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Dec 2016 by PCI College

Life begins outside your comfort zone.

Dr. Eddie Murphy discusses what happens when you step outside your comfort zone, and take 'risks'.

Life begins outside your comfort zone.

Too often people surround themselves in comfortable prisons, afraid. Afraid to express themselves; afraid to say no to the demands of others; afraid to take risks to meet someone and start a new romance, for the fear of no, afraid to change career, afraid to end a relationship or friendship that is wrong for you, afraid to say no to a bully boss, afraid of illness, afraid to let their children grow up, afraid of their emotional life. What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of change? Would you love a life where there is no change?  Unfortunately or excitedly this is not the case, change is ever present.

I remember last year the how the incredible honest Majella O’Donnell shaved her hair off on ‘The Late Late Show’ and raised a remarkable €600,000 for the Irish Cancer Society on that occasion she put up her no makeup selfie on facebook. (A selfie, is a picture that a person takes of themselves while holding the camera at arms length with their smartphone.) Around this time Sile Seoige posted a picture that showed her faint red scar from her successful battle with thyroid cancer.

Grainne Seoige sister of Sile made two great points - "bravery and a beauty that comes from within and it's not something that you see on the cover of a magazine. She also said "There's also a sense of doing something very much out of your comfort zone" It’s on these two well made points that I want to reflect on.

Bravery and a beauty that comes from within;

This is a central point. Many people avoid conversations, people, places as they are afraid of being judged as negative or weak. In the therapy room people who often experience panic or phobias use avoidance as their main strategy to manage their fears.  Here is the thing to break the cycle of fear you need to break the cycle of avoidance and this takes bravery. This bravery comes from within. And when a person commences tackling their fears step-by-step they are walking back into their life. They are becoming their Real Self.

In terms of beauty coming from within, I think about this in the context of self-esteem.  Self-esteem can be described as a person’s positive or negative evaluation of their own self-worth. Self-esteem relates to beliefs for example ‘I am loveable’, ‘I am worthy’, ‘I am shameful’ etc.  For too many people they hid their real self and their self esteem gets crushed. Things that lead to positive self-esteem include:

• being loved and having healthy boundaries in your early life – effectively, you were given a blueprint on how to love yourself and others;
• having regular praise;
• being listened to;
• being given attention;
• having success at school or sports;
• having opportunities to do things;
• having positive friendships.

If you have a negative belief of yourself, you can change this.  The bottom line is negative core beliefs affect your self-esteem and your ability to be your real self. Now you can bring new thinking and wisdom to these beliefs and change them. Commit to strengthening your positive core beliefs. When you push yourself you are saying, this is how I really am. I am OK. I am strong, robust and resilient enough to accept who I am regardless of the potential criticism of others.  

Doing something out of your comfort zone;

Are you comfortable in your comfort zone? Here your activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. It provides a state of mental security. You benefit in obvious ways:, low anxiety, and reduced stress. However you life can get stale or grow small as you are never really challenged. When you pushing yourself outside of the comfort zone you will get the following benefits;    

What You Get When You Break Free and Try New Things

•    You'll be more productive.  Pushing your personal boundaries can help you hit your stride sooner, get more done, and find smarter ways to work.
•    You'll have an easier time dealing with new and unexpected changes. Learning to live outside your comfort zone when you choose to can prepare you for life changes that force you out of it!
•    You'll find it easier to push your boundaries in the future. Once you start stepping out of your comfort zone, it gets easier over time.
•    You'll find it easier harness your creativity. Seeking new experiences, learning new skills, and opening the door to new ideas inspire us and educate us in a way that little else does.

I love the phrase that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Think about it. It all starts with little steps and small SMART goals that are Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time Limited e.g. ‘I will walk 1 km per day for 5 days……. I will assert myself towards my boss by the end of the day’.  Embrace change. A great book on this that I often recommend to clients that’s available in your local library is – ‘Who Moved my Cheese’.  Gather your courage and remember sometimes you have to fake it before you make it!   



What our Students Say

Delivered in a very clear and interesting manner. Really enjoyed the lecture. Very informative - enough information and not overloaded.
Siobhan McKeon, Biological Psychology Public Lecture

What our Students Say

"...Excellent drawing all the concepts of CBT together. Very coherent & aided me tremendously. It was an excellent day and it knitted everything together nicely"
Tiernan Williams - Professional Certificate in CBT
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