Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Are you in a Comfort Zone?

Gretel Hallet, is a Trained Chocolate Fairy and is running the Getting Started half day workshop in Norwich - perfect for beginners to experience the core principles of Beyond Chocolate and equally great as a refresher for any Beyond Chocolater. If you live in East Anglia and want to know more about Beyond Chocolate or her workshops, get in touch with Gretel. 

I’ve received another challenge from a Diet Guru. This one says;

"Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone - I Dare You!

It is all too common for us to stay within the safety of our comfort zone yet this is NOT where change happens.

If you want something different....if you long for results then you must be willing to take a RISK, Reach and Step outside of this circle to face the uncomfortable!”

Or not.

For some people, a challenge like the above can be just the thing they need to spur them into action. ‘I’ve slothed about long enough,’ they think, ‘It’s time to take action!’ and so they do, in whatever way they have identified as the way they wish to go. I’ve seen quoted again and again that for many women, a photo of themselves at an unguarded, un-posed moment, often on holiday or at an event, is the spur to launch themselves into another diet. Some diets will even recommend you keep a photo of yourself at your previous slimmest as a spur to keep you on the ‘straight and narrow’! For many reasons this won’t work, but the point I’m making here is that those women have been spurred into leaving their comfort zones and taking action.

For other women, a challenge like the one above is just not going to help one little bit. Maybe they are already feeling quite bad enough about themselves and being told to push themselves right out into unchartered (or all too well chartered!) territory is just too scary or horrifying to contemplate. After all, a ‘comfort zone’ is just that – a place where we feel comfortable. Where’s the incentive to step outside that into a chilly and uncomfortable place where there’s RISK?!

Bizarrely, diets can become comfort zones. It is strangely comforting to hand over control of our eating and our bodies to someone else who will tell us what we can and can’t eat, when, how much etc. It takes away the responsibility for what we may perceive as our own ‘failure’ to be slim, toned, ‘perfect’. And when it all goes pear-shaped (deliberate pun!) we don’t blame the diet – we blame ourselves – we weren’t ‘good enough’, we didn’t ‘do it’ properly. That particular comfort zone is a dead end.

Beyond Chocolate can also become a comfort zone. Perhaps we have been working with the principles for long enough not to need to keep looking them up in the book and now we’re starting to feel comfortable with where we are and what we’re doing. Unfortunately, the quote at the top is right; if we nestle into a comfort zone, we’re not going anywhere. However, I’m not entirely convinced that throwing ourselves bodily out of the comfort zone is necessarily helpful either.

So what is my conclusion? I would encourage those of you who feel you are happily snuggled into a comfortable and familiar zone, to consider poking a toe out. I wouldn’t discourage those who would like to leap with a ‘Banzai!’ into a new challenge, either. I would say that it is definitely worth having a look every now and then to check whether where we are is comfortable (but going nowhere) or is part of a progression that we have chosen to undertake.

In other words – Tune In.


  1. oh yes totally agree here! I hate all that (rather masculine) theme of smashing the comfort zone. I have always found taking one small step outside of it to be far more beneficial. With each small step, your comfort zone gets a tiny bit larger.

  2. I think it's just another example of making women, especially, feel guilty and bad about themselves. You're such a bad person that you can't even take risks and have to stay in your comfort zone.

    I find it really hard not to beat myself up about not taking risks, and I do genuinely feel like it's all my own fault. These messages just rub it in. One of the things I've found really interesting and helpful so far about Beyond Chocolate is this idea that it's fine to take very small steps and just spend time becoming more aware.

  3. I don't particularly like leaping into the unknown but have done so several times in my life. Generally a safety net appears (often at the very last minute!) but I feel I'm free-falling and I don't much like that feeling. I also like the way Beyond Chocolate suggests we proceed at our own pace and focus on becoming more aware of where we are and what we do. I find that much more comforting and acceptable than leaps into the unknown.


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