As a meditation teacher and spiritual life coach, one of the first things I do with a client is assess her level of self-awareness. Is she able to see herself objectively? Is she aware of the impact her thoughts have on her life? What does this have to do with breaking through your comfort zone? Everything! Read on, and it will become clear.
Your thoughts are the most intimate reflection of who you are, and how you relate to your thoughts makes all the difference in how you live your life.
When you become the observer to your thoughts, you learn how to step back before you respond. Just like watching a movie, you become the audience of your life. You gain a valuable new tool for healing, and from there you make decisions from an informed, rather than a fearful place.
Fear Hides under the Surface
When I first became the observer to my thoughts, countless personal unresolved issues—years of stuffed away hurt—came to the surface. Compartmentalizing my discomfort had become my default and pain was steering the ship. The hurtful experiences I would repeatedly draw to my life were very familiar. Then I came to realize the common denominator: it was ME . . . and those pesky thoughts that I had not yet learned how to observe and listen to.
At first, there was a big shift. Then I set out to fine-tune my inner GPS and learned how to trust the events of my life as lessons rather than threats. Two books—Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life—were guiding lights for me at the start of my healing journey.
Is Your Comfort Zone Keeping You Safe or Imprisoned?
My comfort zone was limiting my ability to live the life I dreamed of having. There was a constant conflict between what my spirit was asking of me and what my mind would allow. Fear prevailed, and life was becoming more and more limited. Staying safe felt comforting for a while, but soon it became a personal prison. It was at this time that I decided that I would follow my spirit’s guidance rather than my fearful mind’s advice.
When I started relating to my thoughts from a witness perspective, it was as though someone had given me a key to escape my self-imposed restrictions. I had a choice now. I could observe which thoughts served me and which thoughts held me back. This awareness set me free.
Breaking through Barriers of Fear
We become walled in when fear is in the forefront of our lives. Bringing awareness to our limitations dissolves that wall. A healthy comfort zone is one that is consciously accessed and respected.
Sometimes it helps to bring a voice to what restricts and frightens you. For example: “I don’t like walking deep in the woods because I once got lost for hours and didn’t know how to get back.” Or “I don’t like taking risks—the unknown is too scary.” Doing this brings your feelings forward and can facilitate healing.
To break through your comfort zone, you need to know when it’s time to take that jump and trust that the safety net will appear. Identifying fear and giving voice to it is a huge step in the right direction.
Meet your edge with courage and respect. Know your limits but do your best to understand where those limits came from. This opens a dialogue so you can process your feelings. This knowledge guides your healing journey and frees you to meet the world in a whole new way.
When we live our lives continually moving out of our comfort zone, everything becomes our comfort zone.
Meditation for Breaking through Your Comfort Zone
This practice will help you walk to the edge of your comfort level and push beyond it if that feels safe to you. Grab your journal, pen, and paper, or your device of choice and have it handy.
1. Imagine a situation or circumstance that feels scary to you, like moving, traveling, or speaking to someone challenging to you.
2. Visualize yourself moving toward it rather than away from it.
3. Write down how this feels. Get it all out.
4. Now do the opposite. For example, if you are feeling blame, feel compassion. If you are feeling indignant, feel empathy. If you are feeling insistent, feel patient.
5. Write down whatever this brings up for you. Spend as much time with your feelings as you need to.
6. Take a deep breath and release it all.
Move toward challenges in your own way and in your own time. Applaud yourself for every attempt you make to look inside. Take notice of your courage, and use this meditation with any situation that feels challenging. You have the power to revolutionize your life, now is the time.
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We are in this life together, learning, growing and healing from one another. Shine Bright!