Breaking Out of Comfort Zones

Welcome to my newest experiment: living a fully authentic, joyful life. One that is no longer constrained by my comfort zone or the limiting beliefs I’ve imposed upon myself.

First, a little background: my name is Emily, and I’ve been living the minimal life and blogging about it over at Minimal Millennial since 2013. I started the blog as a response to the overwhelm I felt about the stuff I owned - it was truly out of control. I'll still be blogging over there, if that's more your vibe.

For 2016, I’ve decided to move into a new space and blog under the pseudonym of Ennaree, a nickname from my childhood that’s followed me into adulthood. This blog is similar to Minimal Millennial in many ways, except for one major difference: instead of removing things from my life, this blog is about adding things (both physical and non-physical) back in.

I’ll be sharing simple style posts, decor tips, DIYs, and everything else you’d expect from a personal lifestyle blog. But with one catch: I won’t advocate for larger closets or over-the-top home decor. I’m a real girl with a real budget, and you’ll see that intention played out in my posts.

You want to come along too? Great, let’s dive right in and talk about comfort zones.

Photo courtesy of Minimography

Photo courtesy of Minimography

Where is my comfort zone?

My comfort zone, as all comfort zones tend to do, has really stagnated. The idea of being a “minimalist” was my objective (and formed the boundaries of my comfort zone) for the past few years, and it worked well for me until just last year.  Now it’s become like a well-worn dress that still fits, but no longer makes me happy.

I’ve been restricting my consumption for the sake of that minimal lifestyle, but now anxiety is starting to settle in. I’ve actually created more stress for myself by restraining myself - even the thought of buying something like a throw pillow, for example, brings undue deliberation about whether or not a “minimalist” would own it.

That minimal lifestyle helped me remove myself from my past overindulgent behaviors, but I have also removed myself from taking part in things that do bring me joy: dressing up, decorating my home, experiencing new places.

It’s time to step out of that strict comfort zone and allow myself to intentionally indulge in people, places, and things that bring me joy. I’m freeing myself from the “minimalist” label and sticking to something that feels a bit more kind: simple.

Where is your comfort zone?

Take a moment to think about your own comfort zone and the labels you put on yourself. What notions do you have about your own life that aren’t truly connecting you to what makes you most joyful?

For example, do you imagine yourself as a career-minded person but really deep down just want to focus on family? Or is it the other way around? (Hey, no judgment here).

This all comes down to identifying where you are at versus where your values, your true values, lie. Don’t deny yourself of pleasure just because you don’t think it “fits” with your ideas about how you are supposed to live.

Breaking free

So here’s to this experiment in more joyful living. If that neon and sequin throw pillow truly feels like something you’d love to come home to every day, don’t anguish over whether or not you should purchase it.

Joyful living is about asking the right questions, not about saying no.

We won’t get anywhere by denying ourselves. We especially won’t get anywhere without kindness - to ourselves and to others. So here it is: be kind and generous to yourself, nurture yourself like the unique and beautiful creature you are.

Let’s do this together: allow ourselves to try new things, go new places, meet new people, and create the wild and precious life we want, all with intention. And all with kindness.