Last night in the Self-Hypnosis class we were talking about stretching your comfort zone and it made me thing about how difficult it is avoid being decieved into thinking you are doing something challenging when all the time you are reinforcing your comfortable zone.
If you are a from person you are most likely to move to comfort from challenging situations.
If you are a to person you will always be moving towards challenges and avoiding getting too comfortable.
Which is best?
Well its that old chestnut of extremes. In moderation both are useful and comfortable yet challenging line between the two is certainly advantageous.
As with most things taken to the extreme both could be your worst enemy too.
The Wilting Wall Flower
Many people undoubtable have more of the comfort seeking element to them. However in the extreme these people are likely to be the ones that attempt to merge into the background and would love to think the could be invisible. They shy away from any form of attention and avoid situations where they may experience attracting a little focus or interest.
They will eventually be taken for granted byeven the most careing of their nearest and dearest and will quietly resist any expectations for themselves just going about their business in a submissive and downtrodden way - whether the are or not.
They will be difficult to have a meaningful relationship with as they will have no opinions and little to say for or about themselves.
What are they moving away from - well you've heard the advice - don't expect anything and you won't be dissappointed - that's it, they are moving away from being let down or disappointed and maybe the thought of disappointment and attracting the disapproval of others. Don't forget you can't please everyone all the time. So whatever you do at some point you will be attracting disapproval from someone somewhere. The irony is that doing nothing is also something open to the disapproval of others. So the wilting wallflower can never win.
This person is also very disappointed with themselves as they see themselves as nothing and have all the desires to do something and be someone inside buring away. They are angry with themselves deep inside and that anger is eating away at them so they have to keep that well hidden and begin to feel unworthy too.
Their comfort zone would be stretched in so many ways if they communicated more or joined a knitting circle for instance. However with someone so extreme they would probably need some help to get them through some of the hidden emotional baggage that they lug around with them.
Not many people are this extreme
At other extreme is the person who always has to be moving towards challenges.
The Fidgeting Frantic Firecracker
This person is always facing challenges head on. Nothing gets in their way including their need for a bit of peace and quiet.
In their relationships their family will always take second place at best as their need to beat another challenge take precidence everytime
If they stop, they are extremely uncomfortable as they too have hidden agenda that they really don't want to look at and as long as they keep busy with energy consuming targets and remain fully focused then they don't have to stop and think about their inner demons
Many of these people reach high and get demanding jobs that then require that they are fully committed and over worked.
They believe that relaxation is a competitive game of golf or some other form of demanding exercise which pumps them full of endorphines that temporaily make them feel good but arely relaxed. They thing that stretching their comfort zone is mastering a new sport or hobby.
For these people their comfort zone stretch is found within and rarely do they take the time to look there.
Both the Wallflower and the Friecracker are hiding from their inner demons. In the extreme they need some form of help to get them to release their need to hide and to be able to be free from the restrictions and able to move more towards the centre ground.
So whether you are dead centre or a little off centre, stretching you comfort zone is a really empowering thing to do providing you know where your comfort zone lies. Take a moment and think about it.
Here are some really simple examples to kick start your progress:
Smile at someone you don't know (in a safe environment)
Look for the fun in everything you do (I promise everything has the potential to be fun)
Limit what you expect from yourself - just enough.
Do something daily no matter how you feel.
Let us know what you have done to stretch your comfort zone (that might be another stretch) it might help others with ideas too.