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Step Inside Your Comfort Zone



As I've been doing the work to heal from complex trauma, I've noticed that many of the typical common cultural platitudes have not been very helpful for me. One such phrase has been the seemingly harmless mantra that "growth happens outside your comfort zone."


I think in a lot of ways, this can be true. I am certainly not going to argue that new things bring new awareness and growth, but what if your body and brain are so bruised and broken that stepping outside of your comfort zone is actually the one thing that is hindering your healing the most?


Imagine if you broke your leg and decided to run on it faster in order to force it to heal. It just wouldn't work. That leg needs protection, comfort, and rest in order to return to its usual strong and healthy function.


For years I beat myself up when I took the time to create a safety bubble for rest and healing. The cultural messaging to pick myself up and push through the pain was ever present.


It wasn't until my body said "enough is enough" that I finally let go of the need to constantly push myself outside my comfort zone.



It wasn't until my body said "enough is enough" that I finally let go of the need to constantly push myself outside my comfort zone.



I had to let go of the need for my healing process to be accepted by societal standards of growth. I had to let go of the need for people to understand or approve of me and the way I show up (or don't show up) in the world.


I had to create and fiercely protect my healing comfort zone in a way that was and still is confusing and frustrating for many people in my life.


But it has been worth it.


Yes, I have lost friends and my former community, but I have gained the peace and space I have so desperately needed.


I saw this quote on Instagram today and it felt like a warm blanket.


"Yes, there is growth when being pushed outside your comfort zone, but understand that being within a healthy comfort zone also provides space for growth. Healthy comfort zones provide: safety, support, security, softness, presence, regulation, vulnerability, emotional stability." - Dr. Scherina


I hope it finds a soft landing in your heart as well.


Lots of love,


Julia


As a side note here, I wrote this post on a day that I had an unusual amount of things on my calendar - a mindfulness class, my son's high school graduation, and a smoothie party invite. The real-world application of this comfort zone concept is always a bit more tricky and nuanced than a simple blogpost could ever provide. I ended up deciding to step outside my comfort zone for some of the day, but had to let go of some of the things I wanted to do (spoon theory is still a very real thing for me.) I had to allow myself to feel the sadness that comes from not being able to actually do all the things I would like to do. I just wanted to point out that it's always a game of measuring cost/benefit for me. :)


Wear What You Want to Say - Artsee Tees



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