise, I would have been back on that boat in a heartbeat.  We descended and saw some lovely things but due to the roughness of the water, the bottom was churned up quite a bit and visibility was at a minimum.  One thing we did, which I had never dared to do before, was to dive through some caves on the ocean’s floor. 

All went well and after about 30 minutes, it was time to ascend to the surface and get back on the boat.  This was not as easy as it should have been due to the increased swell.  But now the waves were measuring 6 – 8 feet and getting worse by the minute. 

When it was my turn to get close to boat and grab hold of the ladder to climb up and out, a huge wave hit the bow of the boat causing the ladder to swing back violently with me hanging on to it for dear life.  Everyone seemed to be in panic about what was going to happen to me as the waves kept coming and I couldn’t climb up the ladder fast enough in between them.  It was a rather frightening experience, to say the least. 

Finally, I made it up and was able to get out of my gear for a break.  Once everyone was back on board we moved to our next dive location.  But, here I am wondering if I should even attempt a second dive in these conditions. 

I decided not to be a quitter and donned all my gear for round 2.  However, the waves were growing steadily and it’s not easy (for me) to exit off the back of the boat when the boat is rocking so much. 

Hesitantly, I stood up and slowly walked to the swim platform of the boat.  I was considering just staying on board and not participating in this second dive.  So, here I am, still time to back out, standing nervously on the very end of the boat, huge waves coming in.  I have to say that in order to safely enter the water in these conditions, you have to time it absolutely correctly, otherwise…

The captain and first mate are there likely noticing my hesitation.  Then the moment was there when I had to jump or step into the water as divers do.  I swear, I was going to say ‘thanks but I’ll pass this time round.” But before I could, the captain gave me a nudge or pushed me – however you want to look at it and I was in the water for another diving adventure.

Some of you might be wondering why someone would even enter into such a risky situation.  While I felt terribly anxious and fearful in this scenario, I have to say that my husband would never let me enter the water and do a dive that he deemed dangerous.  That would simply not happen.  So, with that in mind, I was able to overcome my fear and do it.

After such an experience, I think you have to reflect and assess what was learned and how did growth happen.  I dove through caves, which was a first.  I got in and out of the water is less-than-ideal circumstances, which was a first. 

I only mentioned this dive experience of mine to show you that we all have moments of fear and times when we have the choice – go for it OR stay comfortable. 
Leaving your comfort zone will always be above and beyond what you have done thus far. And, when you get out of your comfort zone and it works, there’s nothing more satisfying.

It can be easy to stay in a comfort zone and remain in the same situation, but it is important to challenge yourself and step away from your comfort zone.
Getting out of your comfort zone can be a scary thought, but it can also lead to greater opportunities and experiences. Here are five reasons why people should get out of their comfort zone.

1. Increased Confidence: Taking on something that scares you can help to build your confidence in yourself. It can make you realise that you are capable of more than you thought and you can handle new challenges. It can help you to understand that you can achieve your goals and push yourself further.

2. New Opportunities: Stepping out of your comfort zone can open up new opportunities that you would never have thought of or experienced before. It can give you access to new experiences and events that will help you grow and develop in different areas. It can also show you what you are passionate about and lead you to your dream career or hobby.

3. Personal Growth: Taking yourself out of your comfort zone can help you to grow and develop as a person. You can learn new skills, discover new talents and challenge yourself in ways that you never would have thought of before. It can also help you to become more independent and believe in yourself more.

4. New Perspective: Experiencing new things can help you to gain a different perspective on life. It can give you a new outlook on situations and help you to think differently. It can also help you to understand yourself more and appreciate the world around you.

5. Live Life to the Fullest: Getting out of your comfort zone can help you to take advantage of all the opportunities that life has to offer. It can help you to live life to the fullest and make the most of every situation. You can try new things, meet new people and have amazing experiences that you would never have had otherwise.

Getting out of your comfort zone can be a scary and daunting task, but it can lead to so many wonderful and fulfilling experiences. It can help you to become a more confident and independent person, open up new opportunities and help you to gain a new perspective on life.

 It can help you to live life to the fullest and make the most of every situation. So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges, you never know what amazing experiences await you.

My hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

But before you look up today’s show notes or before you join us on Facebook, I would be very grateful if you could leave a review of my podcast.  A favourable one, I hope!  This way it will be shown to more listeners and the messages shared on this show could possibly reach more people who need it – with your help.
And remember…

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo

Take Action Today, No More Waiting

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast I want to strongly encourage you to take the action, even if it is the smallest of steps towards what you really want to achieve.  I hope you go from being perhaps slightly overwhelmed and where do I even start to knowing how you can begin the journey you truly want to embark on and the small steps you will have to take.  Let’s go, girls.

