Is Staying In Your Comfort Zone Holding You Back?


Is Staying In Your Comfort Zone Holding You Back?


We’ve heard a lot about getting out of our comfort zone. But have you ever thought about why you should? After all, our comfort zone is where we feel in control and safe. It’s where we can predict what will happen and how we will feel. There won’t be any surprises that we can’t deal with.

So why would you feel compelled or even want to get out of your comfort zone? You need to do it because getting out of your comfort zone is the key to your personal growth and happiness. Stepping out of that zone helps you build up your self-confidence and the way you view yourself.

Is being there holding you back for living a fulfilled life and growing in your business?

The answer is yes. Being in your comfort zone and staying there is keeping you from realizing and achieving what you desire. Staying safely within your comfort zone keeps you from being challenged and you don’t have to rise to any new occasions.

Here are 3 ways staying in your comfort zone is holding you back.

  1. It’s keeping you from growing personally. When you are afraid of something, staying in your comfort zone keeps you from facing that fear. Then you suffer from it forever or until you do face it. You stay away from situations that would put you in a position of having to face the fear in order to overcome it.

For example, your fear of public speaking keeps you from taking a job that requires you to speak in front of others, even though it’s a step up on your career ladder.

  1. You comfort zone is keeping you from being happy. Maybe you struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem issues. These problems can grow unless you take steps outside your comfort zone to begin addressing them. Stepping outside your comfort zone helps you build confidence in your self and see yourself in a better light. When you are confident and have good self-esteem, you are happier.

For example, if you’re not confident in your abilities, you tend to stay in your comfort zone instead of trying something new. This drags down your confidence making you feel less competent and making you unhappy.

  1. Staying in your comfort zone can make you feel trapped and unhealthy. Often our comfort zone keeps us doing bad habits out of fear. You might want to be more active, run a marathon, feel less aches and pains and go on adventures. But to do any of these things means doing something that is outside your comfort zone.

For example, you want to run a short marathon. It’s always been a dream of yours, but you procrastinate and make excuses why you can’t. You’re too out of shape. You don’t have time. You’re too old. But the real reason is because you are afraid to get out of your comfort zone and begin training with a trainer. As a result, you continue to eat unhealthy, gain weight, lose muscle tone and put your dream on the back burner until eventually, you’re health becomes a problem.

When we stay in our comfort zone, we are holding ourselves back from living a life we love, from being happy and from growing. We end up letting our fears rule and settling for mediocrity.

…to be continued

What Comes After Tidy Up?

Tidy up
Tidy up

What Comes After We Tidy Up?

task virtual assistant

So we followed Marie Kondo’s advice and completely purged and got rid of everything that didn’t give us joy. It was not an easy path to take, but I will admit, I felt much joy after. The feeling of peace, and weightlessness, was just overwhelming. I’ve never considered myself a horder, but I am a “filler”, meaning, I have to fill every border space inside my walls.

I had odd tables, chairs, benches, pillows, blankets, baskets, and of course my furniture. Then I moved to a much smaller apartment. It was very nice and I was able to remodel it with carpet, fresh paint, and new window treatments, but did I mention much smaller?? I am so grateful for a very understanding landlord!

I had boxes in the foyer, I had boxes in my old apartment, I had boxes in my new apartment, and he made space for me in the garage.  I knew what I had to do, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy.

Let me give credit where credit is due. If you ever have to go through a major purging process as I did, I really recommend the Tidy Up process. It’s gut-wrenching, emotional, temper-tantrum throwing, but it works. Which brings me here – what now?

We’re all tidied up, but how do we really make this a part of our everyday lives. How can we take it to the next level? We may not be able to go to the Marie Kondo extreme for our everyday work lives, but I do have some tips that I have used, and still use, that I hope will help.

A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place.

Remember when mom would say that? Turns out, she knew what she was talking about! And it’s so simple to do and the easiest way to stay organized…Put everything away the moment you finish with it. Use containers, drawers, baskets, and bins to store your office supplies. Keeping your desk decluttered will give you a sense of calm and help keep you focused during your crazy day.

