[Based on the teachings of Dr. Tony Evans, Dr. John Ortberg, and Dr. Dan Siegel]

[Coaching and Life Application by Shirene H. Gentry, MA]




These concepts can be applied to:

Everyday life challenges



Improved lifestyle

Breaking of old habits and establishing new ones

Spiritual journey

What You (Already) Can Do (Center of Circle)

We get used to our personal comfort zone and what we can handle without the help of others.

Our comfort zone is what we are comfortable with.

What we are used to.

What is in our CONTROL.

Implications of Moving Away From the Center to The Zone of Growth with Help of Other(s)

Opportunity (ies) will arise. It’s unavoidable.

It’s uncomfortable.

It’s uncharted water (unchartered for us!)

It’s scary!

It pushes us to another level.

It puts us in a position to:

  • Acknowledge our fear (getting specific).
  • Face our fear. We have the choice to:

Harden our heart.

Soften our heart.

No heart is neutral.

Crossing the Barrier (From the Center to the Next Zone): What’s Required?


Pride destruction.

Acknowledgment — “I can’t do this alone.” “I need help.”

Identify a Person(s) to Journey with You to the Zone of Discomfort.

  • Who can I trust?
    • Who can empathize,  and not criticize?
    • Who has been in this situation that I am now facing?
    • Who will encourage me and challenge me?
    • Who will give me perspective?
    • Who will help me keep my focus on the long-term and not just the immediate storm?

Specify and Identify the UNKNOWN.

  • Is it really that bad?
  • Is it really that scary?

Utilizes our strengths

  • Perhaps we’ve never had an opportunity to use/stretch them to this capacity.

Stepping Over the Barrier of Comfort: What’s the Point?



Trust in God takes on a new meaning

Self-Esteem Improves

Challenges Previous (Erroneous) Beliefs

Allows us to see ourselves, God, and others in a new way.

Stepping Over the Barrier doesn’t mean we passively resign ourselves to inaction.

  • Resilient People:
    • Exercise control rather than passively resign
    • Control their thoughts.
    • Control their reactions.
    • Control that which is their responsibility.
    • Remain committed to their values when tempted to compromise.
    • Find meaning and purpose in the storm.

What Are Our “Waves?”

The “waves” will most likely shift during seasons of time/life; they will vary and be different depending on what age/stage we’re in.

How Do We Keep Our Focus?

Storms are stressful! It is important to ask yourself these questions and manage stress in the following ways:

  1. Is this a “storm” that has come our way due to our own lifestyle/choices?
  2. Could it be possible that we need to make necessary changes toward health (physical, emotional, relational, spiritual)?
  3. Is this a “storm” that was not initiated by us (I got caught up in someone else’s “storm”)?
  4. Is this a “storm” going to be short-term or long-term?

It’s important to calm our….

Body: Relaxation Techniques (Google ideas; relaxation apps for iphone)

           Relaxing music




Mind:   Prayer


            Learn to monitor and change our thoughts during an internal storm

Soul:    Talk! Talk! Talk! (To someone who is trustworthy!)


Remember: When we’re out of your comfort zone, we need the help of others to get through the storm.  It’s entirely scriptural and supported empirically through research.

  • Pastor?
  • Trusted friend?
  • Professional? Therapist?  Life Coach?
  • Physician?


Spiritual: Ask God what (not why) He is trying to do in this storm.

            Journal our prayer life during this time.

            Ask what the bigger picture perspective is for our life.


Results of Our Personal “Storms” (if our hearts are soft!)

Growth as a person.

Growth in grace.

Growth in perspective.

Growth in our mindset.

Growth in our confidence.

Growth in our self-esteem.

Growth to encourage others.

Growth in trusting God.

Growth in obedience.

Growth in understanding God’s sovereignty.

Growth in our faith.

Health and peace result when we can make sense of our storm, whether it’s during or after the storm. Many times, God allows the storm to occur so we will GROW and get out of our comfort zone so …..

We depend on Him.

We draw closer to others.

We grow into the person He wants to develop (it’s a process!).

Provide us the opportunity (i.e. “storm”) to make necessary changes in our lives that will result in a BETTER way of living! 


Storms have a way of challenging the status quo! That is a GOOD thing!


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