Moving Out of Comfort Zone and Into Growth Zone

Published On: August 1st, 2023
The term “comfort zone” is also called “known zone.”  What we know, the familiar, does bring us comfort but it can keep us stuck.  It can keep us from growing.

As sexual abuse survivors, we often create safety for ourselves in these ways.  We have experienced the unthinkable; feeling vulnerable and out of control can be frightening and uncomfortable.

For me, I wrapped myself up in several layers to feel safe and secure. 

My Achievement Layer

One layer of insulation was being an achiever.  I could control how much effort I put forth and I defined myself by the degrees, accomplishments, and even roles that I played.  All of this was a way to define myself and be seen without exposing my sensitive or vulnerable parts.

The following is an excerpt from my book that illustrates how that did NOT work for me.

 “During that time, I realized my brokenness caused me to put my guard up so that I wouldn’t be hurt in every aspect of my life. At work, I tried to be polished, strong, and competent. The feedback coworkers gave me around my performance was “professional.” That comment stuck with me. Who wants “professional” on their tombstone? I would want to hear things like “kind,” “fun,” and “insightful,” but I got a very sterile description. This was the wall I put up to be safe and not criticized. Sadly, when I was my genuine self, I felt naked, vulnerable, and at risk.”

Shedding the Layers

How do we become all we are meant to be staying in that safe but confining comfort zone?  How do we heal and grow?

To move from Surviving to Thriving, we have to be willing to do our healing work and stretch ourselves.

We first have to see that the walls (or layers) we construct to protect ourselves are the very walls that confine us.  We have to recognize that all these layers keep us from the growth, the relationships, and the life that we want.

Shedding the Layer of Secrecy

Last month, Blanche talked about how she overcame the wall of secrecy and silence that developed over generations to break the pattern and be present to her daughter.

Blanche shares, “If the deeper struggles aren’t addressed, brought to light, and healed, each survivor will pass on the proclivity for poor choices and destructive relationships to the next generation.”

Blanche moved out of her comfort zone and grew beyond the patterns her mother and grandmother established. She moved into the kind of person and kind of mom she wanted to be.

When you read this courageous example, does it inspire you to begin thinking about what safety walls you have created around yourself?  What is holding you back from the life you want and the person you want to be?

Have you wrapped yourself up in layers that are now confining?

In our August 15th blog we will help you explore your sense of the value of stretching out of your comfort zone and unwrapping those layers.  There will also be ideas about what small steps may look like.

I leave you with this quote from the book, Awakening the Light:

“With each raised voice and each healed heart, we begin to change the culture that silences innocent victims.  We stop the shame, secrecy, and silence and promote hope, healing, and health.”

At Survivors to Thrivers, we are committed to encouraging and supporting you as you seek to embrace your healing and growth.

We would love to hear the steps you have taken to move outside your comfort zone.

Please know we are here to cheer you on– every step of the way!

Talk To Tambry

I am glad you have taken the time to engage with this blog.  Sometimes it is helpful to process new insights that emerge.  If you would appreciate brief time with a someone who understands, our Talk to Tambry offering is for you.  For 30 minutes, you can receive support from Tambry who is a certified life coach, spiritual director and a survivor who has been on the journey as well.  This is offered at a reduced rate of $50.

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