Make A To-Do List For The Day

Yes, I probably sound like a broken record here, but I cannot emphasize enough how important a to-do list is – they keep you focused, clear your headspace, show you what your day looks like at-a-glance, and so much more!

If you know me by now you know I will say, at the end of each workday, set yourself up for the following morning. Before you leave to go home, create your must-do list for the next day. But if you didn’t do it the night before don’t worry, you’ll get into the habit soon enough ?. So for now, set a few minutes aside in the morning and create the list. Put the three most important tasks on the list. These three priorities for the day are the most important tasks you must focus on.

Keep Your Planner Up-To-Date.

Along with your to-do list, make sure your planner is always current. Both of these activities should be done at the same time, but the planner will also have additional entries throughout the day. At the end of the day, review what is on the schedule for tomorrow – or Monday if it’s Friday.

Don’t Forget Your Calendar

Your calendar makes a wonderful to-do list. And best of all – everything is right there and you won’t have to rely on your memory.  There are so many tips and tricks I can give you for your calendar, but that is a blog in and of itself. Hmmm, note to self – create a Calendar blog (stay tuned readers!! ? ) As for now, the important takeaway is to schedule everything! Your meetings, deadlines, activities – even your “me” time!

Devote A Few Minutes A Day To Organization

Work, school, home, and personal schedules all provide a structure around which to arrange routine organizing tasks. For example, perhaps dishes can be loaded into the dishwasher, a load of laundry into the washer before you leave in the morning. At the office, grab your coffee and take 10 minutes to review or write out your to-do list, process emails, and listen to voicemails.

Before leaving, take a few minutes to prepare for tomorrow, and put away things you used during the day. Back home, put away any items you brought into the house, check the mail, make dinner, etc.  This can be incorporated even if you are retired or self-employed by creating a structured routine and consciously committing to the routine times each day.

What’s in your Inbox?

Have an inbox dedicated specifically to projects you are working on, and sort them in deadline order. If some projects have a later deadline, but a higher priority, move them to the top of the pile. It’s a little mind trick I started playing with myself years ago. No matter what project I was working on (to make a deadline), my mind would constantly wander off to that high-priority folder. I finally put everything aside and completed the high-priority task, and you know what? I zipped through the remaining projects like a hot knife through butter! Eliminate the stress point and the rest is a cakewalk!

Get out of email quicksand

It’s easy to fall into the bottomless pit of email! This can happen so much that many of your regular tasks are often neglected. Try scheduling designated email times (yes, on your calendar!! What a great idea!) You can even set up reminders or alerts on your calendar to tell you to stop what you’re doing and focus on email for however long you set. I recommend 30 minutes, 3 times a day.

Again, as with all things, there will be time-sensitive emails, or other priority emails (such as your boss), that can’t be put off. You can adjust your settings so you get notifications for emails that need to be tended to immediately.  – another possible blog idea, I’m just full of them today!!

Keep A Notepad Handy

You just never know when a thought will strike – perhaps it will be your AHA moment! You absolutely don’t want to miss that! Look at me – I got up this morning wondering what am I going to write about today…I tripped over our CEO’s scratching post, and thought “what happened to Tidy Up?”  and then look, I came up with two more ideas while writing this!!  But seriously folks, if you were to walk into my place, you would find a notepad everywhere.

Make Your Monday Suck Less

corgi monday hello Add-a-subheading

Make Your Monday Suck Less

Mondays are inevitable and they carry a bad rep. But they don’t have to be that way.  As you head into the busy fall season, try these tips to start off your week for a healthier, and more mindful you.

Monday’s are bad enough, but the first Monday after a time change can be a real drag. We tend to stay up later on weekend nights and sleep in during the day, really messing up our circadian rhythms and making us a little less than pleasant when the alarm goes off on Monday morning.

It would be perfect if we could slowly ease into the morning craziness. You may not be able to avoid Monday, but there are things you can do to make it suck less. Here are a few ways to help make the weekend-to-weekday transition a more positive, healthy reality.

