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Learning Happens at the Edge of Our Comfort Zones

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 1 comment

Learning happens on the edge of your comfort zone.

Whenever you do anything in life, whenever you learn anything, whenever you change anything about yourself, you’ve got to get outside of the place where you feel comfortable.

Change always happens once you push yourself a little bit outside of that comfort zone.

It doesn’t have to be far outside it, it can just be a little bit, that’s how we do things, is we push ourselves a little bit out, test the waters, see how things feel for ourselves, then go back in a little bit, push ourselves a little bit further out again and each time you do this and you force yourself outside of your comfort zone, you get a bit more comfortable being there and eventually your comfort zone expands to take in this new area.

So, it’s the same with quitting drinking alcohol.

Quitting drinking alcohol is just the start, it’s the beginning progress, you have to do this in order to make the change

You can’t make the changes in your life, right, while you’re still drinking alcohol.

You know the alcohol drinking is stopping you from doing so many things, so you stop the flow of alcohol, you force yourself into a new way of thinking.

You force yourself outside of your comfort zone from Day One.

And that’s the first step.

Second step is learning new ways of dealing with your life

Learning new ways of doing things, of relaxation, of destressing, all these kind of things.

That’s the second step.

That’s the hardest step, it’s the step that’s going to take you a long time to do.

But the further away from alcohol you go, the more distance you put between yourself and alcohol.


The easier it becomes to think like a non-drinker, right, because your behaviour is everything.

Drinking is a behaviour, it’s not the alcohol, it’s not the alcoholic, it’s the behaviour.

It’s you take away the thing that causes the behaviour and the behaviour starts to dwindle, right?

You’re never going to get rid of the addiction to alcohol, because all it does take is that few drinks again to bring you back to that mentality.

Or, you know, if you, if you’re a drinker right now and you say to yourself – “Well I’m going to put all this effort into quitting drinking and I’m going to put all the effort into making sure that I build up another life around me” – and you go to the Gym after work, you do something different at the weekends, you do something different when you want to relax, when you want to sleep, blah de blah de blah.

You just re-organise your life around something new and then a year later, you get past your milestone, your one year milestone.

And you start thinking to yourself, you know, I’ve been invited out tonight.

I’ve got a mate coming across and I haven’t seen him in a year and a half and stuff like that.

And I might just go out with him and then you’re out with him and you start thinking -“He’s got wine, Jesus, one drink won’t do you any harm.”

And you start thinking – “Well, you know, I’ve been off it for a year now and I know that I can handle this thing and you take that one drink.”

It’s not the one drink that matters, right, it’s the way your brain interrupts that one drink and intercepts the behaviour so you’re automatically thinking – “Well do I, do I really want to have another drink, or do I not want to have another drink? Can I handle this now?”

And you might be thinking – “Yeah, I can handle this now!”

But how long is it before the old habitual patterns start to re-surface and the way you think about the drinking starts to come back and you start thinking – “Well yeah going out and drinking is equated to having fun.”

You know, one night you stop going to the Gym, you think “well I’m tired tonight I don’t want to do that anymore.”

Or, you know, I don’t want to do that tonight.

Eventually you’ll start thinking – “well I don’t want to do it anymore.”

You understand how these things can creep up on you very slowly from being successful in what you’re doing to thinking about the old thought patterns and just diving back in to the old thought patterns again and the old behaviour patterns can quickly come back.

That’s the danger and that’s why you have to keep on moving forwards and learning, pushing yourself and you know, for me it’s an exciting process once you get into it, it’s only as I say, bit my bit.

We did a recent walk, talking about getting somebody outside their comfort zones

We went up to the mountains and the last time I went there, I went on my own.

This time I said to Esther, come on, we’ll go up for a walk.

And I took her to one of the smaller mountains – place called ‘Tassel Girl’ – I’ve done a video there before and that was 600 feet or 600 metres.

