sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Find Empowerment by Stepping Beyond Your Comfort Zone

By Linda Ward April 04, 2024 Mindset

Lately, some of my friends have been saying this old adage, “Time is short.” When we step forward into another birthday, we know this. I’ve noticed that as my birthday numbers increase, I feel safer saying no to opportunities that require effort or are slightly uncomfortable. At the same time, I am aware of a few great things I’ve let pass me by and feel a pang of guilt or fear when hearing, “time is short.”

Have We Missed Out on Something?

Is it possible that you skipped an outing with friends, only because it meant getting in the car and driving there? When there’s an interesting art show (car show, camper show, home show) happening where you have to get out of your comfy clothes to go, do you stay home instead? Maybe when your friends were attending a concert and asked you to go, you turned them down because it was easier than facing the slight fear of staying out late and mingling with people.

There are many ways we stay in our comfort zone. It could be non-communication with others, turning down events, or just sitting in our cozy home instead of going to a group class at the gym. What are we missing when we stay tucked into our comfort zone? When you hear, “time is short,” what events come to your mind?

I Was Kicked Out of the Zone

When I had my book published, I didn’t think past the publishing process. Eventually, I realized people had to know the book existed for them to get something out of it. Everything about publicity and promotion made my stomach turn. I seriously needed help, or my copies would end up collecting dust bunnies in my closet.

Thankfully, I met and hired a publicist to do promotion. It was an eye opener to find that yes, he would line up wonderful events, but I was the one who had to do the presenting. This has demanded that I kick myself out of my comfort zone and summon inner guts and courage to do what he has aligned for me.

I’ve done book signings, where a 20-minute presentation in front of a group was required. I’ve walked into bookstores and asked if they would consider stocking the book, and yes, I did an interview on a network TV station. This was all done with private whining behind the scenes to my husband. I didn’t do this in a brave way, I was thrust into it! Yet, because of this I’ve been surprised at the fascinating people I’ve met, uplifted by feedback that has come my way, and I have the satisfaction of knowing the book now has a wider audience.

What Is Your Dream?

Let’s say you’re single and really want to have a partner. The absolute scary part is that you have to try. Trying could mean singles groups, online dating, and just being out and about where people are. Are you stuck in the comfort zone even when you know that staying home will give you only what you have right now? It takes guts and courage to step out of comfort. The same is required for finding a new job, a new friend group, fixing a broken relationship, or traveling.

Empowering Steps to Take

Start with Your Brain

Our brains have resistance to new behavior! When your brain plays the old story of, “it’s too hard, I don’t want to, or it feels scary,” put up a stop sign right there. New thinking is required. Replace the old story with statements like, “I think I can do it. It sounds like fun. I’ll go for a short time. I’ll do a baby step in that direction. I’ll send a note, place a phone call, leave a message, check into what I can learn about that… I’ll start small.”

Robert Maurer shares guides to easing into new habits and turning your life around in his book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way. He explains:

“Small steps circumvent the brain’s built-in resistance to new behavior…no matter what the goal–losing weight, quitting smoking, writing a novel, starting an exercise program, or meeting the love of your life…”

Don’t Immediately Discard Opportunities

When an opportunity comes knocking on your door, your first response may be a solid NO. Hey, “time is short,” and a new opportunity is right there knocking on your door. It’s time to try. This time say yes. Yes, to going for a short time. Yes, to stepping out of the comfort zone. Yes, to putting your big toe into trying something new.

Remember That You Aren’t Changing Life That Much

You still have your cozy home and your comfort. Only a small nudge is needed to start going toward things you never tried but wish you had. You get to come back to the coziness as soon as you want to.

Do the Necessary Research

It may be that a little research is needed to take the first step toward your dream. Maybe it’s not knocking on your door, but you need to find the door to knock on. It’s ok, you can do it. You can pursue travel or a new friend group or a new job or hobby. Give yourself the nudge when you’ve learned about the new thing and go.

Time is short and keeps marching ahead. An empowering baby step will help you experience something new today.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What is it that you wish for, but keep turning down opportunities to do? What baby steps have you tried that were scary yet rewarding? Are you glad you gave it a go?

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jane Anastasio

My best experiences and most growth has happened when stepping out of my comfort zone. Upon reaching my senior years I have found contentment being in my comfort zone. However, with that contentment, I am grateful for the reminder of the importance of discovering passion again.


I am enjoying all that is said..great
.thank you. Inspirational three cheers Margaret

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

You Might Also Like