Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone, But How?

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How Many Times have you heard someone say that?  

Just step outside of your comfort zone, and you thought to yourself, that sounds great and all but how do I do that? I can tell you that I have been one of those people who had that very same response.  Gurus and coaches all tell you that stepping outside of your comfort zone is a step in the direction towards “living your best life” ! Another term that sounds great but actually confused the hell out of me when I first heard it.  


As you may or may not know, I have been on my mental health journey, for 2 years now.  

This journey for me has doubled as a self-awareness and self-discovery journey. It has been filled with ups, downs, highs, and lows.  I have learned so much about myself, and this is literally one journey that I would never want to change. It has been life changing. I had to go through a journey of self-awareness to discover what my hopes, dreams and desires.  This allowed me to discover my comfort zone and the area just beyond that region. That area is where all of the magical things would happen, That is what I had heard so many times before and now it was time to start testing this theory out.


I was, for so many years accustomed to doing with friends or family.  

If I wanted to go to an event or restaurant, I would see who I could get to go along with me to make my experience more enjoyable (so I thought) and definitely more comfortable.  It was almost unheard of to go anywhere alone. It was just something that I had never really done. I mean, I would of course go to work alone, but that was about it. I truly let others dictate my flow and my enjoyment.  If I didn’t have a buddy to roll with, I guess I was not going.


About a month ago I heard about a Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit that was taking place in NYC that I really wanted to see.

 I asked my friends if they wanted to go and of course they agreed. Here was the problem, the show was sold out until the end of the exhibit.  But, I decided on a whim that I was going to get on the waitlist to see if I could get a ticket to the show. I figured that it was a long shot and that it probably was not going to happen.  Well, guess what, it happened! I got a wait list ticket email at 11pm last Thursday night for Friday afternoon. I didn’t realize this until Friday morning but I was in! I was excited and anxious and this was totally out of my comfort zone.  


Needless to say, I had a really great time.  

Once I got to the gallery, the anxiety had subsided.  I learned something about comfort zones on this trip to the city.  When you allow yourself to stay within comfort zones, people can unintentionally control you and your destiny.  So it is so important to be mindful of what it is that you want at all times. It is okay if your wants and dreams change, but the most important thing is that you are in control.  You are in control.


How important is dealing with past issues in order to maintain your illness ?

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Well if you ask me I say it is very very important.  

Let me explain why I think this is the case. When I made the decision to begin my mental health recovery journey, I did not know that I would be simultaneously starting my self-awareness and self-discovery journey as well.  Making this decision was one of the best decisions and investments that I could have ever made for myself.


When I started to see my see my therapist, she would ask me things about my past, my parents, and about old relationships.

 I would think to myself, “Why is she asking me this?, this doesn’t have anything to do with being bipolar?” She would ask me to talk about my mother, and her passing (which is my total weak spot).  I would find myself with a face full of tears and a handful of kleenex.


I felt like it was totally pointless to talk about my past relationships and my childhood…..

when all I wanted to talk about was how to fix myself and my anxiety and my bipolar disorder.  What I did not realize was that talking about my past and where I had been would help with where I was going and what my future would be like. Looking at the past and the experiences that I had would allow me to discover who I was as a person, these were all very important things that I needed to evaluate on this journey of mental health recovery and even more important on my journey of self-awareness.  Who I was as a person played a part in how I responded to my illness and my symptoms, and all of this information would allow me to be more informed and educated when taking care of myself in the present and the future.



Having a Mental Illness Made Me A Better Person

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Having a Mental Illness Made Me A Better Person

When I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and anxiety over 4 years ago, I thought that it was the end of the world.  Because of the stigma and negative images portrayed about people with mental health disorders, I too believed the awful narratives.  I did not of course, want to be one of them.  I know that was a terrible way of thinking but, it was from lack of knowledge and information.

For years I was in denial about my illness. 

I did not want to admit having an illness that so many viewed in such a negative way. After years of partially maintaining my illness, it did not yield the results that I desired.  I wanted to live a normal life and “be okay”.

Last year I made a vow to myself.  I vowed to take my mental health seriously.  This included going to therapy on a regular basis (once a week) and seeing my psychiatrist at least every 8 weeks.  What I did not realize when I started on this new path, what I was in for. I hoped that I would feel better but never in a million years did I think that I would feel like a brand-new person.

In additional to learning the coping skills needed maintain my illness…….

I also dealt with many of the issues that had plagued my past.  As much as I denied dealing with these issues, dealing with them really helped me.  I began seeing things more clearly, developed a greater relationship with myself, and increased my self-awareness and self-love. 

I do believe that had I not received my diagnosis, I would not have had the chance to really take the time to focus on my mental health and my past issues.  I truly believe that my mental illness has made me a better person, and I am so grateful for it. 

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