Has this ever happened to you? You come up with a great idea. You dream about it, imagine what would happen if you went for it, and then decide for a variety of reasons not to take the plunge. Next thing you know, somebody else somewhere on the planet implements your idea with great success. And you’re left kicking yourself for choosing to stay in your comfort zone.
We all do it. Make decisions that feel safe, familiar, comfortable. Who needs more stress and anxiety? And why would anyone want to risk failure and being judged?
Why? Because the truth is personal growth and transformation happen when we’re living outside our comfort zone. When we’re challenging ourselves.
Sure, it’s scary. But the only way to conquer our fears – the only way to freedom – is to walk through it.
You have to experience the fear if you want to overcome it.
So I always encourage women to stop playing small and step outside their comfort zone. But what happens when you leave your comfort zone only to discover that very quickly you’ve entered the chaos zone?
Not everyone experiences this. We all know those women who seem to be able to have it all – all at the same time. And if this is working for you – then girlfriend you do you!
But this ain’t me. When I enter the chaos zone I am not good for anything. I get stressed, overwhelmed, and crabby. And I wonder how I got there yet again.
Recently, I was trying to understand if this is just my personality. I know I tend to be a bit of a control freak. I know I like order and thrive on organization. But have I always been this way?
My first job was at McDonald’s. Now you might think I worked the counter, and I did at times. But I found it so stressful – particularly when I had to use the ice cream dispenser and could never get the cone to look right. So instead, I preferred to grill burgers. Honestly, I was fascinated at the process the company used to ensure that every burger came out perfectly. It should have been clear then that I thrived in an environment that provided organization, structure, and certainty.
My second job was as a waitress at Poppin’ Fresh Pies (now Bakers Square). Now as long as we weren’t too busy, and I had plenty of time to service my tables all was well. But when we got “slammed” I was a hot mess. My friend, Heidi, was the hostess and I would plead with her not to give me another table.
Fast forward to becoming a parent. When I realized that my to-do list was rarely completed in a day and that my time was not my own – the stress set in. It took me quite awhile before I could adjust to this new reality. Twenty-two years and two kids later, I think I’m finally beginning to relax now that both boys are out of the house.
But as an entrepreneur I am constantly being pushed outside my comfort zone, which has been a really good thing for me. I needed to stretch myself. I needed the challenge. I needed to remember what skills and talents I possess and the new ones I have yet to acquire.
We forget how much we have to share with the world!
However, it takes discipline for me to know my limits. Know when I’m stepping over the line and into the chaos zone where I’m just not as effective. Where I don’t thrive. And, frankly, where I’m miserable and completely miss out on the joy of life.
The key is to know and love yourself just the way you are. Your personality, your temperament, the way you want to live.
That’s your sweet spot! And it’s absolutely perfect. Radical self-care and soul-care will help you get there and stay there more often.
Find the sweet spot between your comfort zone and chaos zone and live there!
Need help knowing how much of yourself to give?
Be bold. Be daring. Be AWE-dacious!