Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Some clichés work.

When I catch myself slipping into old habits and/or old ways of thinking I ask myself a couple questions.

How’s that working out for you?

What can I do differently?

The answers can be a bit jarring and even upsetting, but in the end it always leads me back on track. Good habits and bad habits are both positive feedback cycles. To break the habit you’ve got to interrupt the cycle and replace it with something positive. Often times, that means getting out of your comfort zone. As much as we hate our self-destructive behaviors, we do them because we’re comfortable with the outcome being our norm.

A great example, one that I am super guilty of, is when you simply cannot stop talking, thinking and interacting with an exe. Exes are exes for a reason — because you’re making room for someone better and holding that space for them with love for yourself. Zero fucks if that sounds cliché. We’ve all been there nodding our heads while a friend goes on and one about someone they cannot get over. You know damn well the person they’re waxing all poetically about is a massive doucher and yet, your friend waxes on.

How’s that working out for them? What can they do differently?

Ah-ha! See it’s real simple from the outside looking in, especially when you’re irritated, to tell someone else what they need to do, but it’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to you.

Procrastinating on that project? How’s that working out for you? What can you do differently?

Putting off looking for a new job? How’s that working out for you? What can you do differently?

Starting your diet tomorrow, next Monday, after….? How’s that working out for you? What can you do differently?

The answers always lead to you getting out of your comfort zone.

For me, and according to science, recreating situations that made me anxious felt comfortable because anxiety had been my norm for so long. I even came to believe that trying something new would make me anxious and end up in an anxiety attack in a new area.

How’s that working out for you?

What can you do differently?

When you’re outside of your comfort zone you are also outside of your head. This is why taking a class in something new can be helpful. This is why power cleaning and rearranging your home can be so powerful. This is why getting out into nature for a while can change your whole world. This all goes for new hobbies, travel, volunteering, the list goes on and on.

If your current comfort zone is misery, why would you want to hang out there?

This is a tool in my mental health toolbox that I use all the damn time, especially when I catch myself slipping. In my most recent anxiety relapse, I asked myself these two questions in the middle of the chip isle at the grocery store. Not only did I not buy a bag of chips to stress binge on, the lady next to me put her chips back to. Talk about being the change you wish to see.

Next time you want to send that text, use those credit cards, stay home all day, call in sick or not make that therapy appointment, test drive these two questions. You may find yourself hurry your way out of your comfort zone.

How’s that working out for you?

What can you do differently?

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