Monday, March 18, 2013

Comfort Zones...


"Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone" ~ Neale Donald Walsch

I have been making a conscious effort during the past year to step outside of my comfort zone. There is a lot of "comfort" to be found in one's comfort zone. Comfort zones are safe, secure, and familiar. They're also low risk. The problem with comfort zones though, is that they are easy to get stuck in. An overreliance on the familiar leads to a fear of the unfamiliar...and that's never a healthy thing. For this reason, comfort zones can often act as an obstacle to growth and development.

When we step out of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to a world that had been previously closed off to us! Also, it's not nearly as hard as it may sound. You can start with little things like listening to different types of music or starting a random conversation with a stranger. After work, take a different route home. You can even make your next trip to the grocery store something completely different by buying things that you've never tried before and spending entire week eating new entrees (something I definitely need to do). Although these are relatively little things, they can be invigorating because they free you from your routine and they allow you to experience things that you had previously been hesitant to experience.

These small changes should make you feel more energized and mentally refreshed. At this point, you can even take things up a notch. Do you have a phobia? If so, perhaps you should work on finally conquering it (I am slowly but surely working on my fear of heights). Is there a person that you've wanted to approach for a while but haven't been able to get up the nerve? Approach them for goodness sakes! And you know what? If you make a fool of yourself...who cares? At least you are living life fully! Stepping out of one's comfort zone is not an easy thing for any of us, but it's the key to maximizing your happiness.

Do you have trouble stepping out of your comfort zone? What are your thoughts?

167 comments:

  1. "An overreliance on the familiar leads to a fear of the unfamiliar...."

    Like. Thanks. :)

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  2. I don't know, man, I'm fine with being uncomfortable so I step out of my zone often, and sometimes too far. But, I'd rather too far than not at all. I find it interesting to see the different levels of what people can deal with. Some can't handle being uncomfortable so they just stay the same.

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  3. I'm torn on this -- when it comes to 'real life' I jump right in - trying new things, exploring etc and usually always end up LOVING whatever it is that I have done --- but I have to say -- I am HORRIBLE at understanding new technology! LOL! I suck at understanding the newest gadgets and gizmos! :) So that is where I stay IN my comfort zone! Give me the basic apps and don't expect me to go exploring for NEW things my phone/kindle/gadgets can do! LOL :)

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  4. My thoughts are, that again, you have make a wonderful post. A great addition to Blog Land.

    Me-thinks that most people, past childhood, have trouble with jumping out of their own comfort zones. But it is so, so, so wonderful, to do so.

    Yes, I've spent a lot of my life, in my comfort zones.

    But also yes, I have really jumped out of them, too. -smile- And those memories, are so cooooooooool. :-)

    "Auntie"

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  5. This is good advice for all of us to fully experience life.

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  6. nice...i would like to say i dance near that edge as i like to try new things but i know there are areas of my life that i need to stretch in...it is so refreshing when you do stop/jump outside of them...smiles.

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  7. Not in general. Deep down, in the cockles of my heart and soul, I get anxious about moment-to-moment things, but on a large scale, I don't have trouble coming out of my comfort zone. That's where all the good stuff happens.

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  8. Hell to the no as far as the food goes, never ever again to that. But everything else I agree, who cares if you come across as a fool, never ever bothers this one.

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  9. I admit that I am pretty comfortable on my little third acre but last year I got a gps TomTom and I have been on some pretty crazy expeditions! I've done more driving in the last year than ever. I can never get "lost" and find undiscovered places, love my TomTom!

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  10. Now that I'm on "the other end of age," I can see the pattern. Young people take the risks, even step off the edge, love to explore. As one gets older, risk seems dangerous as one has more responsibilities. So the comfort zone settles in and by the time one is old, they have found their source of happiness and don't have to explore.

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  11. I love this topic, it challenges me to step out of the familiar. I have an extroverted sister who taught me to try new products whilst shopping, otherwise I would tend to stick to the same old, same old.

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  12. It's funny, I feel our society at large is almost....training us, ingraining within us, the idea that we should always be comfortable. That we have a right to be comfortable. Instant gratification wrapped up in a microwavable box and tied with a technology ribbon. I feel this is linked to our perpensity to stay within our comfort zone....and in doing that, focus more on self than others. Part of being willing to be uncomfortable--is putting the desires or wishes of others before our own.

    I struggle so in this. But the frustration is balanced by those moments when I do step out and over the lines I've unknowingly drawn...life has more pigment there, more fragrance.

