This post contains gifted items
I’ve always loved the comfort zone. Especially within the last 6 or 7 years, when my Generalized Anxiety Disorder started. The comfort zone was somewhere I never wanted to stray from. And I don’t necessarily think a comfort zone is a bad thing. I remember Louise Pentland talking about how she likes her comfort zone too and I felt like, “Yes. Okay then. This is a normal feeling”.
We’re constantly bombarded with “inspirational quotes” about how life starts at the end of your comfort zone and everything you want is on the other side of your comfort zone, blah blah blah. I feel like my issue with inspirational quotes is another post for another time but you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Go onto Pinterest now and I bet you’ll see at least 3 quotes of a similar nature.
And whilst I get it – sort of – I’ve always been a bit reluctant to believe it. I think we’ve all been led astray and led to believe that in order to escape your comfort zone, you need to do something big and drastic. Like quit your job, move country, change your name and never look back *eye rolls*. Which, not only is a thousand percent unrealistic and not doable for the majority of people. It’s also not true.
I like to think of the comfort zone as concentric circles. They get bigger and bigger and bigger the further outwards you go. And that’s kind of like a comfort zone. The things get scarier and scarier and scarier the bigger they are. But don’t forget, there’s a lot of other, smaller, less daunting circles for you to experiment with too.
We’re all so different and something someone would consider out of their comfort zone, might be an absolute piece of cake to someone else. And this is where we get into the point about how important it is not to judge yourself against other people. Just because that person is comfortable posing in their underwear and you’re not, has absolutely no correlation.
Now, as someone with anxiety, I gotta say my comfort zone is pretty tight. I like all my things being in the right place. I like my own bed. I like my routine. I like having a plan and knowing exactly what everyone is doing every day of the week. Coupled with being a Type A personality AND a Virgo. Well, you can imagine I’m pretty rigid to put it bluntly.
But this year, I DO feel like I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone. I do feel like I’ve learnt more about a lot of things this year already than I have for a long time. I feel like I’ve turned a corner. I feel like I’m growing up. And I feel like I’m slowly leaving the comfort zone behind. But not too far behind. Because I still enjoy coming back to it whenever I can.
To some people, these might seem like the most insignificant things in the world. But this year I have:
Experimented a lot more with outfit photos: This is where the images within this post come in. I’ve always hated photos of myself. Especially within my 20’s (I loved how I looked in my late teens but alas, things change). I’ve always felt awkward in front of the camera and just felt like a great, big, dollop. Basically.
So taking outfit shots has always been a bit anxiety-provoking for me. However, that’s something I’ve definitely been stepping out of my comfort zone to do a lot more this year! I was contacted by LILYLULU about featuring one of their items within a blog post and I instantly fell in love with their tulle skirts.
I’ve never wore or owned a tulle skirt before so again, this was something else quite far out of my comfort zone. The skirt I chose was this one and as soon as I put it on, I fell in love. It made me feel like an actual fairy – I never, ever, wanted to take it off. It’s super comfy too- the waist band hugs you tightly but not too tightly and the material is surprisingly soft and not at all itchy. Considering it’s affordable price, it’s really great quality too!
Started taking medication for my anxiety: This is something I put off for literally 7 years. I was well and truly on my high horse about taking medication for my anxiety and I was terrified of the potential side effects. But earlier this year, after a severe bout of health anxiety, the nurse and the GP said I needed to. And honestly? It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my anxiety.
Started a worry management workshop: Along with the medication, I was also referred back to CBT. Which I had years ago but found it didn’t really work at the time. But, things have changed, so I’m willing to try again. Except this time, I opted for a group workshop, instead of 1-on-1. Which is SERIOUSLY out of my comfort zone! And it was the best decision I could have made.
Been on my first overnight press trip: In January, I was sent on my first ever overnight press trip for my blog to the Brooklands Hotel which not only was an incredible experience but also something I never thought I had the guts to do! Then, in March, I had another press visit to West Stow Pods!
Changed up my photography and editing style: I’ve always hated taking blog photos and you’ll have noticed within the last half of year, my blog has used primarily stock photos. And whilst a lot of my content suffices with stock photos, when it comes to product shots and things, I’ve finally found a photography and editing style that I adore. And it’s so different to what I’d usually do. See an example of that here!
