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    • 30 April
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    What To Do When You Don’t Have a Comfort Zone

    Last week Prince died. We are almost the same age. Old interviews have been playing, concert clips, SNL even devoted an entire show to him. The one thing that stands out for me is that everyone that knew him is saying “he was a very private person”.

    You can see that during the SNL 40th anniversary clip where he played “Let’s Go Crazy”. The second it was over, he bolted off the stage. My uneducated guess is it was all too much.

    So much self-help (and I read and have read A LOT of self-help books) tell you how it is important to move out of your comfort zone. Just like a muscle, you need to stretch it to build it. That’s great but what about those of us that don’t have a comfort zone?!

    For the bulk of my life I honestly didn’t have a comfort zone. I yearned for a comfort zone. Sure at home or out with good friends I was okay but not always at work, not at work events, not even necessarily when I went to my relatives or parent’s home. Social events could be bad too. I just thought it was the way things were and I needed to power through it. Most people had no clue that was how I felt because I did a good job of covering my discomfort.

    Even with the fear, I still did a lot of new things that many people stronger than myself wouldn’t try. I went for promotions at work, trained to become a serious voiceover artist, traveled to foreign countries (sometimes by myself). When you always feel fear, what’s a little more fear?

    This constant angst brought some good. I was good at preparing, being organized, learning, and leading. My angst made me cognizant of others and gave me a heightened sense of empathy. I tried to never knowingly throw someone under the bus.

    Over the years though I started to realize this is not a good way to live. It kills creativity, promotes stress and depression and basically holds you back even when you feel like you’re moving forward.

    I realized I put strategies in place by default to help me cope and keep me calm.

    If you feel like you don’t have a comfort zone or for those times when it’s all just too much, here are some of my strategies:

    • Let courage come in spurts | Here’s the thing, you don’t have to be brave all the time. It leads to burnout. So give yourself a break. If you do something that vexes thee go do something that gives you a break afterwards. Go for a quick walk, take a bath, read whatever gives your already over run nervous system a break!
    • Watch what you eat/drink on days that you know have the potential for extra stress | Even small amounts of caffeine and sugar can send you over the top on days that you have a lot on your plate. Instead, eat something delicious, satisfying and good for you. Something soothing.
    • Set an intention | I always tried to set an intention for meetings, especially ones that I knew would be contentious. I would quickly ask to “release my fear” and then ask that “the meeting resolve for the good of all”. Just that quick intention could change my vibe which would translate into a calmer meeting.
    • Learn a calming modality | Breath work, grounding, Emotional Freedom Technique to name a few are just a few of the ways you can quickly get calm, even if you’re in the middle of a meeting. Find one that works for you and — USE it. Remember, it doesn’t work if you don’t use it!
    • Guard Your Free Time | I love a good Quentin Tarantino movie but when it all gets to be too much, I just don’t look. Same with events or cities. I love everything about NYC, it energizes me but I also need down time. Make sure that you guard your free time with everything you’ve got. This is your time to recharge. Guard it ruthlessly!
    • Get Enough Rest | When you’re sensitive getting enough sleep is key to be able to handle stress. This is not negotiable on a daily basis.

    Breaking ruts aka stepping out of your comfort zone is important for personal and professional growth but learning to manage the stress that can come with it is equally important. Now go out there and make a difference, calmly!

    Eva Lewandowski MBA, is a certified Life Coach, certified EFT Practitioner, seminar leader, speaker and co-host of a weekly internet radio show “Corporate Talk with Charlie and Eva”. She is also a 30 year veteran of Corporate America as an IT consultant. Using the skills she learned in acting classes, life coaching and EFT certification training as well as her struggle with debilitating stage fright, she created, Stand Up and Be Heard!, a program that teaches professionals how to overcome their fear of the spotlight. She is also the author of “Put on Your Phone Face: Tips and Techniques for teleconferences and conference calls”.

     To learn more about Eva CLICK HERE!

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