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  13. This is good advice and something I want to teach my kids. When I was younger, I think I was much more fearful of stepping outside my comfort zone. The older I get, the more I realize that life doesn't last forever, so if there's something I want, the time to reach out for it is now.

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  14. this is an excellent post. I am in my 60s now retired, living in the woods away from allot of people-and I love it-is my comfort zone for sure now.
    But for me the wonderful thing about the internet is I can learn from many right here in my comfort zone. so I do push myself to learn how to do new things-especially in my hand dyes, etc, I am always still trying to learn new things in me creative projects-so I am not creating the same things.
    when I do go to town we do explore new places to eat, or something different on the menu-I think that is a little thing that can turn into an adventure

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  15. Most definitely I like to stay in my comfort zone and I think that if you never take a risk to step outside it, your comfort zone wil shrink over time.

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  16. I love change and grew up like an Army brat so I don't hesitate to try "new". That is when I am the most aware. Right now I am in a bit of a rut. Thanks for the reminder.

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  17. Excellent post and something I needed to be reminded of. My comfort zone is partially made up of (a lot of) change due to being restless... But... There are other aspects where I have a hard time sticking my toe outside of the circle. Everything you said is true. What a sad thought to think of looking back and regretting not venturing out to experience all life has to offer (even something as simple as trying new food) when you had the chance.

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  18. PS- Hope you had a Happy St. Patricks Day, too! :)

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  19. Personally I am a real Jekyll and Hyde as far as comfort zones go - I love the familiar but hate myself for loving them too. I am typical of my star sign, Pisces, always torn two ways. To be honest life frightens me sometimes and when I do something different, out of my comfort zone, I feel very brave and pioneering.

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  20. Stepping outside of our comfort zone can be scary but it is so rewarding once we do it. I've been stepping outside my comfort zone a lot too this past year. Glad you have been too!

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  21. I think most people have trouble stepping out of their comfort zones. We're an animal that thrives on routine. When I do things that are different it's a good feeling most of the time.

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  22. I thrive on routine, except I'm willing to try mostly any type of food and usually enjoy it. I've never been a picky eater and neither are my kids. But throw me a curve ball with technology and I freak out.

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  23. I have challenged my comfort zone a number of times: rock climbing, parachuting, crowd surfing, keg-standing. :-) And that's how you find out that yes, that was fun and no, I don't think I need to do it again.

    Pearl

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  24. I like my comfort zones, but I also don't always realize when I'm in too much of a comfort zone and need to step out of it. Your examples of small ways we can step out of it are very helpful. It's a place to start! :-)

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  25. So many wonderful suggestions. I definitely need to step out. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  26. Giving me something to think about this Monday morning!

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  27. Excellent post! I do have trouble stepping out of my comfort zone. I like my daily routine and I don't like it changed.

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  28. How old are you???? This post makes me chuckle as I have lived on the edge most of my life :-) At the ripe old age of 55 I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to get in to my comfort zone and stop trying so gosh dang hard to be on that edge. You'll understand one of these days I bet...whew boy this comfort is feelin' kinda nice!

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  29. Thank you for this post. It's timely! I'm sorry I haven't been around much. I've been at a loss for words, it seems. Blessings, H x

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  30. Re: your comment in my blog.

    "Once Upon A Time" on tv. Don't START watching it now. Get first season from Netflix. Watch that. Way too late to begin watching it currently, on tv, now.

    At this point, I really suggest you do it, "via NetFlix." Or you'll be lost. And you'll miss the premise too, if you start watching it currently. And the numerous twists and turns.

    Please...

    "Auntie"

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  31. i've started to get out of my comfort zone few years ago. since i attended college. even though sometimes the experience did not end up well, i'm glad i did it. i mean, i'd rather know the 'outside' world rather than not. i love this post and i love your writing!

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  32. surprisingly, stepping outside of my own "bubble zone" has never been a problem for me. I have been blessed to not ever worry or wonder what people think of me, and I think that has made my life a bit easier. Even in college I don't party so I don't have a wide variety of friends. However, I don't let this phase me and focus on my studies and what I love. When the time comes, I am friendly and do step away from what is comfortable to me.

    Keith, I hope you had a wonderful St. Patty's day and a great start to the week! Happy Monday, Friend! :)

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  33. i have been living in my comfort zone for the past few years.

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  34. Put it this way: I regularly make a fool of myself and usually enjoy doing it! Read this - http://blurbfromtheburbs.blogspot.ch/2013/03/when-broccoli-goes-bad.html - for an example :)

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  35. easy to get stuck in
    a fear of the unfamiliar

    Truly said, Keith! The downside of a comfort zone is very obvious! One gets that feeling of not wanting to risk creating problems for our ownself. It takes lots of motivation and efforts to get off the comfort zone and to overcome it!