Created a blogging course to release soon: And finally, I’ve only gone and created a blogging course! This is something that’s been on my mind for literally years but I never had the guts to even start. But this year, I did. And it’s complete and ready to go! If you want to find out more, check out this page!
How have you stepped out of your comfort zone this year?
* This post contains gifted items. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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These all sound like great ways of stepping out of your comfort zone, so congratulations I know it can be a really difficult thing to do! I’ve also just seen on twitter that you’ve spoken on your Instagram stories for the first time too, which feels like another step!
Haha yesss I did. So awkward! But thank you 🙂
What a wonderful post! The second I saw the first photo I thought you looked like a fairy – such a beautiful skirt and you’ve styled it so well! Congratulations on all of your achievements, a lot of very big things and you will have inspired many! Stepping out of my comfort zone involved me actually starting my blog instead of adding to my pros and cons list of starting a blog – I’m glad I’ve finally taken the plunge. Enjoy continuing to push your comfort boundaries!
Awh Lucy thanks so much! I definitely feel like a fairy wearing it haha! And YAY that’s fab news – so glad you took the plunge and started it! I hope this is just the start of plenty of opportunities for you to step outside of your comfort zone!
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Great Post! Super cute skirt!!
Great post Jenny. I think it’s so important to recognise that everyone’s comfort zone will be different, and you don’t have to do something massive to step out of yours. These photos of you are lovely, that skirts looks great teamed with a brown brogues.
Thank you 😌
This is a beautiful read and really relatable! My stepping out of my comfort zone has been starting this blog! I’ve always wanted to do it, but always been fearful of being judged. Still am. And letting my non-photogenic self out into the social media world. It sounds so insignificant but it’s big and scary to me but I know I just need to keep going because I’m finally doing something for me that I love! And that is the fairy princess skirt of actual dreams isn’t it. Gorgeous photos.
Awh massive well done for stepping out of your comfort zone with your blog! Running a blog can seriously up your confidence!
Great post. I totally get you and agree on what you say.
I think everyone has to find the right balance for themselves. We all have things we struggle with and things we don’t.
Totally 😌 all our comfort zones are different x
It’s always been my thing to try and push myself out of my comfort zone the feeling afterwars it just amazing. heres to 2020 for you
I totally agree with you here – whilst it’s a great thing to get out of your comfort zone, it’s just as important to retreat back into it every so often… That’s way too stressful otherwise! That’s amazing that your group workshop is going so well – that’s something that would really induce anxiety with me, too.
Thank you! I absolutely LOVE the group – it’s helped so much x
Love this look, love seeing your confidence grow! I am the exact same with the comfort zone thing, it’s sometimes my biggest anchor but for the worst of things!
Oh same I can totally relate to that!
Love the skirt, love the boots, love the jumper & love the doggo. Your photos are beautiful – how do you get them to look so professional? Do you use a mobile or DSLR?
Anyway, in regards to comfort zones, they’re a nightmare. You get so enclosed in this little bubble that everything out side of it seems like he end of the world. I’ve been challenging my own comfort zones for a while now and it’s difficult.
Congratulations on all your achievements! I really need to step out of my comfort zone more, so it’s inspiring to read about the things you’ve done and gives me hope that I can work up to doing similar things.
Those are gorgeous photos and a beautiful skirt!
This is the best blog post I’ve read in months! So candid and gentle at the same time. Well done – I think the ‘inspirational quoters’ could learn a lot from you 🙂
PS. you look lovely in this skirt!
Thank you so much, such a lovely comment x
Such a pretty skirt! 😀 It’s hard for me to step out of my comfort zone and if anything, since I got diagnosed 2yrs ago with Horton’s Disease, I have gone back a dozen steps. I used to do a lot of IG Stories, didn’t mind talking or showing my face etc. I can’t seem to be able to push myself to even talk on them now, let alone show my face. It feels incredibly out of my comfort zone.
Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip || Latest Post
Thank you! Ah showing my face and talking on an Insta story is welllll out of my comfort zone too!
