...said no one ever. Quite the opposite is true. You probably all know quotes like:
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." N. D. Walsch
"Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone." R. Allen
""A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there." J. Assaraf
And all of the sudden the word comfort zone doesn't sound so comforting anymore. We have to get out of it. We have to change. We have to take risks if we ever want to grow. And society tells us we have to grow constantly. We are on our way to become the best version of ourselves and in order to get there we have to work on ourselves all the time. Does that sound familiar?
The constant pressure to get better, move faster, become more successful and take more and more risks can lead to stress, anxiety and many sleepless nights.
Consultants, life coaches and leaders will tell us on a regular basis how important is is to work on ourselves, to look into the mirror and to take those steps that lead us forward and to take risks. And don't get me wrong: I am a professional life coach and I am all for personal and professional development, but maybe nobody told us that it is okay to take a break from pushing yourself, from working on yourself and that it is okay, if not actually necessary to relax and to stay in your comfort zone for a while.
This might be even more important if you are an expatriate because you are already living out of your comfort zone. You did accept the challenge to live in a foreign country and that alone means that you have to adapt, adjust and constantly deal with unknowns. Nothing could be further from a comfort zone. So if you finally find a routine, something that works for you, maybe it is completely alright to not push yourself and just be for a while.
The definition from the Oxford dictionary for the word comfort zone can also be eye-opening:
"a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress"
Sounds pretty great, right? And yet we sometimes wonder why we are so stressed, so exhausted, so burned out. Could it be because we don't spend enough time IN our comfort zone?
The problem we are now encountering is to know at what point in your life are you at the moment. Are you in a place where you have the capability and energy to grow, to stretch, to take on a new challenge, or are you in a place where you need to stay in your comfort zone, where you need to feel safe or at ease, where you can rest? If you are honest with yourself and you have enough self-awareness, you will make the right decision.
And that decision can sometimes mean:
NO COACHING because at the moment it is best for you to stay in your comfort zone!