    Hank

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  36. Depends which comfort zone it is.. I have many. This spring I'm starting a small container garden on my deck. My yard is taken over by cicada killer wasps living in the ground during the warm months.. They'll be coming around soon and I'm just going to have to deal if I want to take care of these plants. Wasps are one of my biggest phobias, but cicada killers are good ones to be around for that... They're enormous, up to 2 inches long, but males don't have stingers and females are solitary so they are very non-aggressive compared to other species. Just being in an area where I know there are wasps goes out of my zone, so hopefully I can at least lighten this phobia somewhat this summer.

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  37. Sometimes, we leave our comfort zone because of our choice. But sometimes, it is thrust upon us, and we must make adjustments in our way of doing things. It's a challenge but we must continually adapt to new things ~ In a way, blogging and commenting on other's blogs is stepping out of one's comfort zone ~ A good topic, thanks ~

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  38. I like the photo, a very vivid mental image.
    I enjoy geting out of my comfort zone, I never know which baby step is going to be the tipping point to exhilaration.
    Thank you for this wise post Keith.

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  39. well said! I really dislike leaving my comfort zone, def something I need to work on!

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  40. Very good thoughts. I know that when I am too comfortable, then I get very lazy. I do think it is better to get out of those confines and keep on doing new and exciting things. Just not all at once like I am currently doing. :)

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  41. I can surely relate with this post, my friend

    I, myself, have trouble with stepping out of my confort zone, but I have been improving (I think).

    Thank you for sharing and have a nice week

    ~ Life

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  42. I do stay in my comfort zone for the most part but I think my comfort zone is pretty big. When I do step out of it, I find out more about what I'm capable of and it makes me happy. : )

    Good subject for thought.

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  43. I do have a hard time stepping outside my comfort zone. I tend to be a bit shy in public, so it's hard for me to put myself out there. But my blog is helping me break free of that and learn to put myself out there more and share more about myself. Growth definitely happens when we get uncomfortable and it always makes us feel good when we tackle something we are anxious about. I'm going to try to incorporate little changes this week, like trying a new route home or a new food. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  44. Grew up without a comfort zone but have been living in my comfort zone for several years. Now, passing into my 70's I find aging is an adventure in itself and I am interested in trying new things again. There's a lot of music in this town but I've never been a bar fan and have no friends (for now) who will go with me. So dull as this might sound to some, I've planned an outing to a wine bar with music next weekend, alone. Wish me a good experience.

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  45. I stepped out of my comfort zone when I became an author and started a blog!

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  46. love the picture:-) i contradict myself in pretty much every way, and this is not an exception; on one hand i don't ever want to leave my comfort zone, and on the other i love doing new things and having different experiences, haha! x

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  47. Public speaking is I guess a 'phobia' of mine. I am ok on paper and online expressing my ideas for an audience to read, but I am still working on speaking confidently in front of a group. Definitely out of my comfort zone!

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  48. Great post! I agree with you. It is scary to step out into the unknown. Something I need to work on too. Thanks for the encouraging words!

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  49. Great post. I'm definitely one who needs to get out of the comfort zone in many areas. This one gave me something to think about :-)

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  50. I have a VERY hard time outside my zone (yay anxiety). My husband is really very good for this - he pushes those boundaries every day, and even though sometimes I snap at him for it, those little nudges are really in the right direction, and I love him for having the patience to keep going.

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  51. It really is easy to stay in your comfort zone - but maybe just a tad boring. I guess I've been trying to expand my comfort zone - little by little.

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  52. Very true! We really need a change from routine and exploring new things expands our world and enriches our thoughts.

    I believe the world begins only outside the windows – from the comfort zone of home. Even though stepping out is not easily for me, I love doing so.

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  53. For years I was in my comfort zone...I still am with certain aspects of my life but once I pushed that envelope further I really feel like I started to really live. I had a phobia of planes but now its almost non-existent. I needed the right travel partner and the right mind set and now I've seen places I've never even dreamed I'd get to see!! I need to step out of my comfort zone at my job though, ASAP!!!! =)

    What a great quote Keith! I'll have to write that one down to remember!!!

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  54. I like this post today! I have been working on stepping out of my comfort zone. I also have a fear of heights, and have been pushing myself to explore climbing up things more with my kids. I also hate the feel of falling, but when we went to Disney, I forced myself to get on the Tower of Terror. Turned out I LOVED it. I laughed the whole time I was being lifted, then dropped again, and decided to go back for a second round.