Honestly, just blogging has taken me so far out of my comfort zone this year. From the OMG people are actually reading my blog and what if I’m leading them all astray, to self-promoting and learning how to pitch brands and getting in touch with other bloggers.
It’s been the most rewarding step outside of my comfort zone that I have ever taken because it’s built a beautiful online blogging community for me of friends that I would never have known existed had I not taken that first blogging step, and the second and third.
That skirt is total fairy dreams! And the photography is *chefs kiss* amazeballs!
That’s amazing, I’m so proud of you!
Pushing our comfort zone can be so rewarding . You look fantastic in this outfit , loved your skirt and the photo editing is on point. Happy Wednesday !
Omg these are the cutest photos! The skirt is absolutely stunning! xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
Thank you x
The photos on your recent posts have been so beautiful, Jenny! Whatever you’ve been doing to get them this way, keep at it! And you look stunning in that skirt!
Thanks so much!
What an inspiring post and well done you. I absolutely agree with you that the comfort zone means something for everyone else. To be honest I cannot imagine having done anything recently that was out of my comfort zone, but maybe it is time to explore the unknown a bit. Also, I love that skirt on you. Even before you mentioned in the post that it was send to you. I thought it looks good on you and makes your legs look really long in one of the pics! Looking forward to more pics of you 🙂
Awh thank you! My legs look deceivingly long 😂
You look beautiful Jenny, the skirt is stunning. You’ve done so many things outside of your comfort zone, you should be really proud!
Lauren | http://www.laurenyloves.co.uk
Thanks so much!
Love this post. I also have felt that I have stepped outside of my comfort zone this year, but like you said, my own comfort zone is going to differ to others and so what might be a big step for me isn’t such a big step for someone else. Love the skirt, it’s so so pretty and your photo’s are lovely <3
Thanks so much x
Oh wow, Jenny, you look absolutely gorgeous in these photos, a real life fairy, and not just because of the gorgeous skirt (henceforth to be known as the skirt of dreams). I’m so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone (I hope that doesn’t come across as patronising, it certainly isn’t meant that way) and I love your idea of concentric circles, that’s spot on. Love everything about this blog post, it’s fab! XXX
Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com
It absolutely is the skirt of dreams! 😍 Not patronising at all – I really appreciate it x
Jenny you look so pretty and this skirt is like a dream! I feel so mesmerized by this location, its so wonderful. I also agree that saying good bye to your comfort zone is extremely important! Wonderful Post! Have a great day!
Thanks so much!
I can definitely relate to what you were saying about loving your comfort zone; I feel exactly the same way. I don’t know whether it’s because of my own anxiety, because I’m also a virgo or for some other reason, but I definitely don’t think it’s a bad thing either.
Like you, however, this year has definitely been the year where I’ve started challenging my ‘comfort zone’ to get more out of life. In particular, I’ve actually be outside by myself, which is something I couldn’t do before the end of Feb/beginning of March. To some, this seems so insignificant but it’s been literally life changing!
P.S: I love these photo! And that dress looks GORGEOUS on you.
I definitely meant to say skirt instead of dress there… that’ll teach me for clicking enter before my brain can catch up with my hands!
That’s amazing I’m so proud of you. That’s something I struggle massively with too. So I definitely need to work on that!
Loving the new images! I always love seeing the person behind the posts 🙂 I think I definitely need to step out of my comfort zone more regarding blog photos of myself, and it’s wonderful to know I am not alone in worrying about it! I guess it’s time I stepped out of my comfort zone too x
Awh thank you! x
Jenny you look absolutely stunning! This skirt suits you so much and you can see it makes you feel confident. I love the tips in this post, I think it’s great to step away from your comfort zone x
Thank you so much! x
Great post. Comfort zones are…really comfy and so it’s difficult to see what pushing out of it will do. Your things are all really positive and it sound like your zone is shifting for the better 😊
That’s the point. But a lot of amazing things lie outside of it. They might not be as comfortable but you’ll definitely gain something more from it! x
I’m so happy to see you pushing your comfort zone! I’m with you on the inspirational quotes, and I definitely think it’s up to us to create our own boundaries and ways to push them. Truly adore this skirt xxx
I totally agree. We shouldn’t live by anyone else’s boundaries x
I think it’s so important to acknowledge that, as you said, we all have our own individual limits and comfort zones. Comparing ours to someone elses is really setting us up to fail. Why? You’re bound to find something that is a challenge to you and easy to someone else around you…
Exactly! It’s a pointless exercise really x
Gorgeous photos! And the whole concentric circle/comfort zone metaphor is spot on 😊
Thank you! x
I adore the photos in this post so much. The skirt is absolutely beautiful and you look gorgeous xx
Thanks so much Alice x
Your photos are lovely, they’ve got such an autumn feel to them! Love the skirt too. x
I know! I’m so pleased with how Autumnal they turned out! x
I love your new images. They are very crisp and definitely lend more of a touch then stock photos.
