I recently saw a quote that talked about how we should step so far out of our comfort zones that we forget how to get back to said comfort zone. I used the quote in a post on social media building up for this podcast episode, actually. But, while I was writing and putting together the notes and such to be prepared to record, the quote really had me thinking.
What’s wrong with a comfort zone?
Is having a comfort zone prohibiting you or is it keeping you in a safe space, so to speak? I am not sure that there is anything specifically wrong with a comfort zone. My comfort zone definitely looks a good bit different than yours, I am sure; and my comfort zone changes day to day, week to week. Sometimes I am more concerned about what people think and that keeps me from stepping out; sometimes, I am completely uncomfortable with taking a chance on myself or my business. This comfort zone also acts as an almost moral compass, if you think about it; and having morals and holding onto what I believe in is definitely a comfort zone, but not one that would necessarily hold me back, keep my family or my business from growing.
The morals type of comfort zone is one that keeps you grounded, one that allows you to have standards, to have pride in yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
I remember when I was in high school and even out of high school as a young adult, I was never the type of person who enjoyed going out every night, or even every week, and drinking and partying with people I didn’t know or people I didn’t feel comfortable with. Sometimes, I would go and only have water, and I would leave in time to get home by midnight. Random people my friend would make friends with would make fun of me for not indulging in their fun or drinking more than what little I did. One guy, well we won’t call him that, guy would insinuate that he was a man, he was a man-child, a boy! He of course was annebreated, and made it a point to tell me that I was the most “un-fun girl in the bar”, he just couldn’t wrap his little bitty brain around the fact that I did not want to drink my life away, that I wanted to get home to my bed and get up and go to work the next day feeling 100% great. I can perfectly see my friends drinking excessively and getting in their cars and driving themselves home, claiming they were perfectly sober. Yes, I should have demanded I drive them home. Yes, I should have taken their keys. But, I was 21; at the point in those friendships I was pretty much done. The last night I went out with them was in fact the night that boy called me “un-fun” and I watched those girls drive themselves home, very intoxicated. I couldn’t go out with them anymore. At the time I thought it was because the bar life was out of my comfort zone, when in fact it was more like it just wasn’t for me. I was raised a little differently than those girls, I was just a different person and had a different set of morals at that time. And I can say that because I was never upset giving up that part of my young adult life; I honestly was not that upset that those friendships ended so abruptly. It looked as if I had ghosted them, but I was doing what was best for me, I was doing what was in my comfort zone.
That comfort zone probably saved my life. Okay, that might be a tad dramatic, but think about it. Who knows what may have happened, I could have gotten in a wreck with another bar-goer leaving that bar. I could have given into pier pressure, drank and got drunk with those quote un quote friends, and then who knows what might have happened.
Also, I am not saying all this to condemn or judge those who have done this or currently have this lifestyle, because you and I both know, it is not my place to judge. I am using this life experience as an example of how sometimes having a comfort zone is not a bad thing.
Have you considered that we are where we are, because that is exactly where we need to be in this specific season of life? Like maybe that is exactly where God wants you, to keep you safe or to allow Him to work for you, to prepare the season of your life? Maybe he is preparing you for something big, something you may need to step out of your comfort zone on? Maybe, God is protecting you from an opportunity or even a person that could harm you. That is another instance in which a comfort zone is not a bad thing.
So, when is stepping out of your comfort zone a good thing? A God thing?
I cannot answer that question for you or anyone else, and honestly, I am not sure that anyone could answer for you, but you. Just as only I can answer for myself.
When I am debating on taking a chance, I truly have to think if the opportunity will create growth in any way. Will it allow me to grow as an individual, as a parent, as a business owner? One piece of great advice I received from a fellow business owner is that we sometimes have to make sacrifices if you want to see growth in the long run. That could honestly apply to so many instances in our lives. I also firmly believe that it is something our children should learn at an early age, maybe as a part of learning discipline; which if you think about is something many adults, including myself, could practice more.