    I like the idea of trying new foods. I have a love of Pinterest because I am always finding new dishes I have never tried before. Dinners have really been spiced up around here this year!

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  55. I tend to like things *really* clean so the boundaries of my comfort zone come into focus with dirt and mess!

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  56. I know the benefits of being out of the comfort zone, and do occasionally tread the waters of real life, but I do always find it quite hard to do. I've made some big changes though, so I know I can do it.

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  57. I agree in each point! In my opinion it´s always a good decision to leave the own comfort zone to make sure the own development and to live really :)

    Rena http://dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de/

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  58. I sometimes get uncomfortable with my comfort zone. This is usually when it shrinks to the size of my zip code. A train ride is a favorite remedy.

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  59. I get very comfortable with my comfort zone, I don't like change. As my husband says, I think change is baaaad. lol I like things to be very controlled, the same and when something random is thrown at me I don't react well. Yeah, I'll stay in my comfort zone for a while longer.

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  60. I think that's such a good idea to step outside of your comfort zone!
    I try to push myself to try different things and for the most part it's always a good experience!

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  61. Sounds familiar? Goodluck conquering the heights :)

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  62. Hi Keith - good for you for realising you probably should test the waters - there's so much there. I do love change and think I always have done ... sometimes I'll wait til I'm ready and then go for it - some things I won't do ...

    But good luck for scaling heights you never thought you'd achieve ... cheers Hilary

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  63. I feel I take risks every day. I am always oputting my genuine self out there and hoping to receive positives in return. Come ice climbing with me, we'll fix those fears!!

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  64. I stay in my comfort zone for the most part. But sometimes I get bored and venture out to try something new. I enjoy discovering new things, new places, new hobbies, and so on. The biggest step out of my comfort zone was moving to a new city a few years ago. Very exciting!

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  65. Love my zomfort cones! ;)
    I have been practicing stepping outside my comfort zones when I'm dreaming...which is another productive way to face fear.

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  66. this is so true, but there is so much discovery and joy and learning that happens outside of our comfort zones. love the diagram!

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  67. I personally have a hard time stepping out of my comfort zone. I'm just not good with change! But having my blog has helped me put myself out there more! :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  68. Wonderfully inspiring post! In some ways, it's easy for me to step out. In others, not so much. But I tackle the tough ones every once in a while. Except for spiders. Not gonna try to get over that phobia. Keeps me safe :)

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  69. It's funny that you should mention this subject today. I've just decided to join a group called "100 Strangers." The point is to take 100 photos of strangers - getting their permission to do so and perhaps asking them a question or two about themselves. The thought of this gives me the willies. I always feel awkward taking someone's picture and when I'm out and about do so in a way that they don't know. Having to ask them first - oh my - makes me nervous. I'm going to give it a try though and hope I don't quit after only two!

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  70. The first time I stepped out of my comfort zone was when I began to do theatre. It was impro and in English. You can imagine what it was like. Rehearsals were led by an American woman from Boston and a British woman from London. It was nerve-wracking facing the audience (some of whom were my students in uni) during a performance.

    Nice post. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  71. I totally agree! If you happen to be a senior, they call this "being set in your ways". This is something that can just kind of creep up on you and you hardly realize it has happened.

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  72. Oh, I agree totally. It's a growing experience when we branch out. I think I'll do just that as I'm picking up my kids from school. Thanks!

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  73. My comfort zone was in upheaval 5 years ago, tossing me and my hubby all over the place. We now have a new zone which we are experiencing together.

    Ron

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  74. i find it really hard to step outside my comfort zone. its really good when i find new adventures but its very scary at the same time.
    so good to hear from you by the way thank you for visiting my blog xxx

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  75. I can relate so well to your post. Story of my life...It really takes a lot of guts to step out and test the waters...

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  76. Well said. Your diagram highlights how much more there is to life than our small confined comfort zone.

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  77. Good post with a good question. Actually, anything "technical" is outside my comfort zone. When I took the steps to get a blog, go on FB & Twitter, those were WAY out of my comfort zone. But now I'm glad I did. I'm finally getting comfortable with all of them.

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  78. I don't think any of us should stop working on "stepping outside of our comfort zone" - stepping out of it enriches life. Staying in it nurtures and restores our strengths to do the former.
    When I find it particularly difficult to "step out" I simply ask myself 'what is the worst thing that could happen' and, the 'worst' is usually not so bad after all.

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  79. It's hard to step out of your comfort zone, but it's the way to growth and wholeness.

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  80. It a fear of failure and I've got to get past that - the most terrible fear of them all

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  81. There have been times of fragility when safety, security, familiarity are exactly what I have needed. In general, though, I would say that I like stepping out of the comfort zones. It makes life more interesting!