“I like to think of the comfort zone as concentric circles. They get bigger and bigger and bigger the further outwards you go.”
That is a lovely way to describe your thoughts on comfort zones! I feel the same way; once you step outside the circle, you cannot help widening it. Then you take another step! 🙂
I’d still use stock photos – I can’t get images like this often and most of my posts don’t really NEED images like this either. But if I need to, at least now I’m comfortable taking these sorts of photos x
Enjoying being inside your comfort zone is definitely normal! I think it would be weird not to enjoy it. However, it’s good to challenge yourself every now and then. That skirt really suits you Jenny, the photos are brilliant too.
Thanks so much x
I’m honestly really happy that you have gravitated away from stock photos towards personal photography. There is something more genuine about personal photos in my option. 🙂
I’ll still be using stock photos. I can’t get images like this often and most of my posts don’t NEED these sort of photos. But at least now if I do need to take photos, I’m more comfortable with it.
Thanks for the post, sounds like you’ve pushed yourself and still found a good balance between in and out of your comfort zone. I think that’s important 🙂
My big leap of faith has been working in my blog and really trying to build it into what I want it to be 🙂
Thank you! And that’s a big leap, I hope it’s going well for you! x
I’m trying my best to push myself out of my comfort zone, but I’m taking it one step at a time. Small steps in the right direction. You’ve got this!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
Small steps are the best steps! Good luck lovely x
Beautiful post and blog! <3
Thank you x
This was such an encouraging post, and your pictures are gorgeous! I love your tule skirt, and the scenery is lovely! I think you’re totally right about different people having different comfort zones, and I think you’re doing an amazing job expanding your horizons. I believe the most important thing is that people feel good about themselves, and if that means having different comfort levels, then others need to respect that.
I totally agree! Thank you for your lovely comment x
That skirt looks amazing on you!! xx
Thank you x
Lovely post Jenny and your photos are great too. Thanks for sharing x
Thank you x
So proud of you Jenny! It’s easy to let doubt and fear make us forget the amazing accomplishments in our lives but it’s so good to sit and write them down like you’ve done here and recognise the ways you’ve come out of your comfort zone. The skirt looks amazing on you, so ethereal and I love the autumnal vibes – such beautiful photos x
Thanks so much! I love how Autumnal these photos came out – totally unintentional! x
That skirt is so pretty 😊
And this year I’ve done a lot of things to step outside my comfort zone. One of them have been to start using my own name online ❤️
Well done on stepping out of your comfort zone this year! x
Live this! Super relatable. Your photos look great and you seem like you’ve had a blinding year so far!
Thank you so much! x
I saw the photos on IG and I am glad you went out of your confort zone for them because they are magical.
Thank you SO much! x
Aww this is excellent!
I have major body issues and I feel like perhaps using myself and my body more in pictures would help. I think a lot of my insecurities comes from comparing myself to other people, past EDs, and just not being comfortable in my own skin.
I think the biggest thing I did to jolt myself out of my comfort zone was to jump on the first train to somewhere I’d never been and explore a new city.
Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/
Wow that’s amazing! I don’t think I could do that yet! x
It was seriously scary, I was shaking pretty much the whole time, but it ended up being exactly what I needed.
You are so beautiful! Great photos. I love them ♥
Thanks so much x
I love your photos! I’m guessing these are those you mentioned your mom taking and they’re gorgeous! (if not, they are still gorgeous lol). I have to step out of my comfort zone in a multitude of things. For one, no one and I literally mean no one knows I have my little blog. I keep it a secret because honestly, I grew up where people judge you on everything so I was used to keeping things quiet and secret for fear of people making fun of it.