As I have gotten older, I find myself looking for advice from my parents, Robert and Mitzi are crazy wise, and also my husband, of course. A close friend, especially on parenting and marriage. But, even more so as I have gotten older, I am searching and listening for God’s word and His help in making choices, especially choices that may make me nervous or scared. Those instances where we have to make tough decisions are probably, usually, important decisions, maybe even life changing decisions. When I wanted to launch my first small business, I relied on both my parents in different ways for advice. My mom gave wonderful creative advice and expertise; my dad gave great business advice from creating policies to pricing, to making decisions on the storefront type of choices. I updated them, and I asked for wisdom. When it came to a busy season for life in general and the business, I was stressed. My stress was not necessarily coming from a busy time with kids or business, it was coming from my current role in the hospital mixed with juggling kids and a house and trying to grow a business and fulfill a wonderful holiday season of orders.
I was sick for almost six weeks straight. Yep, you heard me. I could not find a doctor who would listen to me in any way. All the doctors I saw wanted to swab me for Covid. FINALLY, I found a new doctor who listened to me tell her I had been swabbed seven times, and I was negative. She looked at my throat, ran some tests, and determined I was sick with mono, magnified by stress. If you have not had mono or know anyone who has, it’s kind of like strep mixed with flu and then a bunch of other things. All of my glands around my throat and shoulders were swollen, my throat was so swollen my poor tonsils were touching, literally. I could only take children’s tylenol, and I coughed all night and day for a week. Attempting to sleep sitting straight up, that was the only way I could become half way comfortable, but still didn’t get any sleep. Mono can cause swelling of the spleen, which I did have and steroids made the bloating in the abdomen extremely painful.
But, just the other day I read over pages in my prayer journal of how I was struggling, and looking for God’s help in these months. I read over the major incidents that caused my stress at work, from losing teammates you cared for and who you thought you were friends with, to the horrible experiences that come from working in a hospital during a pandemic, to the interactions with other coworkers who were also burdened with compassion fatigue just as I was.
At that time, I felt in my heart, I needed to jump down to one day a week at the hospital, even if for just a little bit. And that was super scary. I was already in PRN status, which means I could work as little or as much as I wanted or needed, but I was averaging two days a week, sometimes more when they needed me due to staffing and high acuity patients. But the reason this made me nervous, naturally was because I was cutting my pay from the hospital job down, again. We all know, in this world, it often takes both incomes and then some. But, something kept pushing me to make that call.
The day I made that call to my then manager, I remember hearing a voice, literally like it was yesterday. And you may think I am crazy, but I remember going out my back door to go get the kids from school and hearing, “Finally, you're listening to me.”. Those words made me stop in my tracks. It was like straight out of a movie, I heard the words and it was like slow motion, I slowly stopped at my car door, the screen door slammed… I was stunned, I had chills. Chill bumps. I knew instantly where and who those words came from. I cannot say that I have ever, in all of my years as a believer in Christ, heard his words, at least not that clearly. I knew in that moment, I had made the right choice for all reasons, and that my blessings were coming, and that He would not allow me to fail. He would not allow my family to suffer. And he did not. Week after week, month after month, He showed up. My holiday orders were out of control, November and December were my busiest months in my business, to date!
I know, you’re thinking but what if I don’t hear his voice? How do we know its a God thing, or the right choice? That’s a tough question.
I am a firm believer that if it is meant to be, a way will be made. You will make a way. He will give you a way to create a way. He will open doors that you never could imagined would have been opened for you. My husband has really helped me learn and apply this way of thinking. He doesn’t even realize that while he has been preaching to me to worry less, that it will all work out, he has been doing God’s work. God has been working through him to help me Sometimes we are guided to the right choices without even having to think about it. The doors are opened for us, if you will, and we are guided through.
When something unexpected happens, or something we did not plan for happens, whether good or bad. Oftentimes, it is protection. It can be the littlest of things, it can be the largest of things. Maybe you were running late leaving the house for work, making you miss a horrible accident by seconds. I know that seems like a very basic concept, but it is something many of us, myself included takes for granted.
When the devil tells you no, that you cannot and should not step out of your comfort zone, that is a lie. He is lying to you, because he knows you are doing something of God. God says something otherwise, God says you can. God says he will guide you through it!
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Hey Ya'll! My name is Amy, I am a girl mom (times two), married to one of my favorite guys, a daughter, a Jesus follower and so much more. I love preworkout and a great sweat, I collect books like trophies, I love to cook but hate a dirty kitchen. I love grungy country music, bell bottom pants, turquoise (the mineral) and converses. Our house is full of love and laughter as we navigate this busy life together, focusing on keeping the important parts of life the biggest parts, and building a healthy and safe place in our family of four!