How (and when) to Grow Your Comfort Zone

Ever wished there was a way to shortcut the whole “get outside your comfort zone” thing in your business?

Here’s how: Do it somewhere else in your life.

First, let’s take a look at our comfort zone: 

​Maybe you’ve been trying to reach something out of your current zone, like taking your business to six-figures. In order to do that, we’ve got to make the circle bigger, stretching it into areas that are outside the “zone” of our current, comfortable norms, which are also getting us our current results.

​But sometimes when we’ve been focusing on one thing for a long time (like our business), the push against that part of the circle starts to feel exhausting.

It’s too hard. It goes nowhere.

Which makes us feel there’s no use. Maybe we should throw in the towel.

This is the time to push on another part of the circle.

It’s time to do something exciting and outside of your comfort zone in a different slice of the “life pie”.

Here are some examples: 

  • Health: Sign up for a triathlon when you don’t know how to swim (kidding – do learn to swim, but actually a true story… keep reading!)
  • Physical Environment: Find a way to move to the place (the neighborhood, state, country!) you’ve always dreamed of living.
  • Romance: Take some sexy salsa dance classes with your partner.
  • Personal Growth: Go on a wilderness survival retreat.
  • Friends and Family: Decide to mend a broken or difficult relationship.
  • Fun: Take a class in something you’ve always wanted to do, but worried you wouldn’t be good enough or just didn’t have the guts to try. 

The point is, something you want to do, that sounds exciting, but also feels a little scary. That’s the stretch zone.

For me, that’s a dance class.

That might sound like no big deal to you, but let me tell you why it is for me. 

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a ballerina (or Dolly Parton) when I grew up.

My mom signed me up for lessons with Miss Julie in her converted garage, in the rural east Texas town where I grew up. I was in love with my pink ballet slippers. I could not wait for my class on Thursday every week!

Every six week, Miss Julie would give you a card with a gold or silver star on it. If your star was gold, you got to move up to the next dance level. If your star was silver, you stayed in the same class.

​I went for a year, and I never got a gold star. Silver stars. Forever.

After a year, I was the tallest kid in the class. All the kids my age had moved on.

I remember thinking, at seven years old, “I’m not good at this. I should do something else,” even though I actually loved dancing. 

Even as I write this, I can feel the tears welling up, so many years later. 

So, I quit dance. Yet, all these years later, it’s still with me. I LOVE to dance!

Every time I have that thought though, the next one is, “But I’m terrible. I can’t dance.”

(Just case you’re wondering, I’m not being modest about this. I tried Jazzercise for a while, but a lady in her 60s yelled at me when I got off step count and ended up in her spot  and I left in shame, never to return. I felt seven again.)

I tell you all this so you can understand that sometimes, something that looks like no big deal to someone else (taking a dance class) can be waaaaayyyyy out of your comfort zone.

And exactly what you need.

Because when you push your comfort zone circle out in one area, THE WHOLE CIRCLE GETS BIGGER.

It’s inevitable.

You can’t become bolder, more courageous, persistent, tenacious and resilient in one area without it happening in ALL the areas.

Because it’s YOU that’s changing, not the circle.

You are becoming.

When you push on the circle in one spot, the whole circle grows.



Becomes this: 

A couple caveats.

One: growing out of your comfort zone can be both energizing and exhausting. Don’t try to push your circle in too many of the life slices at once.

Two: you have to want and be excited by the thing you decide to pursue for this strategy to work. Growing the circle of comfort is challenging, even when you really want it, so it has to be something that energizes you enough to put in the work over the amount of time it takes. Only then do you get the spill over into other areas.

I love this idea because it’s like a pattern interrupt when you’ve been focused in one area too long. In those moments you’re feeling depleted or out of ideas in that area, focusing on growing yourself in a different one can be the reset button in the area that feels sluggish.

I know this to be true, because during a difficult time in my life when I was feeling stuck and unsure what to do next, I signed up for a triathlon.

​Doesn’t that sound so awesome? 

​Except I didn’t know how to swim. Like at all.

But I really, really wanted to do this race. I had joined a training team with friends, we were traveling to an amazing fun city for the race, and I wanted to finally see myself as an athlete.

I showed up at the gym pool for weeks in a row at 5:00am to practice and teach myself how to swim. It was terrible. Every day, I was coughing and choking, flailing around, trying to swim without putting my face in the water.

Eventually, a very fit elderly man, who was also there every morning swimming his laps, took pity and started teaching me.

I figured out how to breathe, swim a stroke that actually moved me through the water, and I started doing drills with fins.

Then race day came.

Right in the middle of the course, as other racers swam by me, I had panic attack in the water and had to stop and hold onto a kayak that was monitoring the swimmers. ​The safety crew asked if I wanted a pool noodle to make my way out of the water. ????

Dance class flashed before my eyes.

Hell. No.

I recovered my wits and finished the race.

Crossing the finish line to the song “Bette Davis Eyes” is still one of the proudest moments of my life.

It just so happens that at the very same time, I finally found the courage to leave my very dysfunctional, unhealthy first marriage.

While I was focusing on a completely different area of my life, my circle grew. I felt stronger, more confident, capable, and more able to weather the storm that might come.

I became the person who had the courage to do what was needed in that moment, even for a different area of my life.

I see this happen with my clients as they grow too.

We work on their business stuff, then they get the courage to join a dating app, move across the country, or start learning an instrument they always wanted to try but thought they missed the boat when they didn’t start in middle school.

So. I’m about to do a bunch of scary stuff in my business and feeling resistance in one particular area. I decided I needed a shake up. I signed up for a dance class for next week.

I’m excited and terrified. ????

What about you?

What’s the scary and exciting thing you’d love to do outside your business slice of the life pie? Email me at and let me know!

I think you’re fabulous.



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