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  82. Stepping out of your comfort zone is a great thing to do, and once back in your comfort zone, you appreciate it all the more.

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  83. The diagram made me laugh out loud. Love it!

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  84. Hi Keith,

    As you do on my site, I shall comment with brevity. My friend, when a comfort zone becomes an uncomfortable comfort zone, we need to find the inner resilience to challenge it and seek the magic.

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  85. Very good advise indeed. It may take some courage and some risks but talking to new people is definitely a good thing.

    Zachery Levi aka Chuck made a remark on Twitter that was upsetting to a lot of people who are shy and quite. Today he apologized because he realized that not every one is bold. He did not mean to offend anyone I guess, but he certainly stirred up a conversation among a lot of young and shy people. How ironic.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more. Having said that, I find it nearly impossible to step out of my comfort zone....for too many reasons to mention. Blogging is the one thing out of my zone I've been able to stay with.

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  86. it's the little steps day by day that turn in to bigger steps, but sometimes those little steps are more brave than those big steps. sometimes we think we have to jump all the way in, but sometimes the little steps are most effective to getting to the big steps.

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  87. Good advice... Nice post!!!!
    Do you like to follow each other???

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  88. I consider myself a "misfit", so I think I already live outside the comfort zone. But trying to step out of the comfort zone all the time is an unnecessary waste of energy, don't you think?

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  89. As someone who's a serious introvert my comfort zone is very hard to get out of. I tend to stick to what I know but then every once in awhile I make a huge change (like moving cross country) because I feel like my life has become stifled. I like the advice though of taking little steps. Change doesn't always need to be completely life altering.

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  90. Go Keith! Enjoy the new eats and good luck with conquering your fear bit by bit. I couldn't agree with you more, when you step out of your comfort zone that is truly is when the magic happens. Here is to more magic! :)

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  91. By the way, Keith. I found this concept of self-actualization on your blog and I googled it because I'd never heard of it. I really like this stuff. Here's a good link on it:
    http://www.selfcounseling.com/help/personalsuccess/selfactualization.html

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  92. I agree with you! Well really, in a world where nothing is quite as sure as change, it's good to be spiritually and emotionally geared to step outside one's comfort zone -- one might not know what one is missing!

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  93. I've lived my life always trying to step outside of my comfort zone.
    It usually results in a much bigger comfort zone.
    And that's a good thing.

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  94. I went through a period of often stepping outside my comfort zone. At the moment I am stuck IN my comfort zone, hoping that the time of stepping outside of it will come again in a bit.... Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

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  95. You know I have a very hard time stepping out of my comfort zone and that is exactly why I make myself do it. sandie

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  96. A good post and gentle prod to get out, get moving and explore life. There is a fine line between a comfort zone and a rut, don't you think?

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  97. I do have a problem with that. I try to challenge myself when the moment presents itself.

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  98. I do not know if that is the key to happiness. I think serving others is what makes people the happiest.

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  99. Again an interesting post, I some times step out of my comfort zone if it is for a good cause;)

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  100. With me it really depends. I'm pretty fearless when it comes to physical activities. I'll usually try anything once. I also have no fear of traveling to foreign countries. In fact, I love it! BUT when it comes to people, it's a whole different ball game. I'm a very introverted person. Sometimes I'm okay with it, sometimes I'm not. I want to put myself out there more. I'm sure I'm missing out on getting to know so many great people, but when I do, I just feel socially awkward:/

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  101. If you make a fool of yourself...who cares?

    I love this!

    I don't know how to answer the question. I think I do fall into patterns of living in my comfort zone sometimes. But it's also something that I'm incredibly aware of and if I feel comfortable I try to do something to fix it. Like you said, sometimes it's a simple thing. If I notice that I haven't made anything different for a meal recently and I'm getting bored with food, I find a new recipe, and I always love ones that challenge me. Even though I spent two and a half years studying French, I'm afraid of using it, so I started researching conversation groups and places that I can visit where I can use the language.

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  102. Agreed - stepping into the unknown can brings amazing rewards! All we have to do is dare take that first step...

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  103. Keith, you write as a man that has all in his comfort zone. Many people in different countries have no enough food, clothes, place to live, etc. Musing as you, they all 'should feel more energized and mentally refreshed'. It's not true. Those who live out 'zone of comfort' struggle for their lives and survive every day.

