Your Soul Has No Use for your Comfort Zone - Christine Kane

Today’s post was written by guest blogger, Sue Ludwig. Sue is the President and Founder of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists. She is also a consultant to neonatal intensive care units around the country, a national speaker, and a published poet. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.

“I’d love to go to one of Christine’s retreats if I were the kind of person who went to retreats.”

That’s what I said to myself two years ago when I began reading Christine’s blog.

I loved the way she wrote with such insight, wisdom and humor. I began to learn there was a different way to view the world. It was a breath of fresh air.

A retreat seemed so cool. But so scary! After all, I’d always been an observer – standing back and watching any new activity before joining in. I had to be perfect or at least good at something before I tried it.

PLUS, I had so many great reasons why “That’s just not me.”

– I didn’t deserve to take time out entirely for myself.

– I had a family and a job. I couldn’t just run off to do something like that. How could they possibly make it without me?

– I travel frequently for work, but I’m compensated for that. Leaving town for a retreat was a whole different animal. I had no one to invoice!

– What if these women were really different from me and I didn’t fit in?

In spite of all these “rational” thoughts, I finally went to my husband and said something completely un-empowered like, “I would sort of love to go to this thing in Asheville. It sounds really cool, but I’m not sure how you’d feel about it….”

He stopped me and said, “Why are you asking me? You look excited about it. Go.”

I went to the retreat. I purposely went alone. I wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I had no idea what was in store for me. But I think my soul knew there was more to my life, and it told me that this experience was going to help me live bigger and deeper than I had before.

And it couldn’t have been more right.

In retrospect, one of the biggest victories about that retreat is that I actually went. I quit waiting on the outside of the loop due to fear of the unknown, or waiting for the nonexistent perfect time to leave my family. No one anointed me worthy or deserving. I’ve traveled alone for business countless times. But this was different. I had a feeling of adventure, excitement and autonomy I hadn’t felt before. Just making the decision to go caused a huge shift!

Here are a few things I’ve learned from that experience:

• Inaction is still a decision.

• Making one small step in a new or exciting direction can change how you feel about yourself. Today.

• Investing in yourself and your happiness is not selfish. And the ripple effect is amazing.

• Getting out of your comfort zone makes you awake. You’ll no longer sleep walk through your life.

• There’s no use in complaining about the results in your life if you’re not actively involved in changing the formula that got you there.

• Investing your time and/or money in a coach or mentor, or being part of a group that refuses to see you as anything but your best self is priceless.

• Life gives you endless opportunities to start over. It only takes one small step forward, one new and better thought to feel the shift.

This Sunday I returned from the final 2009 in-person Platinum Mastermind Coaching weekend with Christine. It was filled with her unique presence, guidance and knowledge as well as the forward thinking, wholly supportive energy of the women in this group.

This group is something I never would’ve imagined for myself. Especially if I hadn’t taken one small step out of my comfort zone to go to that first retreat.

So, as I ride the wave of changes I’ve created in my life, here’s what I want to say to anyone out there who’s standing on the edge of making a decision or taking a chance…

Step forward into a place that feels scary, new, and exciting. That’s how you know you’re moving, growing. That’s how you know you’re alive.

Your soul has no use for your comfort zone.

22 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Lisa

    I love it! I first went to a Christine Kane retreat in 2007, and just returned from a weekend in Asheville last weekend. I’m drawn to Asheville and want to move there, and I have a few contacts there but I’m also scared. I’ve wanted to move somewhere b/c I want to live there, not just b/c I got a job in that place.

    So I’m taking steps to make it happen. Why do I keep going for more of what I don’t want in my life? Why do I keep paying attention to that inner critic that comes in the form of my father, when I’m a fully self-supporting adult at age 33?

    As a mentor of mine just stated (and that’s why she’s a mentor in addition to being a great person), “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” I just want to credit Lili Agee-Finke as having said that. Her website is: http://www.execucoach360.com/ExecuCoach360_ExecuTeam.htm

  • Fiona Purdy

    Amen.

  • Lisa Mischke

    Hi Sue and everyone! This post is very timely for me. I’ve been a choir director for years but not yet put together my own choir–though I’ve talked about it for a long time! Prompted by getting laid off from my church job, I just put out the publicity for a seasonal, 6-week choir to start next week! Every step I take, I’m kinda nervous, but I’m talking myself through it. Big breath before hitting “send” on the first email. Earlier this summer, I took on a big project I was nervous about, and my mantra was, “I can do it.” (After having a good sit-down sober assesment of whether I truly thought I was capable at this point). That project, by the way, was wildly successful. (A production of Carmina Burana with 30 fire dancers at a summer festival).
    Okay, here we go!

  • Bob Ludwig

    Sue
    You have the heart and soul of an entrepreneur.Good luck in your new venture I have no doubt that you will suceed.

    Most entrepreneurs find at one time or another themselves facing adverisity but in adverisity always lies opportunity may you always sieze the opportunity.

