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The concept of stepping out of our comfort zone, has been used as a way of helping us embrace risk and make changes in our lives that can lead to real personal growth. Sounds great but this definition is low on perspective.

I believe that we still need a comfort zone to operate from, we can be so far out of our comfort zone that we no longer thrive we simply survive. If we place too many demands on the body it will go from stress to distress, ease to disease. Finding a happy place to go to when times get tough is all very well but having a comfort zone to work from is more powerful.

Let me give you an example from personal experience. Leaving your country and all that you know, emigrating across the world to a completely new environment, job and acquaintances, sounds adventurous, exotic, romantic  and exciting. Of course it is, however it can come at a cost. The cost being, ‘The loss of Belonging.’ 

People talk about being a child of the world and this move the greatest thing they have ever done. They thrive in their new homeland and would never go back, they have a sense of belonging. Others are caught with a foot in both camps, in all ways out of their comfort zone. In this scenario it is difficult to thrive, the pain is real, the loss of comfort causing distress, dissatisfaction, misery and for some depression.

Yes real growth occurs outside the comfort zone but for it to be effective there must be a place of comfort from which to operate. You can’t think when you are in pain, all you do is focus on the pain, a bad headache, neck pain, does the same. Take yourself out of the pain and clarity returns.

In order to thrive, we need to set the stage, look at the needs we have, spend time on different aspects of life and decide what is important. Once this clarity has been gained, the overall comfort zone established, then we are ready to step out into the endeavour, out of the comfort zone for that particular area of life. The risk is still being taken, personal growth can be achieved but rather than an all or nothing approach, it is based on a firm and solid footing. In this way stress can be minimised while forward action can be taken. 

As part of my Mastermind workshop, we look at the areas in life that need to be addressed to give us a solid footing and also establish the importance of finding our Significant Contribution to the world without losing ourselves and those core values that are so important to us. In this way we can thrive within our comfort zone while at the same time stepping out of it. Best of all worlds where real change can occur. 

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