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  104. I do understand what you mean, Keith. We can get stuck in the routine of our lives and become boring people! This is a good reminder to stop and think about this. I like your suggestions to start small, with perhaps some new items on the menu and work our way up to trying more adventurous pursuits. Something to be aware of, especially as we get older. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

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  105. It is far too easy to fall into routine and become trapped in our own private comfort zones. We are definitely creatures of habit. This is an interesting post and you've offered good advice.

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  106. I used to work in Outdoor Education - the number of kids who said they were scared of heights / water / the dark / whatever, when what they meant is that their parents had taught them to say this. I try not to do this with my kids.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  107. I have agoraphobia, and I stepped outside my boundaries all my life until i couldn't breathe and still I pushed on beyond all borders and I broke, and now I have a major social phobias and I thought finally, I can be alone and after 14 years of being alone in an old house with my cats and the silence I was sold out for a mere 10,000...and now I'm pushed beyond my boundaries everyday without my consent...so no pushing beyond my bounderies doesn't bring me joy it kills me a little each day, why do you ask such hard question and why do I feel propelled to answer each one

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  108. Been there every day, as the stand up routines come in, you never know how a crowd will react.

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  109. A mixture of common and UNcommon sense. In other words: excellent advice!

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  110. Bloghopping :)

    I know what you mean when you say it's hard to step out of your comfort zone. There's a reason why they're called comfort zones.

    But based on experience, after the scary part is over, the elation and adrenaline of discovering new things is well worth the risk :)

    Not to say that I'm expert in taking risks haha. So thank you for that illustration you posted. Very motivating :)

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  111. I was just thinking about this the other day. Am I getting too comfortable in my old age, or am I just content? Hubby and I still do adventurous things, so I tend to think it's the latter, and I like being content. But you're right about stepping out of your comfort zone...something good always seems to come out of it, even if it doesn't turn out the way you expected. :)

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  112. It's funny about risks, because some of the biggest ones I've taken (moving overseas by myself etc) didn't feel that scary, but then something like "going to a networking event by myself" will make me totally panic.

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  113. I love my comfort zone and sometimes Im tempting to be there a lot of time but really sometimes I jump out and have lived the mosy amaxing things someones awesome and others not like the life.
    This is an amazing and deep post:)

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  114. It's truly invigorating to live life outside your comfort zone. The great part is, you can always go back. That's how I finally talked myself into doing the unfamiliar. If I don't like it, I haven't lost anything. My old standards are still there if I want to fall back on them. It takes a lot of the fear out of things.

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  115. I approached this person, whom I'm stupidly infatuated with. Now I'm embarrased and awkward. I hate guys. But maybe I'll try the new food for dinner thing. Baby steps.

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  116. my comfort zone has shrunk with age. i used to love to travel, now i'm happy to stay home. driving down south for spring break, leaving comfort zone. should be fun, but always too short!

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  117. I've had events that have taken me out of what I'm familiar with come along almost randomly throughout my life...not sure if I would have chosen the course naturally or not however when the opportunities arose I often found the impulse to just go for it too strong to resist. The flip side is I can be quite comfortable between the madness life can bring at other times...I guess if you could say I'm a coin with two sides I'm definitely spinning!

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  118. Amen to your words of wisdom here!
    I think with age, coming out of the comfort zone seems a bit less daunting (at least for me)...
    You know never know how much you might love something until you try!
    A great day to you, and thanks for another terrific post!!! :)
    - Irina

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  119. Stepping outside my comfort zone is never easy but always rewarding. I am going to conquer my fear of heights by going zip lining this summer.... I am very excited.

    Also I have an award for you on my blog for a Very Inspiring Blog... I understand if you are not able to complete this yourself, I just want you to know that your blog inspires me :)

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  120. Routine, habit, structure. I admit I lean toward this a little more as I get older.
    But, I am not afraid to turn left on that dirt road even tho the sign says no outlet!
    Happy exploring, Keith!

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  121. Such a good idea Keith but not always easy to follow through with. I think taking lessons for things we've always loved but didn't feel capable of is a good place to start. Years ago, I took flute lessons (not good at it!) and voice lessons (was/am good at) and it was so rewarding, in both cases.

    Your blog continues to be one of my absolute fav stops in cyberspace, thanks for the wonderful, thught-provoking posts, keep them coming!

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  122. PS: Make that thought-provoking posts! LOL I'm typing too fast, as usual. :<)

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  123. I'm terrible at this. Great words of advice. It's something that we always need to do; being outside your comfort zone. I think that many people that write blogs are introverts (like myself) and so for that reason alone it's extra important. I'll have to try some new things soon.

