Why Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone Invites Self-Sabotage, and How to Move Past this Temporary Discomfort into Your Best Life
Monday December 5, 2022

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“To manifest change, we must first create change. We must do something different, we must challenge our fears and doubts, we must act as our future self would act, and we must show the universe how ready and willing we are to step into [the change we seek].” —Roxie Nafousi, author of Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life

You did it!

After much contemplation and examination, you have decided to make the leap, the change, the purchase, whatever the first concrete step is in doing something you have never done before but that is in alignment with what you deeply long for to live a life you love.

Immediately after making the decision, you feel a positive swell of exhilaration and excitement. Wahoo! You did it!

The day folds into night, and maybe it is that first night that leads into an early morning, or maybe it takes a couple of days, but at some point, you feel different because you’ve committed yourself. You are heading in a new direction and that means you have to focus more energy on this desired something, something you know is intrinsically best for you to be at peace, even if you don’t know entirely how it will all unfold, but still, it is different, and many unknowns come with something new.

Your ego raises its head as it sees your subconscious noticing this difference. The ego does its best to frame this ‘difference’ as bad, and does its darnedest to make you feel deeply uncomfortable, hoping you will begin to question your decision. After all, this is a change, a conscious change that you know is best, and you did not consult the ego (good for you, by the way). The ego is not happy because it has less control. The ego knows that our subconscious is powerful, and if we are not aware of the subconscious’ strength and how the subconscious likes comfort, then the ego has an edge, so it does all that I can to make us feel doubtful and fearful.

The ego hopes that we will return to what we know, to what is comfortable, but not necessarily what is best for us. Let’s pause here. You now have the key to halting Self-Sabotage in its tracks.

What you have just read through is the story of the Cycle of Self-Sabotage:

  1. You make a decision to change
  2. You then take the first steps to institute the change
  3. You initially start to feel good
  4. Your subconscious takes note that this change is something different, something new.
  5. You begin to feel uncomfortable
  6. You question the change you have made
  7. Your subsconscious craves comfort
  8. [If we let the ego and subconscious win], we return to what is comfortable

Roxie Nafousi, author of the book Manifest, is a self-development coach who shares in a detailed graphic illustration the steps listed above the stages we move through in our mind when self-sabotage is taking place. Does it look familiar?

I can even just recently, note that this is the exact journey my mind went through as I made a big decision in my life. However, I was aware of this cycle and was able to stop it before I errantly would have returned to my Comfort Zone. This is not an unfamiliar cycle my mind has experienced. I can recall many times I have moved through it; however, thankfully, most of the time, and for all of the significant, quality-of-life changing choices, I have stepped out of the cycle before it took control.

The key to thwarting self-sabotage begins with understanding how the cycle works, so we can halt it in its tracks, recognize what is going on and why, and through patient practice and mindfulness training, retrain our subconscious to become more comfortable with fear and doubt when the unknown sits in front of us.

The subconscious is powered by knowledge of past experiences of how to move through our day, and thus our life. It doesn’t necessarily mean those engrained patterns are what is best; it is just what has enabled each of us to function on some level to keep surviving. It doesn’t guarantee we will thrive. Which means, when we understand how the subconscious mind works, we can begin to feed it, consciously, new experiences that will enable us to thrive, and that begins with strengthening our awareness, which leads us to change – consciously – how we act, how you speak, and gradually, over time, our subconscious changes to better benefit the life you want to live. I encourage you to listen to Eckhart Tolle explanation of this shift as he responded to a question from the audience of how to deal with the subconscious sabotaging our mind attempts.

Awareness.

When we strengthen the skill of awareness, something I write about in detail in my second book in chapter 9, “Stock Your Toolbox II: Hone the Skills You Need to Succeed” — Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making your everydays extraordinary and discovering your best self —we give ourselves one of the most life changing tools that will enable us to manifest the life we desire to live.

So, how you do we overcome self-sabotage, being aware when it is taking place within the mind? Understand what triggers it. And what triggers the self-sabotage cycle is the change we have discovered, because we have dared to be our true selves and come to understand ourselves, and thus we discover a change that would best align to live our best life.

