Today I’m operating outside of my comfort zone. You know what that feels like. It’s pretty uncomfortable! My own toe-dabbling at the edges of my comfort is, today, in the realm of my business.
I love what I do with a passion. I love working with people exploring their stories, accompanying them and supporting them on their journeys. But I am a bit rubbish at letting people know about it. And at social media presence. And at doing background, long term, sustainability investment ‘stuff’.
Today I am being nudged very kindly and patiently, toward the border of my comfort zone – on the one side I feel competent, energized, safe and enthused, on the other I feel child-like in my inexperience, shame, overwhelm…
The Physicality of Discomfort
The stress of pushing at the edge of my comfort zone is physically manifested. The last time I wrote about this was in a post on Windows of Tolerance, and there are some links there that walk through the physicality of discomfort. For me, dabbling at the edges means a combination of feeling compression in my chest, racing heart, fuzzy head, inexplicable and repetitive yawning, and an almost physical inability to sit up straight in my chair! Anyone who has seen a child passively resist putting on a coat by going ‘dead weight’ – that’s the fight in my body right now… wiggling and flailing and limbs that refuse to cooperate!
It’s not pretty. It’s uncomfortable. And it makes me think (as I do many, many times a day) of my clients.
Making peace with discomfort
My clients are the bravest people I know. Not only have they gone through tough experiences but, with me in therapy, they go to the uncomfortable places – voluntarily! They are proactively expanding the reach of their comfort zones. They are extending their sense of comfort, by making peace with their discomfort.
We gaze at the wide ocean of their story together, observing the edges, and establishing those places that they most want to work in. And we toe-dip gently together.
Comfort zones are crucial to our sense of competency, security, and sense of self. Yet nudging at the edges is what makes us feel more competent, more secure and more sure of who we are.
But it’s uncomfortable. And so today, as I am in the midst of my current discomfort, I salute all who take the walk to the edges of their comfort zones, and dabble in lesser-known waters.
You are heroes, one and all.