“Comfort zone: simply means the routine of one’s daily life – it is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure”. ~ Roy T Bennett
We humans are creatures of habit. It is so easy to stick with the known – after all, it is safe, reassuring and comforting. Whereas, to venture into the unknown and try something new can be uncomfortable or downright scary (plus you might be fearful of failing, making yourself look silly or being disapproved of).
But, if we always stick with what we know and are familiar with, do things the way we have always done them (and perhaps the way our parents did), we can become oh so ‘fuddy duddy’ boringly stuck in a rut. I’m a woman of colour (of Jamaican parentage) and as a child growing up in the 60’s in the UK, I saw very few interracial couples, whereas today it is far, far more commonplace. After my divorce and getting back onto the dating scene, for years, I felt I couldn’t date someone of a different race. I stuck with what I knew and thought I felt comfortable with. But the reality was I was not meeting the person I truly wanted to be with. As I approached 40 and following deep reflection, I then intuitively felt that I needed to broaden my horizon and if I wanted to find true love, perhaps it was less about skin colour and more about other attributes. To cut a long story short…..I and my partner (who is caucasian) have now been together just over 11 years. I’ve not shown him fully in the photo below (taken 3 years ago) out of respect, as he’s not into social media.
By staying as we are and have always been, by sticking to the routines we have always followed, by not venturing to try new things, we don’t grow and evolve as individuals.
Now, sometimes life throws up the unexpected, and we are forced to make big adjustments to our way of thinking and being and heck, we are really thrown outside of our comfort zone, but that is not what this blog post is about. This is really aimed at those of you who feel deep down inside that life has become a bit predictable and boring and you’d like to shake things up a bit, in a good (and hopefully fun) way.
Remember that everyone’s level of comfort is different. This is about you, not anyone else. If stepping outside of your comfort zone and making big changes feels really scary, guess what……you can always start small. Open yourself to a new experience and do something that you wouldn’t ordinarily do.
Here are 5 suggestions:-
* Wear something in a colour that you would not normally wear (a shocking pink scarf, or different colour lipstick perhaps). After years and years of always wearing brown, purple, pink or red based lipsticks, I've just treated myself to blue and green ones! * Instead of plonking yourself on the sofa every evening watching the soaps, sign up for a weekly zumba, knitting, art or wine making class (persuade a friend to go with you, if you don't want to go on your own) * If you normally drive or take the train, try a different mode of travelling (if its feasible), such as the bus or walk * If you are seeking a significant other - consider a date with someone of a different race or culture * Pretend you are a tourist and spend an afternoon sight seeing around the city in which you live or a nearby town. Explore the side streets (if it is safe to do so), visit a museum, art gallery,historical building, street market or local park
“Small steps can lead to big changes” ~ Mike Jaffe
When was the last time you stepped outside of your comfort zone?