Helen McKillen

helenmckillen moving out of your comfort zone


Moving out of your comfort zone can feel scary – so you are not alone. For years I would prefer to stay safe and secure in my own familiar comfort zone. This was easier than feeling vulnerable and anxious.

Instead, I would resort to my usual coping strategies of numbing out with food, procrastination and distracting myself.


As human beings we crave security, comfort, and approval. However, these cravings can get in the way when you are trying to improve or change things in your life. The unpleasant feelings and emotions that show up can feel  scary. So we give up and resort to our familiar coping patterns.

Unfortunately, continually giving up and staying comfortable can keep us stuck in life. This can contribute to a low mood or depression. We want to feel better but the old ways of dealing with anxiety and fear just keep us stuck in this habit loop.

This can be made worse by the relentless inner chatter and judgement from our inner critic. It can all feel so overwhelming and frightening that the easiest option is to give up moving out of your comfort zone.

This is what I did for years. Abandoning  and giving up on my dreams and plans. Opting instead for comfort until I learned to face my fears. I still don’t like feeling afraid and vulnerable, but today I understand that they are natural feelings. This is what I expect to feel when I am outside my comfort zone. As human beings we are designed to grow and develop into our fullest potential. This means we will go through some temporary discomfort.


The secret is to allow these feelings and emotions to be there. They don’t have to be tamed or got rid of, and we are not weak for feeling them.  They are a sign that we are “pushing through” some discomfort, and they will pass.

If you find yourself in similar patterns, please don’t give up. I want to reassure you that it is possible to move through fear, self-doubt, and vulnerability. You are capable of so much more than you think. Don’t let your unconscious conditioned thinking patterns hold you back.

Understanding that discomfort and vulnerability are not to be feared has made a huge difference in my life. Today, being vulnerable is a strength. It allows me to be authentic and honest about what I experience. It helps me to share from my heart in order to help others who struggle with similar issues. This quote from Marianne Williamson sums it up well.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us…(read the full quote here) https://explorersfoundation.org/glyphery/122.html


So rather than judging yourself and finding excuses to give up, stay in the game and remember some simple guidelines.

  • Expect to feel discomfort, insecurity, and vulnerable. They are all part of the change package.
  • You have within you the power to face your fears. However, nothing will improve until you take the first small step. Always start with something small. Small steps are manageable.
  • Notice and be curious about where in your body you are experiencing feelings .  Is it in your chest, your abdomen, your hands, or legs? Become familiar with where it shows up in your body.
  • Rather than going into your automatic patterns of trying to numb, avoid or distract yourself, allow them to be present. Notice where you are feeling the discomfort. It can help if you can learn the practise of being mindful   https://www.mindful.org/. This can help you to be less afraid of your feelings. Feelings and thoughts will pass.
  • All feelings and emotions are natural. It’s learning how to be with them rather than them being the dominant driver.
  • Be proud of yourself for choosing to step outside your comfort zone – it takes courage to let go of the familiar and step into the unknown.

The more aware you are of your coping patterns – the more you can do to change them.  There is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s all part of growing into your true self – the best version of who you are and who you can become.

You deserve to shine – don’t hide yourself and your talents away.  Go for it!

You may also be interested in this blog. https://helenmckillen.com/facing-your-fears/


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