How Staying in Comfort Zone and Awaiting Better Mood Can Sabotage You

September 23, 2014

fish out of water The well-known American admonition to “Go west, young man, go west!” was about a promise of a wonderful life on the other side of the continent. To the family and friends of the leaving pioneers the association must have been bittersweet because they were extremely unlikely to see their loved ones again.

In a sense “going west”, which was later on switched out to “heading or going south”, suggests that something has actually been terminally broken down.

I lately asked a client of mine to come up with a title for his memoir. He stated, readily, “Gone South”. It suggested that he views his life as a straight regression, damaging or falling– all points that are unpleasant as well as psychologically connected with the American South.

But life is not linear. It is more like a meandering journey and my client’s own life is a great example of that idea.

He is accomplished professionally; has a terrific family and also is the author of a number of creations and inventions that make people’s lives easier and also even more pleasant.

We all could get stuck on how things “should” be while yearning to move forward at the same time.

We could get stuck in disappointments, feelings, emotions, moods, and also habitual thoughts and beliefs, or a mix of those. When we have a strong psychological attachment to a belief regarding something it can be really difficult to get ourselves unstuck.

Removing the psychological attachment to the belief in falling in “southern direction” is a must to get unstuck. It calls for a minimum of 2 factors.

Number one is leaving your comfort area.

You will recognize it as the place where you have stopped playing, mixing it up, challenging yourself with new ideas and viewpoints. Maybe you have become fearful to lose what you have already achieved. Life brings us a variety of twists, challenges and trials. Perhaps you started doubting that anything good or exciting would ever happen in your life. Over time, this limiting belief will cause you to develop funky moods and reinforce your belief that your life is indeed headed in the southern direction.

Number two is not waiting around till we get in a much better mood or until a perfect possibility presents itself to start doing exactly what we must.

Lots of people give in to the whim to avoid doing what they consider challenging or difficult in order to feel good in the moment. According to procrastination researchers, we give in to feel good. We give in to food, shopping, drinking, smoking, gambling and procrastination. We say things like: “I need to feel better in order to do this”, or “I don’t feel like it” and I need to feel better first”.

In fact, the opposite is true. Getting going without delay, instead of focusing on our feelings or moods in the short term, will yield better results. Great jazz musicians for instance (John Coltrane, Miles Davis) did not wait for a perfect opportunity or an ideal chance to play. They did not wait to generate the ideal mood but played despite the kind of mood they were in at the moment.

Start with what’s already available and use everything you’ve got as an opportunity to improve in life.

I encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas about what to do in order not to feel that your life has gone or is heading south. I am looking forward to your comments.

Until next time.


8 Comments. Leave new'
Claudia Crawley
September 26, 2014 4:34 am

Thanks for this Renata. I focus on the things I appreciate to stop myself ‘heading south’. I do so when I awake in the morning and before I turn out the light at night. It works – most of the time and when it doesn’t, a check will tell me that I was on auto-pilot rather than in real appreciation mode. When one really feels gratitude, one’s spirit is lifted.


Love the “auto-pilot” reference!

Lyndah Malloy-Glover (@nbalance2)
September 28, 2014 8:04 pm

Excellent post Renata and a topic that is always timely. My process:

1. I check in with the woman in the mirror when that out to lunch, gone fishing, or gone south feeling comes over me. I ask me why, what’s going on behind my eyes and between my ears that has me in a funk

2. I use music without words (jazz and gospel) to redirect me, feeding both the physical and spiritual aspects of my dual being

3. As with fear, I will operate through the malaise, to do what is in best interest and for my highest good.

Good to have you back, your voice was missed.



Excellent points about redirecting (jazz especially for me) and connecting with your higher self!
I appreciate you very much Lyndah.

Margaret Reynolds
October 2, 2014 3:17 am

Once again, Renata is right on the mark–how many times do I procrastinate telling myself–I will be up to that tomorrow. The truth is you will be in a better mood once you do that thing you don’t want to do (Maybe it will turn out as badly as you thought, but at least it will be over). Get done with it and move on to the next opportunity!!!


Thanks for your comment Margaret. Moods do follow behavior.


So true – it is so easy to put the difficult things off. The funny thing is once the wheels are in motion it is easy to keep the momentum going!
A great thought to start the week off…


Thanks Wendy for your contribution to this post. Have a great week!


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