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  124. True words, Keith ..When we step out of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to a world that had been previously closed off to us...I've always been one to push the envelope and not to stay in my comfort zone.. :)

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  125. I think one of the pitfalls some people fall into as they get older is they allow their comfort zone to get smaller and smaller, and dig their heels in when it comes to trying something new. Not me! My comfort zone is getting bigger and bigger. My husband and I still enjoy our "adventures", and trying new things. Keeps us young. (at heart, anyway)

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  126. Awesome and inspiring thoughts! I always enjoy what you write.

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  127. My comfort zone is my home..the place where i sleep to awake...no other place on earth makes me feel comfortable than my home....and I am not even sure if i ll ever b able to climb out of it ..

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  128. My comfort zone is my log cabin.
    It is the only place I feel totally safe and free.
    I do like visiting other places and seeing sights, but I always have such an urge to hurry back here!

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  129. Oh I love this. I feel like I am getting braver all the time, doing things that used to scare me, having blood tests, my photo taken, injections, commenting on blogs, all sorts of silly things. And none of it is ever as bad as I thought. I like your examples. Talking to strangers, getting lost and discovering new routes, I do those things for fun, for what I could learn. Life is an adventure!

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  130. I have been blessed with a husband who makes it a point to push me out of my cushy comfort zone all the time. Now I've done things I never thought I would, like move out of the town I grew up in, take up snowshoeing and blog again! It's a wild ride, but I'd rather look back on my life and say "I can't believe I did all of that" than wake up one day full of regret for the things I was too afraid to try. Great post, Keith!

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  131. I do! But I work to stretch beyond it, and plan on doing more stretching this year. :) Thanks for the reminder!

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  132. I would say my comfort zone is my home. Trying new things can be fun, even if it is only for one time. My stepping out is when travel to new places. Always some kind of adventure, food and people to meet. Great post!

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  133. I love my comfort zone. Sometimes it's hard to leave it, but I do. The new experiences I've had because of it have been so rewarding and worthwhile. I find as I get older that I'm less nervous about what people think of me, but I'm less inclined to want to be in uncomfortable situations. A conundrum for sure.

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  134. Yes! It's not easy to step out of comfort zones but I totally agree...that's where growth happens. Great post!

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  135. Ho Keith - First time to your blog and it is great by the way.
    My new years resolution this year was about exactly this - doing things out of my comfort zone. I have taken up belly dancing earlier this year as this is way out of my comfort zone (I have 2 left feet) and I can't tell you how much fun I am having. I've always been a little apprehensive about trying new things - on my way to Dubai where I will trying simulated skydiving. So I can definitely recommend trying new things that are not in your comfort zone - it is well worth the experience.

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  136. Your post is so pertinent to me EO...I've only become aware recently of how I hang around that comfort zone...how limiting my thoughts have been...and what I need to do to change...thanks for reinforcing my desire to change.

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  137. That's a great quote. It's so easy to get stuck in a daily routine. But then it's also hard to know when it would be smart to take a risk. Something to think about today :)

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  138. I've found that, as I grow older, it has become easier to step out of my comfort zone. The change results primarily from the fact that I don't get as easily embarrassed (or perhaps don't worry as much about what unknown people/strangers think)....

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  139. about the most uncomfortable zone I can be in is heights. Don't even try to convince me that climbing a mountain roped to other people is fun. Forget it! I embrace this fear and will watch people climb up mountains in the comfort of solid ground beneath my feet!
    Have a great day!

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  140. Introverts and closed people like me are the worst with comfort zones.
    Sometimes I feel you exactly convey what I need.
    Apparently something happened today, and my comfort zone went a little down under, and here I am reading you about the need to understand to learn to be okay with defeats.
    You've always got something to teach me all the time. owe you for that. :) Thanks!

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  141. Oh, I definitely like my comfort zone. I love your tips for small steps out of the comfort zone. So it doesn't have to be something big right away, like overcoming a fear of public speaking! Maybe you could try a smoothie, Keith? ;) Jo

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  142. I can't agree more with you, the best moments in life happen in the uncomfortable zone, when you're doing things you aren't suposed to do, with people you never expected. And maybe you'll find being out of the comfort zone is what you really need to be happy.

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  143. hi keith. i have come to tell you i have nominated your blog for a liebster award. have a look on my blog at what to do when you accept it :) xxx

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  144. it's ain't easy..
    not at all.. requires lots of will and decisiveness..
    it hurts initially but new experience compensates all.. may be that's the reason we push ourselves again n again

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  145. I suffer from terrible anxiety,so leaving my comfort zone is ... well...uncomfortable. You mention a fear of heights. Me too, but strangely I would love to learn to rock climb. maybe its time to take that step :)

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  146. Leave the comfort zone? I try and accomplish a little then I creep back in. The world is a scary place Keith. I've also noticed the older I get, and boy am I old) the less I want to conquer.

