A New Comfort Zone – What a Difference A Year Makes

Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Belief systems, Get Off the Sidelines, Ken's Blogs

A New Comfort Zone – What a Difference A Year Makes

Do you think you’re the same person you were a year ago? Do you know what your current comfort zone is? Do you ever step outside of it? (Psst, there’s a test at the end of this article. Hope you’ll take it.)

As I look back on the past year, many fond memories come to mind.

It was just over a year ago when my younger brother and I shared a thought that we should go visit our mother. We hadn’t seen her in many, many years and we both had the same thought within a few weeks of each other that it was time to go visit her. We spoke to our two other brothers and the four of us packed our bags and headed out to reacquaint ourselves with our mother and ask some questions that hadn’t been asked for 38 years. We learned a lot on that trip, much of which is too personal to share in a public forum. Many of the answers we received were much different than we were expecting, and I dare say it has changed each of our lives in many ways. In hindsight, it’s amazing that it took so long for this trip to happen, but the point is that it did. I learned a lot about belief systems on that trip. Some things in our minds can seem to be facts, until such time as we find out something different, and then we realize that it really wasn’t a fact all along. I think there are lots of “beliefs” like this in all of us.

I have had a very interesting life, with lots of ups and downs, and a wealth of interesting experiences. I have seen the lows and the highs, and for the past few years I have been working through a DIS-ease diagnosis. It was about a year ago when I started thinking that I had experienced and learned many things in my life and I wanted to be able to share my experiences and learnings with others. I had no idea what that was going to look like, it just seemed that I had lots of stories to share, and I had a real desire to help others.

Late last year I worked with a coach and in 3 days, we came up with a series of guiding principles to live by. I had probably been living by these all along, but the exercise of bringing them from my subconscious into my consciousness was rewarding. We came up with the concept of “Enlighten . Empower . Change” during that exercise, a concept that continues to grow into a business to this day. This was an early “baby step” in what I describe as a transformation. Many of my belief systems were being challenged and they were changing, and my desire to “make a difference” continued to grow.

But what was I going to do next? The ideas were flowing, but I wasn’t making any progress. I think I was actually a bit “stuck in the mud”. I had thoughts of writing and a couple colleagues suggested I should just sit down and write. It took a while, then finally one day I did. I sat down and wrote. And I’ve been writing a weekly blog ever since.  At first, it took a while for me to hit the “Publish’ button. I went through thoughts of whether the story was good enough, whether I might offend someone with what I wrote, or would anyone even read it. Today, I just simply sit down and write. And when I’m finished, I hit the ‘Publish’ button. That first blog was a baby step, and I had expanded my comfort zone a wee bit more. Now there’s no more fear in that exercise, my comfort zone is truly larger than it was a year ago. On a side note, the highlight of becoming a blogger has been the people that I have met, both physically as well as virtually. It is truly amazing the type of connections you make once you start to “put it out there”.

After I had been writing for a while I was directed to a TEDx talk given by Dr.Lissa Rankin, in which she talked about the effects of our thoughts on our body’s ability to heal itself. I loved it; it was right up my alley. One day I decided to send a message to Lissa, “knowing” in my mind that she probably gets hundreds of emails a day and would not likely even read mine. In the subject line of the email, I wrote “Why not?” Well, to make a long story short, she read it and we have had several email exchanges since. She is doing amazing work in the healthcare field, and we share the thought that “it’s time to put the ‘care’ back into healthcare.” Thank you Lissa for all that you do. I hope to share a project with you someday, and maybe even a stage or two. Yup, that baby step widened my comfort zone just a wee bit more.

I later signed up for a teleseminar course with Lissa and Amy Ahlers called Visionary Ignition Switch. I loved the course, and even more importantly, I love the community they created for the people taking the course. This is a very supportive community of entrepreneurs, and is also a great forum for sharing successes. Many of the members are budding authors and/or coaches. It has been great watching many of them as they achieve success and grow. Seeing others have success is a huge inspiration. It is a true gift to be a part of this community. Thanks guys, you know who you are.

