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  • Writer's pictureHaulwen Nicholas

Embracing our comfort zone

White woman with silver hair in silver jumper looking whimsically into the distance whilst checking dried herbs in her greenhouse this is her comfort zone
Haulwen in her comfort zone - in her greenhouse

And so it begins.....

Tik-tok, tik-tok, the clock tik's and tok's and we get up and go about our days. Tik Toking through life, not being just doing. We all have our to do lists, our should do lists, our have to lists, and our dream lists are put to the bottom of the pile. Dreams are for dreamers not for real people, not for adults. Dreams are for Alice in her wonderland, for Dorthy on her yellow brick road. Dreams are for children? Or are they?

Everywhere I look people are depleted, lost in the world of doing, their dreams put to one side. I see people who are living in a zone of compliance, of what they should be, how they should be, what they should look like, who they should be friends with, who should be their lovers. So many being compliant and wearing the compliant masks of family, friends and societal expectations. But those masks of compliance get heavy and we get weary, our mind, our body and our spirits become depleted as we operate more and more away from our natural preferences and our comfort zone. We stay fixed is a zone of compliance or complacency. Allowing the world to happen to us, instead of shaping the world that is right for us.

And we live in a world of crisis - war, political unrest, pandemic, and the big crisis make the small crisis in our life seem huge and we bounce back and forth from one crisis to another, never getting chance to recharge, to replenish and fall in love with life again.

When I speak to coaching clients often they are so depleted, they feel lost, they feel alone and have nowhere to turn. They feel like they should be grateful for the roof over their head, the food on their plate, the good job, the family. But they are weary and although their outer mask looks happy, they are tired. I ask them what they love and they do not know. They have got lost in the world of what they should be, and with it they loose their anchor to what is important to them.

Like many these people have grown up with the words "get out of your comfort zone" and have grown to assume the comfort zone is bad.

I see many things on social media saying that nothing good happens in the comfort zone, that magic doesn't happen in the comfort zone, that the comfort zone is a bad place and in it you'll be tired. It's like we are now made guilty for feeling comfortable. And it needs to change.

I ask people who say they need to get out of their comfort zone, where is their comfort zone and few can answer. And when I explain the clue is in the title "comfort" then suddenly the lightbulb comes on and many say " I don't know where my comfort zone is, so how can I get out of it?" and there lies the problem. We've grown up in a society that keeps pushing, that we forget that we have to be comfortable to grow.

We'd never expect an oak tree to thrive in the dessert without water. It's not it's natural habitat, it's natural preferences. Yet from an early age we do this to our children and to ourselves throughout our lives.

When you hear of entrepreneurs getting ideas it's generally not when they are somewhere uncomfortable it's - in the shower, the bath, on a walk, in bed, swimming, running. Often it's in a place where they can relax, replenish and be comfortable.

We need to recognise that embracing our comfort zone is where we recharge our batteries. within it we have a cosy zone the ultimate place to rest and recuperate, and the comfort zone can expand and retract around this cosy zone depending on what is happening in our lives. The comfort zone borders the challenge zone, things on the edge of our comfort zone are more challenging, but still within our natural preferences.

When we look at the stages of learning we start of not knowing that we need to know something, then we realise we need/want to learn something but its hard, and over time it gets easier and easier until it becomes second nature. Think about riding a bike, driving a car. We want to get to a point where it is so comfortable it's second nature and then we know we are good at it. You may then want to challenge yourself by doing mountain biking or cycling for long distances. It's still in your comfort zone but you are expanding the comfort zone with some challenges to help it grow.

But now we live in a world where if you don't master something straightaway you are a failure. If things get too easy you need to push yourself to be "uncomfortable again". And with it we exhaust ourselves, we drain ourselves dry, we don't do things to nourish our mind body and spirit. But it's time for a change. Its time to embrace our natural preferences, its time to embrace our comfort zone, really understand our wants and needs and build up a cosy zone to go to in crisis and when ill so we can recharge fully.

As this exhaustion epidemic creeps over us. As our workforce's, our children our care givers, and everyone around gets more and more depleted we need to embrace our comfort zones, to nourish and replenish our very essence.

We need a rest revolution, where we are taught how to rest from an early age and understand that rest is as unique to us as our DNA, our fingerprints or the iris of our eyes.

It's time to embrace our preference and love life again so we can fulfil our dreams. A world without dreams become devoid of magic and wonder, and the magic and wonder in the world that supports our dreams is what makes us the magical holistic human beings we are.

Watch this space for more news on how to embrace your comfort zone.

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