What One Little Word Breaks You Out of Your Comfort Zone?


Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Neale Donald Walsch

Why do we find ruts so comfortable?

Before cancer, “No” was my default response to anything new and different. After cancer, I realized saying “Yes” was healing and jumped in with both feet.

I’d wanted to check out yoga prior to cancer but, true to form, never made it happen. After my mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries I was ready to take back control over my body. We joined the local Y and I tried the weight room, Pilates classes and, finally, found myself in a yoga class.

It was love at first down dog.

Over the next three years, I regularly attended the same yoga class twice a week. The teacher’s rhythm, my classmates, even the ride back and forth to the Y became an established part of my week.

Eventually, I realized something was missing and I needed to break out and try other classes, but I’m a creature of habit and resisted. My schedule worked and I was afraid if I messed with it, I’d drop out and stop doing yoga all together. Also, truth be told, I was afraid to be the new kid in class again.

The tension between sticking with the familiar and longing for something new continued way too long. The more excuses I made, the more dissatisfied I became with yoga itself. I wasn’t going to class as much and, when I did, wasn’t leaving with the same good feeling.

Eventually I realized, although part of me wanted to stay safely ensconced in the same old same old, the part of me that wanted to venture out was tired of hearing “No.” I was comfortable in the rut I had created, but it was stifling.

Saying “Yes” to switching it up allowed me to experiment. I wrote new class times down in my planner and rearranged my work schedule. It took a bit of time, but I found a new teacher with a great energy level and found myself smiling and laughing in class again.

Which reminds me of the time I changed hair stylists. After working with her well over 10 years, my former stylist was getting sloppy and was always late. Plus, her salon was no longer conveniently located. Rather than find a new stylist, however, I kept making appointments.

I finally had enough when, after I had driven 30 minutes for our last appointment, she didn’t even bother to show up. I found a wonderful new stylist much closer to home, who asked why I had stuck it out with my former stylist for so long.

“I’m loyal,” I said.

To which he replied, “To a fault.”

He was right and I was wrong.

It was my fault I didn’t change stylists sooner, but it wasn’t because of loyalty.

It was because I was afraid to say “Yes” to breaking out of my comfort zone.

Are you ready to shake it up a little? Why not say “Yes” today to something you’d like to do but have been afraid to make happen.

All it takes is saying one little word and you never know where the life at the end of your comfort zone will take you.

Survival > Existence,


Image courtesy of Rob Bertholf

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