The comfort zone paradox

Is that the people who make it a habit to step outside their comfort zone – who say yes to experiencing fear and discomfort – are the people who live more comfortably.

They are more happy, less stressed, have better health and a higher quality of life.


First, staying within your comfort zone means you hide, of course, from the very situations, people, experiences and places that make life joyful, rich and meaningful.

Some examples:

The person who isn’t their true self because it feels scary, risky and uncertain, also misses out on excitement, purpose and growth.

The person who doesn’t show vulnerability because it exposes them to fear, rejection and hurt, also misses out on belonging, creativity and courage.

The person who doesn’t allow their self to fall in love because it’s scary and exposes them to conflict, pain and heartbreak, also misses out on joy, meaning and connection.

Second, and this is most important: your comfort zone isn’t actually comfortable.

That’s right. It’s a myth.

Sadness, stress, setbacks and conflicts are a package deal that come with the gift of living. The truth is all of us experience discomfort, irrespective of how much we live in our comfort zone.

And if the comfort zone isn’t comfy, where are you going to live?

5 steps to creating a life you love (and a freebie)

  1. Be true to what your heart desires.
  2. Drop your stories and believe you can create any and all possibilities.
  3. Be all of you and share your vulnerabilities with others.
  4. Do not let the judgements or opinions of others influence you.
  5. Remember that you are capable and trust that you are supported in all ways.

[Hattip to Jules O’Neil, whose teachings are the source of this post.]

Plus, you can download and print my body acceptance manifesto for free, here. Since body image is something many of us struggle with, and improving it predicts healthier behaviours, confidence and motivation, I hope you take the time to read, print or share.

The science of love and kindness

Scientific research has shown how generating the feelings and thoughts of love and kindness changes us, for the better.

It not only cultivates positive emotions within us, such as joy, gratitude, contentment and hope, but it develops who we are as a human being. When we practice love and kindness, we become more self-accepting, mindful, experience greater social connectedness, improved physical health, greater purpose in life and enhanced long-term happiness.

The thing about love and kindness is that it is not a fixed trait we are born with. Rather, it is a practice we can actively develop.

Here’s one way: in a quiet space, imagine intentionally directing feelings of love and kindness from your heart to yourself and others. Start with a focused attention on just you, followed by your loved ones, your friends, strangers and then finally all beings. Throughout, simply authentically wish each group good health and happiness.

This very exercise brings about the scientific benefits described above.

Personally, this practice is one of my favourites for cultivating a life of health and happiness, and my antidote for any feelings of isolation or distrust I may have. It is a simple exercise that we can all do, and has changed my life for the better.

When we open our hearts with love and kindness, we not only grow as human beings and improve our own lives, but we of course create the opportunity to enhance the lives of others, and collectively make the world a better place.

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