Once we stop self-sabotage from letting the ego take control, we are still aware that things are beginning to feel different, but we embrace it. This is the feeling of stepping outside of your Comfort Zone. Instead of retreating back to your Comfort Zone, we embrace the truth that in order to manifest the life we seek, changes will have to happen, so we acknowledge there will be some discomfort. {Listen/Read this post/episode about how to become comfortable with discomfort.}

The good news is, the discomfort is temporary. Remind yourself of this truth, and remind yourself that this discomfort is where the transformation that must take place is taking place. Nafousi teaches that we must sit with this discomfort “until it feels like home”.

The benefits of bidding adieu to self-sabotage are abundant and quite wonderful. Let’s take a look at those, as shown by Nafousi in her book Manifest:

  • The door to abundance opens
  • Creativity, inspiration and ‘an influx of ideas’ come to you, ‘seemingly out of nowhere’
  • Your grounding confidence strengthens as you realize you can step outside of your comfort zone and all will be well, in fact, very well indeed.
  • You begin to take the steps that will lead you to “a wonderful, exciting and abundant life” – seizing upon the inspiration that comes your way and stepping toward possibility which will keep taking you out of your comfort zone little bit by little bit, but you now know you can do it and all will be well.

Abundance and deep contentment await on the other side of self-sabotage if we exercise our awareness to not fall prey to the cycle that keeps us where we no longer wish to be. We each can do it because now we have the knowledge and when we know more, life does become easier because we know the next best step forward.

Wishing you a wonderful start to the new week. Thank you for stopping by today. Bonne journée.

~My own journey of stepping out of the self-sabotage cycle and toward a life of true contentment is detailed in my new book The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment. Explore 366 daily entries that offer inspiration to readers to create a life of true contentment that is uniquely your own.

thesimplyluxuriouslife.com | The Simply Luxurious Life

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7 thoughts on “Why Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone Invites Self-Sabotage, and How to Move Past this Temporary Discomfort into Your Best Life

  1. Good morning Shannon, again another thoughtful post to return to. I am currently reading the teachings of Neville Goddard and Wayne Dyer, which align with those of Eckhart Tolle, also asking us to ‘assume the wish fulfilled’. The more confident I become in imagining the future I want for myself, the less impact the internal chatter has. Have a great week everyone, Sue, England.

    1. Sue,

      Thank you for sharing these authors. I will be sure to explore them, and so happy for you that your awareness is strengthening. What peace to experience. It makes each day more joy filled and steady no matter what may be unfolding beyond our control. Have a wonderful week. 😌

      1. Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, has made a lasting impression on me. I also love the movie, “The Shift”, which presents his ideas an a story that follows several different lives and makes you want to apply that to your own life, all in a gorgeous oceanside retreat house!!!! I’ve watched that movie sooooo many times. You might enjoy those suggestions.

  2. Hi Shannon, this post is a good reminder that in order to create the change I want, I must step outside my comfort zone. Aww! So good to know that the discomfort is only temporary, and the results can bring so much satisfaction in manifesting the desired change. Your stunning photo of the pups romping in the snow could be on a magazine cover! Have a great week.

    1. Karen,

      Thank you for stopping by. Yes, the good news is, so long as we have done our homework beforehand and the know the decision is best for us, the discomfort will subside and transform into something more wondrous than we have ever experienced. Nelle is demonstrating the stepping into something new, exploring the change of her new family and while there are moments of trepidation, she also demonstrates the joy and sheer delight when she sees how wondrous the new is 🙂

  3. Hi Shannon! What I find interesting in your post is the cycle of trying something new, feeling good about it, then second guessing your choice and reverting to old ways. This is me, and I have been thinking that I am weak and indecisive because I never stuck with a good start. Now I understand the “why” of this, and it will help me get over that next time of ego-centered thinking. Just wondering, why does our ego seem to play against us so often? Now I’m armed with some good info – thank you so much!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Victoria and sharing your experience. The cycle is normal when our ego holds the reins and we are unconscious of its power. And the ego is solely concerned with external events – i.e. approval from others – and sticking with what is known – i. e. comfort in what has been done (whether constructive or not). Eckhart Tolle’s explanations and teachings are far more clear and in-depth in explanation, but essentially, when we aren’t aware of our ego’s influences, that is when it is a hindrance and thwarts experiencing and living a life of fulfillment and true contentment.

      I so appreciate your honesty, and you are not weak by any means. Women especially, but humans generally are prone to seek approval from society and when we decide to change, that scares those around us and we respond to this ‘fear’ by staying put if we lack awareness of this truth but most importantly ourselves and what is truly meant to be our journey.

      Thank you very much for your comment. 😌

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