Canva - Pen on to Do List Paper

1. Make a Monday to-do list on Friday

I am a big fan of to-do lists. It’s the last thing I do every day. That’s right, the last thing. Take 10 minutes at the end of the day and list out what you need to do the next day. This is especially important on a Friday because everything is still fresh in your mind. Capture it now and you’ll be off to a running start on Monday morning. “If you start the week without this list, you’ll have to brainstorm on Monday morning about the lingering projects from last week, which could be tough when you’re sluggish. You’ll already be starting off a step behind,” says Samantha Ettus, a Los Angeles–based entrepreneur and the author of The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction.

Canva - Transparent Teapot with Flowers

2. Create a Morning Ritual

What puts you in a good mood? You could do a few cat-like stretches before getting out of bed, make a really good cup of coffee or tea, meditate for 5 minutes, cuddle with your furbaby.  My Amazon Echo wakes me with a happy good morning, then I have “mommy and me” time with my furbaby Stumpers. She’ll get on my chest, and I scratch and rub her face, chin, ears, and she purrs happily. It’s quick, usually 2-3 minutes, because she wants to be fed, but it’s a nice way to start the day.  Don’t forget to be grateful! I always thank my body for its excellent health while I’m getting ready, and I thank the day for all the magnificent things that are to happen.  This definitely puts me in a more positive state of mind for the day.  After I’m dressed, I make some tea and meditate. “Our brains love routine, and the less work your brain has to do, the happier it will be,” says Colleen D. Cira, PsyD, founder and executive director of the Cira Center for Behavioral Health in Chicago.  What I like most about my morning ritual is how centered I feel, and more in control of my day.


3. Stick to a Sleep Routine

Research suggests that staying up late on the weekend can make it harder to fall and stay asleep during the week. And trying to catch up on your sleep on Sunday can lead to feeling even more tired on Monday.  The best rule of thumb is to stick with a consistent sleep schedule all week long.  Try to stay within an hour of your normal sleep and wake times and, if needed, take your nap between 1:00pm and 4:00pm and for no longer than 30 minutes.


4. Grab Some Natural Vitamin D

Perking up your morning might be as simple as getting a dose of natural light. Open your shades, tend a garden, or take a walk. Being out in nature, even for five minutes, can give you a happiness high, according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology. If you can’t get outside in the morning, change your indoor space to bring the light to you. Move your computer closer to a window..

Canva - Colorful Paper Block

5. Write a Reminder

Again, I’m a big fan of lists, and the good old-fashioned way of pen to paper. Nothing beats it. All too often we hit the “snooze” on electronic calendar or task list reminders  ::raises hand::  Guilty! However, I know I’ll be rushed at times in the morning, who isn’t? And it helps to have a sticky note on my door reminding me that I need to grab the cupcakes out of the fridge, or did I remember to turn off the curling iron? Writing out your most crucial morning tasks and strategically placing reminders in an easy-to-reach location is a simple way of taking the chaos out of your morning.

Canva - Bowl of Oatmeal With Berries Beside Glass of Juice

6. Don’t Skip Breakfast

Yes, it’s true, eating a healthy and balanced breakfast is good for you, good for your health, good for your memory and concentration, and the list goes on. That doesn’t mean you have to eat as soon as you get up, but a good rule of thumb is to try and eat within the first hour, no longer than 2 hours. You can make grab and go no-cook oats. Prep 5 jars on Sunday for the week. Whip up a protein shake with fruit and some greens. Try oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts, or whole-wheat sourdough toast and avocado, with fruit and yogurt on the side. There are several healthy choices that can be fit into your morning routine.

Canva - Woman Walking Holding Lantern

7. Wear Something That Makes You Feel Good

This is my go-to when I need a mood lifter. You know how good you feel in your favorite power suit, or that blouse that looks perfect on you. And if you’re not limited by a certain dress code, then wear what makes you feel good! Life’s too short to wear boring clothes after all!! Helpful tip: pick out your outfit the night before along with the accessories so you avoid a wardrobe crisis Monday morning. And don’t forget to check it for wrinkles – does it need to be ironed, or can you hang it in the bathroom and allow the steam heat from a hot shower to reduce the wrinkles?

Monday – can’t live without it!! Hopefully some of these tips will help lift that Monday morning fog and start your day chaos free!