We, as humans, often fail to pursue our dreams, why?  Because we are waiting for the ‘perfect’ conditions to magically appear. 
You say to yourself…

If only I had a little more time…
If only I had a little more money…
If only I had a little more (fill in the blank)…
Well, then I would give it a shot.

Whether it’s starting a workout routine, a new hobby, eating healthier, a walking routine or any kind of exercise for that matter, writing a book, painting a room in your house, reading a book, or any infinite number of things… we can always find a reason to put if off because the conditions or circumstances aren’t just right.

Unfortunately, this is a lie we keep telling ourselves.  There is no perfect time.  There is no perfect place to start from, no optimal jumping off point. And, truth be told, the effort will likely never be perfect, no matter what we do. 

Believing, buying into this lie leaves us with a creeping sense of failure, a sense of unhappiness within us.  It leaves us feeling like we are treading water, working very hard just to keep afloat but never really getting anywhere or achieving anything.

It’s been said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and the rings true in the pursuit of dreams and goals as well.  You have to start with a single step. It’s all about putting one foot in front of the other.

Honestly, there’s no other place that you can even start from.  Life will pass you by and you may never take a single step to chase down your dreams if you wait until you are in the perfect place – whether that is physically, mentally or spiritually. 

Today, more than ever, we live in a culture of perfection, so we have to ditch the attitude that our current society leads us to believe.  Far too many times, we are led to believe that only the newest and shiniest is good enough.  This is a lie! 

This is all you can do.  Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s chapter 10.  We are all beginners in everything we start with.  There is and always will be a learning curve involved.  Adopt a growth mindset by seeing activities as learning experiences and ways of figuring out how it can be done, rather than failures or setbacks.  What truly matters is not that your efforts are perfect, but that you made the effort in the first place.  You’re a winner for taking the initial action steps. 

So, let’s look at some scenarios that I see people in.

If your dream or goal was to become a runner, for example.  It’s not realistic to think that you could hit the roads or the trails and complete a 10-km run right from the start.  No, you’d have to start small and work your way up to that distance.

Start where you are – lace up and get at it.  Don’t wait for the perfect weather conditions or the perfect time of day.  Just do it! 
Begin by walk-running and see how that feels.  But if that’s not possible, just start with walking and alternate between slower and slightly faster paces.

Use what you have – I’m sure you have some comfortable clothes and shoes you can walk/run it to get started.  Don’t use the excuse that you don’t own the right equipment.  I hear this a lot.  Sure, it’s a good idea to have proper footwear that supports your feet, knees, legs and hips.  That is one thing I highly recommend owning no matter what.  But people often wait until they have purchased all the seemingly necessary items before they even set foot out of the door.
Do what you can – literally, every step in the right direction is positive here.  Don’t worry if you can’t walk/run as far as you’d like to at the beginning.  The fact that you’re actually taking the first steps toward your new goal of running, is tremendous.  Start small and build on that each and every day.  Keep track so that you can be proud when you look back at your meager beginnings.

Remember:  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your dreams and goals.

Okay, so let’s look at another example because not all of us want to become runners or simply can’t due to physical limitations. 

Many women want to improve their lifestyle and make it healthier, perhaps lose some excess weight and become more toned.  This could mean tweaking their eating habits, incorporating more exercise, improving their sleeping routine, and so on.

If we apply the “start where you are, use what you have, do what you can” to improving your daily nutrition, here’s what you could do in order to take small steps, yet highly impactful.

Start where you are  – decide to make one small tweak or change that will benefit you and your body.  This could be (and I strongly recommend this) hydrating more each day.  Many women underestimate how much water they should be consuming and the health benefits of drinking more, water that is.

Last week I made a post on the Inspiration2grow for Female Goal Getters group page on the advantages of optimal hydration.  There really are so many and it might warrant an episode on its own to talk about this topic.  I feel more energized; my complexion is better; I think it helps detoxify and cleanse my body; it lubricates my joints; it helps my head stay clear.  Whenever I don’t drink enough, I usually experience a bad headache.

There’s a nutritionist from L.A. who I have been following for some time now and she advocates:  water first, veggies most.  She always emphasizes the importance of drinking before eating and during meals as well as tracking your consumption.

