47: IF WE’RE GROWING WE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE OUTSIDE OF OUR COMFORT ZONE.

Put your outstretched right and left in front of you, with one hand parallel to the other, palms faced downward. The top hand represents how much good you can handle and the bottom hand represents how much negative you can handle. The space between the two hands is called your comfort zone. We set up patterns of behavior to keep comfortably between the two hands.

In order to grow emotionally, it is necessary to move outside of your comfort zone. Take a day where you listen and allow any compliment or communication about being lovable to sink in. Instead of glossing over or otherwise blocking a positive comment, breathe and take it in.

Instead of keeping quiet when someone says or does something that is annoying to you, step out of your comfort zone and speak your feelings. Remember, start with the word “I” and express feelings: “I am feeling defensive about what you just said. Let’s talk about it.”

The most challenging effort needs to be in giving yourself a break. A therapist once told me, “You’d give a total stranger the benefit of the doubt, but not yourself.” You’ve been with you through all the years—you know how hard it has been. Breaking patterns is difficult and frightening; you need to get out of your comfort zone to do so! Pat yourself on the outside of your arms saying, “It’s OK, you’ll get this! Go slowly, take small steps, mistakes will happen.”

Unhitch yourself from your bogged down life by stepping out of your comfort zone.

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Scott A. McDaniel photo