  • Rob Ludwig

    Anyone in doubt? I have personally witnessed the growth that Sue has experienced personally and professionally; Amazing. If anyone is trying to decide if this type of experience would benefit them – my advice is simple; jump, it is.

    So proud of you SUE!

    Love

    Rob

  • Louise

    Happy for all of you, and myself who has made changes in the way we look at our world, ourselves, business and other projects through these wonderful postings that are helpful, funny and insightful. What to do about the partners though who just don’t quite follow and through silence or slight depression, feel somehow threatened through the seemengly positive changes that we’ve made?
    Any sugestions?

  • sue

    Miranda- How cool is that?! Good for you for making that leap!

    Thanks for all the great comments. I love hearing your stories! The timing thing is exciting to hear b/c I so appreciate when that happens for me!

    Regina, here’s to a fantastic first ArtFest!!

  • Angie

    Sue,
    Again, you never cease to amaze. You have such a profound message to share with the world. I am so lucky to be part of it!!
    Great post, friend!

  • Annette

    Amen! Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to realize that concept deep inside? It amazes me how much we know but until it clicks and resonates, our lives don’t change. Thank you for helping it click!

  • Anna

    Glad to have been jumping off the ledge of the comfort zone with you and the rest of our Sylvias this year! Can’t wait to see what’s next…

  • regina

    WoW! Reading this really struck a nerve that has been knotted up inside of me. I recently registered for ArtFest, a retreat for artists. I am also a nurse. I’ve been telling myself to put this hidden dream of becoming an artist on the side because I’m just a nurse, and a mom, and a wife. But lately I feel I’m surrounded by other nurses, techs, clerks who feel stuck and complain all the time. I don’t want that for myself. SO, I signed up for Artfest in March 2010. I’ve been wanting to go for at least 5 years. I will be stepping OUT of my comfort zone in a big way and I can’t wait. Thanks for sharing your insights on growing. I am even more excited than before!

  • sister of another mother

    Suze,
    I am giggling for many reasons! You can guess who I am forwarding this post to:) How true! The ripple effect from you moving out of your comfort zone has totally changed my life. THANKS for that! Know that my life is productive and peace filled because I leapt with faith on your advice.

  • Glad

    I’m going to my first Christine Kane retreat next month. I’m nervous, but so excited. This is a step my soul needs to move on in my journey.

    Yay!!

  • Jenny

    Sue, Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I love the reminder that our souls have no use for our comfort zones. So true! What you wrote helped me to reflect upon things I have done in the past that where I ignored my comfort zone…. as well as something I planned to do today that I’ve been hesitant about, because of my comfort zone.

    Thanks for this reminder. It was great timing for me today!

  • brojoe

    Another great post Sue

  • kathreen

    Dear Sue, I particularly love this line: “Getting out of your comfort zone makes you awake. You’ll no longer sleep walk through your life.” I was just writing in my journal this morning about feeling like I’m in a foggy haze, a sort of fuzzy-blurry existence. My last words on the page were Why? Why is this happening? WHY? Your post gave me answers from the heart and soul! A heartfelt Thank You to you and the truly amazing Christine.

  • Mindful Mimi

    Sue,
    I went to Christine’s October retreat all the way from Europe. It was a big step and I had the same un-empowered message for my husband. My feelings and takeaways were exactly like yours. And the power of a group of like-minded people is so huge!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Miranda

  • Positively Present

    Love this post! Such a great way to look at our lives and the world around us. Thank you for sharing this and motivating me today.

  • Lynne

    Inaction is still a decision…

    Those words are incredibly powerful for me right now. Thank you, Sue, for another incredibly great post!

  • sue

    Lance- Very cool to see how your word has molded your year! And yeah, listening to that deeper voice is a good thing. Good luck!

    mary jo- Great story! It’s almost like a switch goes off in that moment we say ‘yes’ to something and we begin to change. Love picturing your climb!

  • Mary Jo (Sam)

    Sue, Thank you for the great post! I remember the first time I stepped out of my comfort zone. I was with a group of teenagers at a teambuilding weekend, and we were at a climbing wall. I had told my colleagues that I was NOT going to be climbing. Period. Then I saw my mentor, 10 years my senior, and no bigger than a minute, climb up, amongst cheers from the teens. So I swallowed hard, put on the gear,with all the same cheering and reached the top, (100 ft)! Since then I have used that moment to encourage myself to try new things!

  • Lance

    Hi Sue,
    I’m drawn to the start of 2009 and how I chose a word to focus on – courage. And how that’s come up countless times throughout the year – where I’ve drawn on my courage to step out of a comfort zone, and into a zone that challenges me in some new way. The next is a week-long look at self awareness (in NC of all places…not Asheville, though) coming up in November. And this is one of those moments, where like you, it has been been a challenge to say yes. I have, though, and am excited now about what lies ahead. When I stop and really think about this, and listen to my heart – I know this is the right decision – as much as the feeling of “not knowing” is there, I also just feel in my heart this is where I should be…and your words here today help to confirm that listening to the deeper voice from within, that’s a good thing…