Use what you have – everyone has water bottles at home.  You also have water pitchers or simply glasses you could fill and have ready for consumption.  There is no need to buy anything for this.

Do what you can – it may take some time to feel comfortable drinking 3 – 4 litres a day.  Start with a smaller goal if that’s the case.  A fitness expert once suggested taking 10 gulps each time in order to help get in more water.

So, I recommend starting the day by filling a few water bottles and placing them strategically for easy access during the day.  Set a simple goal of drinking (or refilling and consuming) 3 – 4 water bottles a day.  For example, every time to go to the kitchen, drink some water.  Before you begin eating, drink some water.  Every time you open the fridge, drink some water.  Every time you feel hungry, drink some water.

For those of you who don’t LIKE water, you could spruce up your water by adding: cucumbers and lemon, or lime, berries or fruit add a refreshing flavour to water as well.  Experiment and find the taste you enjoy most.

Have a look at your grocery store for the flavoured tea bags for cold drinks. The brand I often buy is Twinings and currently I have the flavours:  strawberry & lemon, mango & passionfruit, watermelon & mint in my pantry.  I love these, both in summer and winter for a slightly different taste to my water. 

Drinking more water is the easiest way to start living a healthier lifestyle.  But it is just one example.

So, let’s turn to starting a fitness/workout routine…

Soooo many people wait, plan, contemplate, wait some more, think about starting, then decide the time is not right or they don’t have all the equipment they need, or they don’t have enough time, waiting for the perfect moment.  It’s never going to happen.  The time is now.  So, let’s press play today.

Start where you are – you may be completely new to the world of working out or you may not have been active for a long time, but you’ll have to start exactly where you are now. 

One word of caution though, if you are totally new to exercise and working out, please consult your doctor or health care professional to get the green light and talk about any restrictions due to conditions you may have.

So, let’s get started.  What are you going to do?  Walk 5 – 10 minutes, bike for 5 – 10 minutes, pick up some free weights and do one exercise of 15 reps to get started?  Maybe you’re like me and want to start with an activity that is easy on your joints – so you decide to get in the pool and take up swimming.  Start there with one lap and increase it each time.

The point is ->  you do you and what feels right for you and your body.  Don’t overdo it.  Take your time and build up to more reps, longer exercise times, more laps of the pool, etc as your fitness journey continues. 

Use what you have – there is no need to head out to the nearest Canadian Tire or Sport Chek and spend money on equipment.  If you wanted to begin strength training program for example, you could use heavier food cans or water bottles as your weights.  There is also a plethora of free exercise routines online you could try – search online or send me an email so that I can recommend a few for you. 

What I am trying to say is that you don’t need a gym membership or fancy home gym equipment to get started.  If you want to graduate to these things after you’ve gained some momentum, that’s great.  But it is not necessary for the beginning stages.

Do what you can – Don’t get discouraged or frustrated with yourself.  Do what your body allows you to do when it comes to exercising.  If you can only walk for 5 minutes, great.  If you can only lift weights for 5 reps, great.  If you can only swim 20 meters to begin with, great.  It’s perfectly okay to feel like a true beginner, because after all, that’s what we all are when we embark on a new journey of any kind.

Just remember:  start where you are, use what you’ve got, do what you can!  That’s the winning formula right there.

Don’t put your life and goals on hold because you are waiting for the ‘magic moment’.

The perfect time does not exist!

Here are my thoughts on this…

“Waiting only attracts more waiting”- but taking aligned action creates results!

The truth is we normalize waiting.

You wait for the perfect time.
You wait until you have all the answers.
You wait until you are confident enough.
You wait until you have the ‘free time’ to do it.
You wait until all of the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted.
You just wait…. and while it feels safe in the waiting there is no growth there.

What most people won’t tell you is that waiting begets more waiting NOT results.

When we wait until all of the stars are aligned in our favour, you could be waiting for your entire life.

Can you relate?

My message for you, ladies, is DO NOT WAIT.

Don’t wait- and put your dreams on hold, because you could be waiting your entire life and that is not a choice you can afford to make!

When you make the first move, a spark of momentum will happen.

With every little bit of action, self-doubt becomes less and less.

Make the decision today to take the first steps in prioritizing your health, your fitness, your mindset, your self-care, and YOURSELF.

This is your chance to create the outcome you desire and deserve.

But it all starts with you, your decisions, and your actions.

Don’t wait. Your time is NOW.
And that’s my message for today, friends.
My only hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa xoxo