In early July, I had a “crazy” thought come into my head with the word “Health-tember”. The original idea was to use September as a time to focus on happiness, gratitude, and health for 30 days. One side of me thought this was a crazy idea, but another side of me just kept telling me to go for it. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? So I created a web site, a FaceBook page, a twitter account and a distribution list. And I started posting daily messages. Who knows what this will become over the years? I’ve heard that Mo-vember started with a couple guys sitting around and sharing an idea, and look what that has become. We’re in the middle of Health-tember and a few people have provided feedback on making this a 30 day program that could be offered at any time. I like it. That gets the creative juices flowing.

I could go on and on about the baby steps that I have taken this year but that’s really not the point of this blog. The point of the blog is to highlight that with each baby step we take, we grow just a little bit more. If we don’t take the baby step, then we take away that opportunity for growth. And every time we step out of our current comfort zone, we realize that we have a lot more potential than we thought we had.

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot more growing to do. There are lots more ideas that are starting to take shape in my head, and there’s many more steps to be taken. Some will be easy, some will be a little out of my comfort zone, and some may be way out there.

I’m looking forward to the next steps, and what the next year will bring.

Before I go, here’s a final thought to share. Will you consider thinking about what your current comfort zone is? Will you let yourself take steps outside of that comfort zone and try something you’ve never tried before? Will you commit to taking stock a year from now to see what you’ve accomplished in a very short year? I believe that our potential is endless, and all we have to do is start taking steps forward in order to achieve it.



P.S. Health-tember has been going on for two weeks now. Are you using September as a month to focus on happiness and health? Check it out, get involved.

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Written by Ken

Ken Jaques describes himself as a Health Care Evolutionary, Community Builder, and Speaker. True healing begins when we treat root causes instead of just masking symptoms. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008, Ken has experienced many facets of the health care system. As “the only patient who ever lost their hair on this low of a dosage of chemotherapy” – as spoken by his rheumatologist – Ken has been on an amazing journal of self-discovery, a journey of true healing. In his blog, Ken shares stories of how his beliefs have changed over the past few years, and how they are still changing. Is it possible that our bodies can heal themselves? Do we really have to live without hope after we receive a chronic illness diagnosis? These are the types of questions that Ken encourages people to ask themselves as they embark on their own physical or emotional healing journey.

Ken is creating a platform to connect People, Patients, Practitioners, Partners and Promoters, enabling a collaborative effort to help shift the focus on health from I-llness to We-llness. Check out the pilot at www.myHealthyCommunity.ca.

“When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’, even I-llness becomes WE-llness” ~ Malcolm X


  1. Ken, this is a great recap of the past year and it amazes me that the baby steps as you say has grown into something rewarding for your readers and you!
    Keep up the good work. It is inspiring me to make some profound changes in approaching my business and trying to help people get their financial house in order. We should chat sometime soon.

  2. Today I was on facebook and have the Toronto Star as one of my feeds. They are continuously going after Rob Ford. Its almost all they talk about. I commented on their page about leaving the guy alone and report the real news. (Teachers work to rule, nhl labour dispute, ttc worker killed, motorcyclist killed shutting Gardiner down both ways or even the American embassies getting attacked). Well people jumped down my throat. I have serious issues when people don’t agree with my opinion. I get defensive, shy and just feel totally stupid. Low self esteem when people ask disagree with my opinion. Well people attacked my opinion and I was ready to remove my comment when I thought to myself, “NO”. This is good for me. I need to step outside my comfort zone and let people have their opinions too. Every comment people didn’t agree with what I said hurt and I knew I was really red in the face. But I stuck it out. Ken this was huge for me. Its a “baby step” that you talked about. Maybe next time it won’t be nearly as painful but I did it. I expressed myself. So instead of being 95% embarrassed of what others might think of me next time I might only be 90%. But its a baby step. I loved your blog. Thank you. It makes me feel better knowing that being able toexpress myself and take a chance is all worth it.

    • Keith,
      Good for you for commenting in the first place, and even better for you for leaving the comment up there. Many people like to jump on a bandwagon of “popular belief” and make that their comfort zone, the comfort zone is that they’re in a group of like-minded people. but just because they’re like-minded doesn’t mean they are all correct.

      And i think you’re right. It WILL be easier next time. As long as you’re authentic with yourself younever have to be ashamed of your thoughts and emotions. And just wait until you see how good you feel when someone agrees with one of your comments … it’s going to happen.


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