When was the last time you did something that scared you? The last time you really pushed your boundaries, took a risk, faced your fears head on, and used it to propel you forward?

Risk taking is often associated with youth. The stereotype of the young and reckless teenager, free to make decisions without the weight of responsibilities (and bills) to consider. As we spend more time on this planet, as we build our lives and careers, we create habits and routines that become part of our “comfort zone”. Inside this zone are things that give us feelings of stability, certainty, control, and safety.

While this may sound great in theory, staying where we are comfortable does not push us to grow. It also keeps us in what can feel like our discomfort zone—that place or relationship or situation that may be stressful and unproductive but which feels like the ‘way things have to be’. They don’t have to be that way—it is a false zone of comfort.

Confronting fears, uncertainty, and unfamiliar situations are where we grow the most. If you’ve ever successfully confronted and overcome anything, you are familiar with the sense of self-satisfaction that comes with it. The only thing standing between you and the joy and freedom of accomplishing something new is you.

In her book, Out of Your Comfort Zone, Emma Mardlin Ph.D. equips us with effective tools to conquer our deepest fears and push us further toward our ultimate goals, purpose, and full potential. Mardlin uses an assessment called the ‘Zone Test’ to measure your comfort zone before and after working through the book. Tools such as the intuition indicator and RACE technique, and the thought-provoking “life discovery model” support you to conquer your fears and let go of limitations. She presents resilience-builder challenges, anxiety-buster techniques, practices for indestructible thinking, and “baby steps” to build confidence. She explores why we feel fear and how fear works in the brain, anxiety-reducing foods and how they work nutritionally, as well as the key psychological markers of a fearless “zone zero” personality.

We’ve chosen to highlight Out of Your Comfort Zone this month because it provides practical steps and know-how to help as we repot during Middlescence. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be overwhelming, but if you are equipped with tools to handle new and unfamiliar situations, you will be prepared and confident to take on any situation to fearlessly achieve your goals.

A Look at a Book is a series I’m hosting to help keep you informed about the latest books having to do with adult development and middlescence. A Look at a Book is an efficient, enjoyable way to stay informed. 


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