And it was a good steady walk to get up there and around the top, steady walk around the back of it and then up and down again, so, it’s not – something that we did in two hours.

And I’d chosen this other walk and I basically chosen it because the scenery from the top of this place, it was called ‘ Malla de Llop” and the scenery once you get past this, up to the top of this was and it was absolutely spectacular.

I’ll put a couple of videos at the end or a couple of shots at the end of this video.

But the point is that this mountain was just short of 1500 metres, so it was almost three times the size of the other mountain that we’d done the day before and when we approached this mountain, I was thinking to myself – “Wow, that is high you know.”

Esther looked at it and I could see it in her face.

She’s from Holland right, she’s a flatlander.

There are no mountains in Holland, there are no hills in Hollands, it’s very flat land.

If you’ve ever heard that the Dutch are known for their abilities to fight back the sea, to reclaim the land from the sea, so we climbed and we climbed and we climbed and the more we climbed on these very narrow tracks, you know the tracks were only sort of half a metre wide and some of the tracks were on the edge of some pretty decent slopes you know, and I could just see her getting more and more nervous you know.

And we got to the top of this thing and I was saying come here and look over, she looked over the edge and she was so proud of herself.

I was so proud of her what she’d done, but she was nervous, you know.

I had to keep saying to her, all the way down, this is going to be cool now, you know on the way down it’s going to be this and that.

You know it will be easier, we’re just going downhill now and most of the part it was downhill but there was a certain section as we were going across and we were maybe 600 metres up, 700 metres up and there was a slope like this that we were going across and it was shale that had come down, it was just a whole bunch of shale.

But there was a track going across it, which as I say was maybe a foot wide and parts of it, some of the track have disappeared so there was only like a half of foot, where you could get a grip.

And, oh man, I thought she was going – you know she panicked on a couple of occasions and I had to calm her down and stuff like this – but she did so well and she wouldn’t do it again, right, let’s put it like that.

But she got so far out of her comfort zone up there, she had no choice in all fairness and I didn’t even think about it from that perspective.

I didn’t think that she was that bad to be honest.

She will do the smaller mountains and she thought the smaller mountain in comparison to the bigger mountain was a piece of piss, you know, it was easy, but she said she wouldn’t do the big one again but that she was glad that she did it.

She was glad of the experience; she’d never seen anything like that before.

She’s done, she jumped out of a plane – skydiving twice – and she said that that was more scary than her skydiving experience and she got more out of it, than a skydiving experience.

So, yes, fair play to her, really proud of her today, you know, that was at the week-end.

When we got back down and she was such – a big smile on her face – it was great to see.

But as I say really, really outside of her comfort zone.

You know, if we hadn’t had done that, we hadn’t had gone on that walk, she learnt something really valuable about herself, you know that she likes going walking, she doesn’t like big mountains, but she really enjoyed the mountaineering thing.

One of the things about this is that just everything new is going to make you feel uncomfortable to a certain degree right, to one degree or another, so you can’t avoid that, you have to put up with that.

Whatever happens after you stop drinking is and isn’t in your control.

You control a lot of what you’re doing, you control what you’re drinking by you putting it into your mouth

You are in charge of the bottle.

You’re the bottle tipper.

You’re the bottle chugger.

It’s really up to you whether you drink or not.

And it’s the same thing with quitting drinking, it’s up to you if you drink or not.

There’s nobody else doing this, there’s nobody else who can push you to do this.

The only way, somebody else can really force you to drink, is they literally tie you up and hold you down and pour the stuff down your fucking throat.

And, what’s the likelihood of that happening.

If somebody did that to me tomorrow – it’s not my fault.

I’m not automatically a drinker again, because somebody else forced me to drink in that way.

But that’s not going to happen right.

So, we have to assume that you have control over these things.

Now when you move forward and you move into something else.

You’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to have little failures, you’re going to have little things that don’t go right.

