I awoke this grey winter morning feeling as dreary as the weather outside. I had a meeting with my staff to prepare for a critical client presentation—our relationship depended on it.

With the meeting about to start, I couldn’t get my head in the game. My emotions were raw and on the surface. I was feeling guilty for not having it together—and embarrassed to let my staff and management see that my personal drama was affecting how I show up.

Everything changed when I went through my second divorce. It felt impossible to manage the roller coaster of emotions in my private life while maintaining a steady-state at work. I started to second guess all of my decisions. I retreated into what felt comfortable—what I had done before successfully and could do again with no concerns about failing or disappointing. I didn’t feel safe beyond my comfort zone.

For the first time colleagues saw a woman in a private heartache and they didn’t know what to do with me. This went on for months and no one was happy. My team floundered without their leader. Management was supportive and understanding for a while; then business decisions had to be made. Most of all—I was not happy with me.

It was a deep rut and I didn’t know how to pull myself out. My personal struggles were affecting my career. What I knew for sure was I could lose more than my marriage if I kept spiraling down this rabbit-hole. It was time to get some help.

What I learned from my first coach was life-changing and comfort zone-expanding. She shared practical tips, which I practiced and integrated into my life. I felt supported. I began to heal. I felt comfortable again stretching beyond what was easy to reach. As my team witnessed this change, they became curious about the process.

So began my passion for coaching—I started by helping others to grow a new comfort zone.

3 Techniques to Help When You Retreat to Your Comfort Zone

This essay was first published in BetterAfter50.com. For the rest of the story and to read the three things that helped me to reach beyond my comfort zone, follow this link to the original essay.


Remember to stretch more than you can reach.  From my caring heart to yours …

Maria Signature

P.S. If you’d like to join a group of awesome women who support each other on this journey through divorce, please join us at Thrive after Divorce: Your Journey Begins on Facebook.

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