How to Find Your Comfort Zone–And Get Out of It

Sitting in the comfort zone . . .

I’ve been contemplating taking on something new and was having a hard time deciding whether to go for it or not. One friend suggested it would be good for me to get out of my comfort zone. My response was that the new thing wasn’t outside my comfort zone, I was simply worried I wouldn’t have enough time to do it well.

And that got me thinking about how we define our comfort zones. I’ve always thought it was just about what I’m good at. Writing a blog? In the zone. Singing a solo at church? Waaaay out. But I think there’s more to it than my gifts and talents. My zone also includes things like free time, committment to others, emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth.

A task–say doing the church newsletter–might be firmly in my talent comfort zone, but could be way out of my free time comfort zone. If I took it on, I’d have to give up something else to make room for it, which could be uncomfortable. Or I could offer to lead a Bible study–well inside my social comfort zone, but perhaps a step outside my spiritual zone.

I’ve often thought it seemed odd that God would give us all talents and abilities, then expect us to get outside our comfort zones by tackling things we aren’t good at. But I’m coming to realize, doing the things I’m good at can still push me beyond the place I’m most comfortable.

Maybe it’s not about trying things I’m not good at. Maybe it’s about doing things I’m good at for God’s pleasure, rather than my own.

Categories: Friends, Waiting

4 Comments »

  1. I once had a therapist who dabbled in Gestalt psychology who suggested I do the opposite of what my past experience, gut instinct and typical behavior would indicate. I did. It was a decision and action that lead to great reward and enlightenment.

    Imagine the harried parent whose instinct is to swat a child. Hug him instead. What unforeseen consequence might occur, turning frustration and anger to affection and love?

    Imagine a nit-wit vigilante who sees a 17-year-old black boy carrying Skittles at night walking down the street. Gut reaction tells him to follow after him and shoot.

    What if he’d done the opposite thing?

  2. I came across your blog via Rachelle Gardner and I am so happy I did! I love this post – I have never considered how many comfort zone there are, but you’ve nailed it. I have four children, a 7year old a 5 year old and twin boys who will be 2 next week. My comfort zones have shifted a great deal over the past 7 years and my time has become more precious – I’ve had to learn how to say no, even when I know I could do something well within my abilities zone, but not my time zone. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future!

  3. Pingback: My Homepage

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