A lot of that stuff in the future is out of your control, because it involves the environment, it involves other people, it involves thinking making decisions, that might or might not be wrong, or might or might not be right.

So, you just have to accept this part of it.

You have to accept that getting out of your comfort zone, is not going to be comfortable all of the time

It will become comfortable, what is uncomfortable now, will become more comfortable as you go forwards.

But for must things that happen in life, if you want to make these changes in life you have to accept the discomfort for what it is. You have to accept, if there’s a bit of pain involved in it, you’ve got to accept that as part of the growth process you know.

This is the process that is going to move you forward.

From where you don’t want to be, into where you want to be.

That’s the whole route of all this, what we’re trying to do here.

Being where you are now is causing you pain.

You wouldn’t be here; you wouldn’t be watching this Video.

You want to be somewhere else, you want to be behave in a different way.

It’s not necessary that you want to be a different person, but your behaviour is causing you to have thoughts that you’re not really sure about.

That’s the essence of this, is that you just want to change certain aspects of that about yourself.

And you can do that, it’s not, it’s totally up to you, it’s in your control to be able to do that with yourself.

You know there’s certain aspects of this that are going to make you feel tired

There are certain aspects of it that are going to exhilarate you and make you feel like you’re on top of the world.

It’s a mixed bag you know. Change always brings that, you know.

There’s times when you’re going to feel definitely this is the right thing to do and I’m feeling the benefits of this and other times you are just going to feel – “huff you know I’m really tired with all this now, all I want to do is relax and I can make this go away by taking a drink.”

You know, but then you know the consequences of that right, and you know you want to try and move away from that, so you’re not doing that.

Think about any change, think about if you’re obese, if you want to lose weight, how many changes do you have to actually put into your life in order to lose weight.

You know, most people would like to think – “well there is an easy change, right!”

You go down to your Doctor and you get a slimming pill, a series of slimming pills that you take over the week and the weight just drops off you and all of a sudden you’re this skinny person who is packed with muscle and stuff like that.

It doesn’t work like that, nothing works like that, it all takes hard work.

You have to stop eating the food, you have to stop eating the crap food that you were eating in the first place.

You have to start eating good food, you have to get exercise.

You have to change your mentality in so many different ways, not just to get skinny right, and not just to lose the weight and to stop the consequences of that weight loss of that massive weight that you’ve got onto your body.

But to keep it off in the long term.

Requires huge overall life changes.

Same with alcohol.

In order to stop the drinking, to stop the consequences of the drinking, it requires massive life changes, that you carry on for the rest of your life.

Those changes don’t happen over-night they take hard work over weeks and months and years, right?

But once you get past the initial phase, it’s got nothing to do with alcohol any more. Right?

You know, you don’t, I’m not four years into this now, thinking, – “Yeah, I’m still trying to get away from alcohol.”

I’m not – that’s gone.

Alcohol is gone out of my life any more.

I’m not doing it anymore.

My mind is now on – “How can I improve myself every day

How can I do something better. How can I do this better. How can I make my life better? How can I make my Son’s life better, my partner’s life better?”

How can I – you know just improvements all the time.

I want to do different things.

I’m all the time, looking for new avenues to pursue, new mountains to climb, you know.

Both physically and theoretically or metaphorically speaking.

So, that’s what it’s all about and you don’t get anywhere, if you don’t get outside of your comfort zone right.

You have to do it.

You have to get used to being outside of your comfort zone.

And you have to start liking it.

I love it now, you know, I love pushing myself.

You know things that are…

When I was up on that mountain with Esther, I was feeling uncomfortable, because I’d taken somebody who’d never climbed a mountain before, who I knew was sort of nervous on a slope and I’d taken her up a mountain, that was really going to push her.

I knew there was nothing going to happen up there.

I’m experienced, I’ve been doing this for a long time.

I worked in Forestry for a long time and I worked in some of the biggest hills and stuff in Ireland, but, it was still something for me, it was like, I don’t want her to fall out with me over this, you know, I really wanted to give her a good experience.