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  147. I used to have trouble with leaving my comfort zone, but once I was forced to in many different situations, I am no longer scared of change. By forcing myself to leave my comfort zone I grew as a person. I discovered new places and new hobbies. Leaving my comfort zone has been one of the best things I have EVER done in my entire life. Now convincing others to do it, I find is very challenging. lol ;) Great post.

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  148. The little things do make such a difference - I always feel refreshed and my brain is rewired when I shake up my routine, and I have no problem doing that (sometimes it takes feeling stuck for a while before I remember), but it's harder with the bigger things and requires real effort, since I get panic attacks and therefore it often seems safer to stay in my comfort zone.

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  149. Keith
    Could you answer me something
    Are you doing some university research at the moment
    Or are you on a bit of a self exploration
    John x

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  150. Stepping out of comfort zones were easier for me as a kid as I had my twin sister by my side. She had and still has real nerve and always tested the waters for me, so to speak. I have trouble, Keith, but never thought of the little steps approach. Supermarket, here I come.

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  151. I think I definitely have a hard time stepping out of my comfort zone on certain things, but not with others. It's hard to explain. I tend to label things, like going to work, as things that I don't like, when in reality it may just be that they are out of my comfort zone and I need to try them more often.

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  152. I definitely have trouble stepping out of my comfort zone, but I don't know if it is because I don't try harder or because I really can't.

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  153. Good lord that's a lot of comments. Do you read all of these? Really? (: This post was very inspirational. I'd like to know more about what you're doing to get out of your comfort zone. It is very difficult for me to stick with just ONE plan... new ones are always popping up and I am addicted to change. This last year, for me, has been about learning to be comfortable having a comfort zone and making relationships last. It's been a good one. How are you?

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  154. Great topic, Keith! Even if it's taken me time, it seems I eventually find a way to get out of my comfort zones. One moment I was most proud of was finally completing a public speaking class. It was a long time phobia (and I know I'm not alone). I enrolled and dropped the class several times at different points in my life. Finally a couple years ago, I did it. I still don't care much for public speaking, but it felt amazing to finally break past that fear.

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  155. No matter how much I am scared, I am always happy to try new things. If I don't do it, life gives me a kick, and makes me do it anyway lol! :)

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  156. I absolutely agree with this post. Some of the best things in my life are the ones I've found when I've been nervous about what I'm doing!!

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  157. I'm always open to doing things that are different. I sometimes enter competitions with prizes that aren't things i would normally want (within reason of course!). I won two tickets to a show i wouldn't have thought about going to otherwise and we really enjoyed it. Edinburgh has a lot of free events so it's quite easy here to step out of your comfort zone quite a lot...

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  158. I use to hate doing it...now I know it is a major part of experiencing life. It is still not easy to do but i do not hate it :)

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  159. Great topic. You've reminded me that I recently decided to try and step out of my comfort zone a bit, by talking more to strangers and taking a real interest in others beyond polite smalltalk. It's good to keep trying new things :O)

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  160. Great advice and suggestions for us all Keith! Thanks so much for this. I do always try not to get too comfortable....even when it feels so good though!!
    Jim

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  161. oh good grief you have hit upion such a topical issue this week for me. I met up with a friend i hadn't seen in over 10 yrs this week. We were friends through mutual friends but that had gone sour and those years had passed....well I made sure we had coffee this week. The 'date' lasted 5 hours, 3 coffees and a brownie. We bought broke through that comfort zone of just going through what the main people who had brought us together had done - sticking heads in the sand. We had the best time!!!!

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  162. I tell ya, it's always the first step that's the hardest. But trying to reach that magic (awesome photo by the way) is always worth the toil.

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  163. It is funny how that fear you mentioned can cripple a soul and then, when in one moment of bravery they step outside of that fear, the realize it did not need to be crippling at all. I think fear of the fear compounds and makes a thing seem worse than it is. Maybe reserving judgment is best. Great post!!!! :)

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  164. You are so right, Keith! That place "where the magic happens" is also where we grow, don't you think?

    I applied to grad school. That's way out of my CZ. When I was accepted though, it was SUCH a thrill. And the actual experience is going to be fantastic. I just know it!

    And then, last month, I asked an almost stranger to stay the night in our home so she wouldn't have to drive home 2 1/2 hours in the dark, over mountains. She didn't take me up on it but man, it made me feel DIFFERENT, BETTER, GENEROUS.

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