I also do not do good in front of the camera. I actually just bought a camera because I want to start getting better at pictures and maybe even being in some of them. Unfortunately, I’m semi-terrified of taking selfies or having any concept of posing for photos. Again, I feel like people will just make fun. So, no I haven’t stepped out of my comfort zone…I’m glad you have! But I clearly have a lot of work to go lol
People definitely won’t make fun of you. At least people online. Start small. Experiment. You don’t even have to show anyone the photos to start with just see what works for you and what doesn’t! x
Well done for all of your steps forward. I have GAD and related conditions so I know how big a deal these things can be. I like the ‘autumnal swan’ look – your lovely coloured hair goes nicely with the trees, and your dress with the swans 🙂
Thanks so much! I totally feel you on the GAD thing. It makes doing well, anything, that little bit harder x
You’re welcome. 🙂
This is a really interesting article. And by the way, I love your style. Great outfit. Definitely continue taking your own photos for your blog.
Thank you x
Well done, Jenny! It sounds like you’ve done a lot of great things this year – it can be really rewarding to get out of your comfort zone from time to time. Your blogging course sounds really interesting and I’m sure a lot of people are going to find it very helpful. The skirt suits you so well too – I love the colour!
Dominika | http://www.intothebloom.com
I sure hope so! I’m so nervous to launch it though but I guess that’s another step out of the comfort zone! x
that skirt is honestly so you! well done for pushing yourself gal it will all be worth it in the end xxx
Thanks so much chick xx
You’re completely right; comfort zone is a completely personal thing. Where my brother can’t stand even the idea of sleeping anywhere else but home, I can’t WAIT to find my next home country and a new bed in it 😀 But that’s what makes us all unique, and that’s how I like it. xx
Totally! I loved your recent post on being an expat by the way – I think these two posts can certainly go hand in hand about individual comfort zones! x
Wow! These photos are absolutely gorgeous, Jenny! The Autumn leaves, the ducks on the river, the cute outfit, makes it look like you are in some kinda fairy-tale! That skirt is soooo pretty, how adorable are those little stars! I’m loving all your outfit shots and think that’s so awesome you are stepping out of your comfort zone – it looks like you are having so much fun and creating so many fantastic pictures in the process! Thank you for the inspiration and have a lovely week! <3 xxx PS. I love that Rory is getting involved too – super cute!!
Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com
Thanks so much lovely! I definitely felt like a fairy in this skirt – I never wanted to take it off but sadly I had to shower when I got back home haha! Having Rory in the photos definitely makes me feel more comfortable actually, so he’ll definitely be in more in the future! x
I can relate all too well to feeling like a great, big, dollop, to be honest. That skirt looks great on you. I am very tempted to buy myself one.
Thank you – you should. Treat yo self! x
Looks like your on the right track Jenny! Keep going and don’t worry about having to take medication I did for a while and it really helped me get back on track.
I also love the photos in the post, which editor do you use?
Thank you! I love being on medication now, it’s helped so much and I’m so glad my old opinions of it have gone. I use VSCO 🙂 x
I have, I started learning Welsh in August/September and to practice speaking I needed to do a video chat or online audio chat with someone. I was so nervous that’s something I get anxious about. I joined a video chat but I didn’t speak much Welsh then I had a normal chat and did better. Haven’t done another yet. Next hurdle besides repeating what I’ve just done is to talk to someone in person.
I don’t take medication or have help I might if someone said I needed to but nobody can see. I’m nervous of taking medication that might have side effects and also I’m nervous of Dr’s it’s not always easy to get an appointment and I can’t always talk properly about my anxiety it’s easy online. I would like more opportunities to get out of my comfort zone I have improved but my anxiety seems to linger as well as improve, or symptoms change. But I’m always working when I want to meet up with people or go to events. Great post and love your skirt. Well done.
Well done for stepping out of your comfort zone. I was also very nervous about side effects but you gotta remember that everyone is so different and if they affected someone else doesn’t mean they’ll affect you! x