Flow is a brand new magazine in France (the English version was lunched ten months ago). We like it for its covers and illustrations, their pastel colors, and the interesting articles. The French issue #3 (sold out) attracted our attention: How to dare leaving your comfort zone. Sounds familiar to any expatriate, doesn’t it? The narrator starts with an anecdote. She was on holiday in India. She feels OK at the hotel, but as soon as she tries to leave the hotel, she feels scared and get back to the lobby. She decides to tame her anxiety. She first visits the city with a guided tour and other tourists. Then, she takes a taxi and visits a temple close to the hotel. In the end, she takes a rickshaw and ask the driver to leave her on an open market: “it seemed easy and I enjoyed doing things I wouldn’t have dared to undertake under normal circumstances”.
Working out and changing
She just left her comfort zone: this zone of habits, routines, certainties. Everyone has his/her own limits and fears. A person able to jump from an airplane with a parachute will not be able to negotiate his/her salary with the boss! The aptitude of facing positively new situations also varies from one person to another. The article gives tips helping to leaving one’s own comfort zone: undertaking changes when one feels fine in his/her own life, writing a diary and noting one’s change wishes and objectives, working out by trying first tiny changes.
When we are expatriate, we cannot choose neither the right time, nor the changes. Timing is imposed, even if one does not really feel alright (or even feels weakened by a recent expatriation): changes are just there. A person used to live in a house of a wealthy and quite suburban area may have to live in a tower in Jakarta and face the jungle of the awful traffic! This is a radical change.
The quoted article is unfortunately not available in English. However, consulting a coach will help you if you have to leave your comfort zone (or if you wish to leave it!)
Flow website in English http://www.flowmagazine.com/