The caterer I use regularly is called "The Comfort Zone Catering. I use him because he is reliable, good, and he prepares my favorite party foods. Even when I am unsure of what I want to do, he gives great suggestions to help me make up my mind.
What exactly is a comfort zone? Dictionary.com com defines it as "an environment or situation in which a person feels secure or at ease' also figuratively, an established lifestyle in which a person feels comfortable as long as there is no drastic change.
After reading this definition of comfort zone, I understand why I appreciate my caterer so much. He understands my lifestyle and what I am comfortable with, especially as it relates to the image I want to present, despite my budget. If I give him a dollar amount I am comfortable with, he figures out how to make it work for me. If I have to spend extra, he helps me to understand the benefits of why I should. Once I know the benefits of moving out of my comfort zone I may be more willing to accommodate the suggested changes to the menu.
What does it take to get you to move out of your comfort zone in areas of your life? I began with a financial situation because it is easy for all to relate. We tend to know our financial boundaries and will typically operate within our financial comfort zones on a regular basis. We know what we can afford and will only go outside of those boundaries when we can be assured of the benefits of doing so.
What about other comfort zones? I remember when I went through my divorce, I didn't feel comfortable going to the same places where my ex and I had gone as a couple. I particularly had trouble going to my children's school activities and sporting events. For some reason, my mind often thought about what others were saying about us. The next most difficult venue was going to church. The church is supposed to be a place of peace and acceptance but for a recent divorcee, it can be just the opposite. For some it takes a leap of faith to show up, despite what others are saying about you. For some, finding a new church home may be just what the doctor ordered. In order to do so, you must seek God's direction and trust His guidance and be willing to do something new, even if you are fearful of the unknown.
As a stepmom, I have to step out of your comfort zone all the time. There are times I have to go places where I feel I am not wanted and may possibly be invisible. I used to struggle when I had to attend one of my stepchildren's birthday celebrations or graduations. I often felt like a fifth wheel. In order to make things better for myself, I had to step out of my comfort zone and assist the biological mom with the plans so that I would feel included.
Are you willing to try something new that will benefit your relationship with your stepchildren? Having comfort zones are great because they allow you to have more control over your life with as minimal changes as possible. However don't get so comfortable that you are afraid to try new things, meet new people, or grow as an individual. Had I never stepped out of my comfort zone to share my experiences as a twice-divorced woman and a stepmom, I would have never been able to be a blessing to others. Have a great September and step out of your comfort zone.
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach