When you think of comfort zone, what comes to mind?

  1. Physical risk
  2. Mental challenge
  3. Intellectual pursuit
  4. Visiting the unknown
  5. Other

I admit, when I used to think comfort zone, I immediately thought of adrenaline rush types of things: sky diving, bungee jumping…

Things that I never, ever would do because of my rational/irrational fears of falling/heights/tight spaces…

Then I read about aging…

Which I am doing presently…

I realized that the best way to feel better about getting older is to keep the brain stimulated…to try new things…to go out of my comfort zone…

But how does someone with one of five fears tackle going out of my comfort zone?

And I realized…

Take things that I already like doing, but approach them from a different angle…

Like cooking. I love cooking, but most people tend to follow the same recipes week after week. I constantly try new recipes. Basically, every time I cook, I am trying something I’ve never made before, or never made in that particular way. I am challenging myself to trying different ingredients, different spices….different cooking techniques…I am opening up my brain because I am following instructions and not doing something by rote memory. I am waking up my brain.

By joining multiple book clubs, I am reading out of my comfort zone. There were genres that I never dreamed to pick up, and now I am embracing the different. I like to read about people, places, ideas that I didn’t know existed. It’s a hobby I love, but I’m looking at it in an entirely different way. Waking up the brain.

I’ve always loved photography, and I keep saying that I’m going to learn. But I was stuck in the automatic setting- afraid to venture out to the manual side. Now, I’ve been stuck in Aperture for a few weeks- I discovered setting on my camera that I never knew existed- hello black and white- and I’m actually fidgeting with the dials and trying to take the same shot multiple ways… It’s fun and exciting and challenging and awesome! My pictures don’t always turn out stellar, but I’m getting there…

I started doing “challenges”, creating lists of things that I want to accomplish in a given time frame. This month my goal is to get rid/recycle/donate twenty things. It’s easy to open up a drawer or cabinet and just ignore 80% of the stuff residing there. By getting rid of things I am lightening the load…surrounding myself with the useful and the loved…

But on the whole, challenges allow you to strive for something, to get excited about doing anything. Having something to do, to look forward to is part of what makes life great…

If you are looking forward to tomorrow, if you know tomorrow brings some sort of adventure, doesn’t that make you happier? More content?

We are all getting older- and that’s a good thing, though it doesn’t always feel like that. So we have to look at it from a different angle-

What can you do today that will take you out of your comfort zone?

What challenge can you set for yourself tomorrow?

The goal is to make the most out of every stage of life that we encounter.

What your goal for this stage of your life?

 

57 thoughts on “In the Zone

  1. To answer your question I think you will have to read my next blog post. Getting out of my comfort zone has never been an issue for me, but as I get older it seems things freak me out a bit more than they did when I was younger. The key is to do it anyway! Just do it, whatever it is and whatever is keeping you from doing it push it aside. Live life.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. These are great ideas! I love that you’ve come up with ways to challenge yourself that do not include jumping out an airplane. The idea of it is great to me, but I have a feeling I’d put my “buddy” in danger while holding on to the door! I’m inspired by several of your ideas – time to wake up my brain and give it some challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s fantastic to see you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone 😀 And these all seem great ways to do it! Some of the things I have done over recent years to push myself out of my comfort zone, have been to go to a group meditation class, to live on my own for a while, to go to the cinema on my own (strange how eating in a restaurant alone was easy, but going to the cinema alone always filled me with fear…however, now I love it so much I prefer to go on my own!), and to go on holiday on my own. I guess these worked two fold as they also helped me to realise I didn’t need a significant other in order to have adventures, I am now perfectly content with or without a partner to explore on my own and to increase lifes opportunities and adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you’ve described “comfort zone” as daily routine, living our lives rather mindlessly perhaps and without much thought so mixing things up (without being drastic) is a perfect way to challenge yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s well put. I do try to spice up my routine, because so much of life is rote. Every day I have one thing that is slightly different. For an organized planner like me, it’s invaluable

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sitting in my ‘comfort zone’ right now typing with one hand because my feet are up and Charlie is spread out on my lap with his head resting on my other arm.
    I’ve been trying to get rid of things in my house too even though there’s a ton of stuff I don’t want, I figure even little steps will make a difference.
    The things I’m afraid of aren’t things I want to tackle, but I’m always trying to learn new information and ways of looking at topics.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it’s safe to say my left leg is waaay outside my comfort zone right now!😁

    But seriously, I like your take on this – it can be as simple as trying a new recipe every day (and I have clipped loads of them still to be tried).

    Because my previous writing was primarily school work, starting my blog and book projects have been a huge stretch for me. Right now, I’m determined to learn German – I’m on day 17 on Duolingo. I can do this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Outside my comfort zone used to reference physical challenges, for me. Like back in my twenties when I began running- this lead to timing myself and then road race. Stuff like skiing, snowboarding and rock climbing came later.
    Now? I think for me it is about opening myself up to possibilities in my personal life. I was pretty closed up for many years.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d love to get more out of my comfort zone. Even within the community I live, there are places I haven’t been, and this town is definitely on the small side. Regrettably, I lack the transportable to do anything about it. The town is too small for regular public transportation and the one car that sits in the driveway has a standard transmission. Because of my disability I need an automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. Sure, my husband could take me around, but he’s grown phobia about spending money when it isn’t necessary. I do have the internet though and I’m spreading my virtual wings a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I too have been trying to stretch my brain. I like board games and I have found that people won’t play scrabble with me anymore, so my son and I have a new hobby. Euro-games! they are complicated, you need multiple strategies as well as watching what the other players are doing. This is out of my comfort zone because I rarely win and well I like to win, but I am thinking on totally different zones. I am also trying different types of crafts, this is outside my comfort zone because I don’t do them well right away and normally I would quit because it wasn’t perfect, so now I have to practice and may never be perfect. That just gave me palpitations thinking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If you want, email me at wakinguponthewrongsideof50@gmail and I’ll play. But be forewarned, I may know a lot of words, but I don’t know how to use them in games

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I’ve been moving my comfort zone around LOL. Yes, I enjoying hiking in the Midwest, why not travel and do it somewhere else. Now that I’m retired I can do that. And once you get used to moving around, it’s hard to get used to sitting still. And I get to see a lot of new things and meet new people that way. In places I hadn’t imaged I’d see just a few years ago. Of course, I do have limitations. It’s important to recognize those and not overdo it. I’m preparing for the next set of travels now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The adventure starts in May 🙂 I’ll keep you updated. Each year for the past three years has brought a different type of traveling, different packing for each, different budgeting. I keep learning. 2021 might turn into a most interesting year as this evolves 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been operating outside of my comfort ever since my 50th birthday, some 10+ years ago. Life hasn’t been perfect but it has been fun, stimulating, interesting & joyful, alongside the challenges & sadness … and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. There are still plenty of opportunities to get out of my comfort zone – professionally being a big one at the moment – but I also make the most of the daily challenges of the type you mention to avoid life getting stale & the brain dulling. I lived a quiet unfulfilled life before then with the sole exclusion of raising my daughter, so I like to indulge in stretching myself now.

    But no jumping out of planes here either! And that’s before I knew I was scheduled for knee surgery 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well you’re my inspiration! 🙂 I think coming out of our comfort zones becomes easier as we get older if we allow the journey of life to ease us into it and not into fear. I love what you’re doing LA! My goal? To age gracefully, to enjoy all the experiences that life has to offer, to ease into each stage as it comes and to stay healthy, be happy and be the best authentically Janie I can be….sounds lofty huh? But I mean it with my whole heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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