Stuck in your comfort zone?Posted by in Benefits of Life Coaching | Life Coaching tips | Uncategorized
Is it time to embrace and enjoy the journey of change? The payoff can be huge. Try my 3 tips for helping you to make those changes for the better easier.
Do you prefer to stay in your comfort zone, the zone you know so well? We are all guilty of it!
Just why is it that we often find it so difficult to take up new challenges or do something completely new, to put ourselves out there into the world and explore life more fully?
I work with Claire, she is a communicator and writer and helps me with the marketing side of my Green Space Life Coaching work. Her greatest challenge with me is getting me to do new things. It is a challenge for her because I’m often resistant and would come up with good reasons why not to do it or just not do it (full stop).
Why is change so hard sometimes? So slow?
We all have a tendency to resist significant change, even if it’s for the better. Our body, brain, and behaviour seek to keep within rather narrow limits and to snap back when pushed beyond these limits.
Imagine if our body temperature or blood sugar level moved up or down by 10 per cent – we’d be in big trouble! And so it is with many other functions of the body. This condition of equilibrium, this resistance to change, is called homeostasis. It characterises all self-regulating systems, from a bacterium to a frog, from a human being to a family, from an organisation to a whole culture. And homeostasis applies to our psychological states, to our behaviour and to our body.
So the problem is that homeostasis works to keep things as they are even if things could do with some improvement! It resists all change.
For example, if you haven’t done any exercise for many years, your body regards a life without exercise as normal while the beginning of a change for the better is felt by your body as a threat. Or when Claire asks me to do something different, to change the way I’ve done things for a while, I start to feel anxious and alarmed, and think that I can’t do it and as a result won’t do it. I prefer to stay in my comfort zone, the zone I know so well. The resistance is generally proportionate to the size and speed of the change, not to whether the change is for the better or worse.
The good news is that change does happen – in ourselves, in our relationships, in our families, at work – albeit slowly at times. Homeostats are reset in our body, though the process might cause us some level of anxiety, pain and upset.
The question is: how do we deal with homeostasis? How can we make change for the better easier? How do we make change last?
Try my 3 tips for helping you to make those changes for the better easier:
Be aware of the way homeostasis works
This is possibly the most important and first thing to understand.
Expect resistance and backlash when you want to change things in your life or do something new. Notice the alarm bells in your mind and body in the form of negative and limiting thoughts and of feelings of anxiety in your body. You might take these signals as positive signs that your life is definitely changing.
Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change
When you feel resistance in your body, don’t back off or force your way through. Hold the change you want to make like a hummingbird – not too loose and not too tight. Listen to your needs in times of change and stretch yourself in a way that feels manageable to you. We can take small steps to explore new territory outside our comfort zone.
Develop a support system
You can go through change on your own but it helps to have other people with whom you can share the ups and downs of change. Choose people who you know well, who listen to you, who have gone through change themselves, people who support you when you backslide and remind you that change is slow but possible.
Let me know how you get on and most importantly: enjoy the journey of change – the pay off can be huge.