We tend to seek comfort and avoid discomfort. Comfort is soothing, easy, peaceful. Comfort is, well, comfortable. But if we explore it more deeply, might discomfort be getting an undeserved, universal bad rap?
Work with me for a moment. Think about the times during your life that you have been comfortable. Comfort with your job. Comfort in your relationships. Comfort with your home. I’ll bet a sense of peace comes to mind. But if you dig more deeply, perhaps also a feeling of boredom and complacency?
I propose that being too comfortable too much of the time can become a detriment. When we are too comfortable and confident we can become stale and lose motivation. We are not as aware of nuances and opportunities around us. This kind of complacency can happen to people, companies, communities and nations. When we lose our constructive energy and Curiosity, we lose our edge, risk stagnation and stop contributing to the Highest Good.
Now let’s look at the places in your life where you encountered your most significant growth. These are generally places when you were outside your comfort zone. Often they were times when you did not feel like you were in control of the outcome. From divorce, and job layoff, to poor health and bankruptcy. These experiences were probably quite uncomfortable. They required creativity, courage and persistence. You had to take calculated risks and have faith.
Looking back on such times, many people report discovering or developing skills they wouldn’t have believed were possible. When the tough time had passed, they found they had grown, learning lessons about themselves and the world, more quickly and deeply than anything they learned during the more comfortable times. And, even more interesting, they enlarged their comfort zone. While they still might not choose voluntarily a divorce or job loss, they are able to see that everything truly is an opportunity. Each time we step outside our comfort zone by being offered an opportunity for greater growth and learning, we enlarge our world by gaining a much broader perspective. The loss we feared becomes a treasured gift.
When an oyster encounters the inevitable sand in its shell, it doesn’t whine, complain and give up. It doesn’t just recede into its shell to wait it out. It decides to lean into the irritation and create something of exquisite beauty and value. It creates a pearl. I encourage you to stretch yourself. Take some steps outside your comfort zone and embrace the strength and growth it fosters. Make your own strand of pearls, one Baby Step at a time. You’re worth the effort.
Author’s content adapted under license, © 2010 Coaches Console
I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities.
During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll.
My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world.
111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness.
Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled.
Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else.
I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do.
By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire.
My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework.
For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.