Hello online community. These past 6 years have been ones of learning to navigate, and then to love, the Uncomfortable Zone. Know what I mean by the Uncomfortable Zone?
It’s that place between the old comfort and the hoped-for, the place where you feel insecure or lack confidence because it’s new territory, the zone that is new and not yet normal. It’s that place.
Typically we enter this place either by a loss or by a choice. So coming into the Uncomfortable Zone can either be painful or positive stress. Either way there will be fear and stress that will try to distract, dismay or de-route us.
Everyone will go into the Uncomfortable Zone. Those of us who desire bigger things in life or plan to make an impact bigger than our individual life can make will live in the uncomfortable zone. To make a difference in our world that is bigger than our individual lives, we will live in this zone because it will takes going outside our own selves, our own resources while staying within our healthy limits. I believe in each one of you. I believe you are created for great things that will impact your world. So this post is about how to navigate your way into the Uncomfortable Zone so that you can move into the hoped-for reality.
To achieve the goal of learning to navigate the Uncomfortable Zone, I want to share 1 brief devotional message and 7 strategies for us to consider.
Consider some motivational stories and reflect on their manner of navigation. Moving into and through the Uncomfortable Zone is a familiar place to our entire list of biblical hero’s, like those in the book of Hebrews. When we read stories of people taking out armies, defeating lions, walking through blazing infernos and leading nations to freedom we can be inspired! We might even begin to wonder, how could I—little ‘ol me—do anything remotely that brave? Well, God gives us those stories to show us that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, especially when done together for his glory.
In 1 chron. 28:10, God says to King David, “Consider now…Be strong and do it!”. God reminds David, and each of us, to first consider or reflect on what we have been called to do. Then God exhorts us to be strong in the truth of our identity and our inheritance in Him through Christ because that is where strength and courage is found. Lastly we are commanded to do it! So 1) consider now your purpose in this stage, 2) remember who you are in Christ and who your Daddy is, then 3) do it. Lisa Bevere once told me to “just shut up and do it”. God said it so now it’s your turn to act.
Here are 7 strategies we can use to make the most of our time in our discomfort zone. These come from Michael Hyatt,
- Acknowledge the value-our natural inclination with discomfort is to run from it or to turn back to comfort. Instead see how this healthy but uncomfortable thing is stretching you and see how it is helping you achieve your goals.
- Lean into the experience—we are pain-averse but instead we need to lean into the discomfort (not life-threatening or unhealthy situations, of course) and embrace the need for growth to get to the goal. Physical workouts are like this and are a helpful image. Muscles grow when they get pushed to the limit, not when they keep doing the same reps over and over.
- Notice your fear—be mindful of the fear that is natural in a place of transition but don’t let it overtake you. Notice it and see it for what it is—a natural inclination to change—and allow the value as you lean into the experience to refocus the fear into forward steps.
- Don’t over-think it—there’s a time for research and analysis and then there is the time to get in the game and go with it.
- Play full out—don’t dance around a situation or a tough conversation, instead go for it and get into the experience.
- Celebrate the victory—it’s real easy to check off the uncomfortable task or event and move on, but it’s critical to celebrate it. This helps the brain to remember, “This was good” and creates desire or motivation for the next one.
- Pause to reflect—when we reflect on what we have accomplished after celebrating, we create capacity for more and that in turn develops into greater confidence.
So my friends consider now these points.
I hope the brief devotional and the practically specific strategies will help you navigate the Uncomfortable Zone.
Now, be strong and do it!
- What’s in your current uncomfortable zone?
- Who’s with you?
- Where are you in the journey?
- How might someone you know come alongside you to help you meet your next step?
Let’s do this!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me which is focused on providing short-term global opportunities for local people to apply their skills or gifts. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
- Photo pinned by verizonwireless and found on Pinterest