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The Importance of Disconnecting and Going Outside of Your Comfort Zone

By Joyce Bethoney on

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” Ernest Hemingway

Admittedly, I am not someone who grew up learning that fun was a central part of life. I came from a place where hard work was the most important thing. Fun and travel were often viewed as frivolous. I was expected to be a good student, a good employee, etc.

I worked in high school and all through college—not because I necessarily wanted to—I had to. In my teens, twenties and early thirties, I didn’t put my money toward travel, and my energies were always focused on getting ahead. I found myself on a business track, like many Americans, where limited vacation time and the beat of a drum to “do more” and “go further” were constants.

This somewhat off-balance way of living has been the better part of 50 years of my life. And coupled with some personal challenges around flying, I was a fairly head’s down, impatient, exhausted person.

I recently took a seven-day vacation to Ireland with my boyfriend. This trip went outside of my comfort zone in every way. Making peace with taking time off and spending money on a trip was something I wrestled with for months prior to booking.

Cut to: post vacation me. I have come to know peace and adventure like never before. I pushed myself, my personal limitations and beliefs more than at any time in my life. For some, you might ask, “So, you went on vacation…what’s the big deal?”

For me, it was a lot. I returned to work refreshed and with a new perspective. I don’t think this could have happened on a weekend getaway or day trip. I was legitimately unplugged. Immersed in travelling up and down a rugged coastline. Speaking with locals and being in a place with the most magnificent sky and landscape.

If you are like me, I would encourage you to do three things.

#1 Give yourself permission to be good to yourself and recharge your battery more often.

#2 Go outside of your comfort zone. 

#3 Prepare heavily for both. This should not be overlooked. Going outside of your comfort zone also means getting yourself the tools and counsel to deal with any fear that’s preventing you from doing so.

There really is something to be said for retooling your toolkit and pushing yourself.  Sometimes the fruit is so much sweeter when you go out on a limb.