And that was what she had, she got that out of this.

Look, this is where I am now, is, I just love doing these things now.

I love pushing myself, trying to get outside of that comfort zone all the time.

And as I say you don’t need to do it, it doesn’t have to be in big drastic steps.

All it has to be is small measurable pushers, every so often.

Push, come back in, push, come back in, push, come back in.

Every time you push you go a little bit further out and you bring your comfort zone out with you a little bit.

So, what used to uncomfortable is now comfortable, so, once you get this out of your head, that the alcohol has got anything to do with anything.

Once you say, – “well I’m leaving that in my past – right!”

And then you start to think on, the alcohol’s gone, nothing to do with the alcohol, moving forward, what can I do with my life.

This is what I’m going to do.

And you start pushing yourself towards all those things and thinking about all those things.

Focusing on the future instead of the past

Thinking about all the things that you want to do in your life.

Alcohol then has no relevance.

Alcohol then you open your eyes and you start to realise and understand, how much alcohol has been holding you back.

And how much if you ever went back on alcohol, it would destroy what you’re building.

It would destroy what you have in your life.

So, that’s where you want to get.

It doesn’t take that long to get there either, you know.

A few months and you’re there.

And as you’re gradually doing this and you’re moving yourself forward, it’s a gradual process of both you leaving the alcohol behind you and the gradual process of building that new thinking into yourself.

I hope you got something out of this video, if you did give us a thumbs up, if you haven’t subscribed to the channel then do so, it’s free, just click on the subscribe button down below, it’s in the corner, here I think, down there, click on that.

Go on over to the website and sign up to the newsletter, if you want to, there’s we’ve got a few courses over on the website as well that you might be interested in taking, if you are really serious about quitting alcohol. These are courses that will step by step through the process as I see it.

They’re not very expensive, they’re a couple of days drinking money, so try and keep them as cheap as possible.

So, until next time. . .
Stay safe
Keep the alcohol out of your mouth

Keep trying to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Little by little, by little, just do it, bit by bit and take it as the Spanish say it poco a poco – bit by bit – you’ll eventually build up to something great, think about it in any sense that you’re learning something in your own life you do it bit by bit by bit, you know you build on the knowledge that you’ve got before, you add to it a little bit at a time. That’s all you have to do here.

“Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone”

Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!
Take Care

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1 Comment

  1. Mick

    Thanks for the great video. Like you I am confident I won’t drink again. Its easy to forget this is a great stand alone achievement and very liberating, its also a great enabler for other stuff. In that it gives you time and money and the ability to think more clearly. Its not a miracle cure for all your problems, although it helps put them in perspective. It can be a miracle cure for some of your problems, like health and energy. I am lucky in that my circumstances regarding environment are good, not perfect, but far from shit. Yet I still have struggles and steel feel sorry for myself at times. There is no reason for this I know I have it easy compared to many. Most of my problems can be fixed with a bit of sober effort on my part.

    This got me thinking, if I find it tough at times, how much harder it might be if alcohol has directly or indirectly messed up parts of your life, the toughest part is always going to be getting to a level where your comfort zone is comfortable. By that I mean if your circumstances are poor, poor living conditions, low income or poor/damaged relationships, maybe even lack of or reduced belief in your self, over reliant on others etc etc. This can mean that your comfort zone in areas such as effort could be set too low to be able to do the work necessary to improve your less than comfortable circumstances. By this I mean your work on self can be undermined by the conditions you find yourself in, making it hard to consolidate your position and move forward. If you circumstances are harsh I came across a book called improve your life by John Bird, it costs 1.99 and written by a guy who has a lot of experience of helping people from lowly/tough beginnings. I read this book as part of my research to improve my own habits, but I think its particularly spot on for anyone in a tight or tricky spot. You can read the whole book in an hour, its very practical, its not about becoming a big high-flier.

    Alcohol free and proud, its very liberating!


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