Hate-Loss Challenge Topic List: Week Three

As of today, we are just over halfway through with this challenge.  I don’t know about you, but the posts I’ve read over the past two weeks have been so incredible to read, I’m speechless.  All I can say, is:  you brilliant, brave, beautiful women out there – the support you bring to this blog and to those who read your updates go beyond my biggest hopes.  Thank you. 



Weekly Topic List:  Week Three

Today’s topic will begin with a couple of definitions: 

The definition of Self-Esteema confidence in oneself, a satisfaction of what one is and the self respect that that confidence brings. It is the appraisal or assessment of a person on his self worth. It encompasses a belief about one’s capacity and worthiness.

The definition of Comfort Zone: 1) a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. 2) A situation or position in which a person feels secure, comfortable, or in control.



What do these two terms have in common, and how can one compliment the other?  According to Dr. Robert Sherfield, author of the book Everything Self-Esteem:  Healthy self-esteem is built on overcoming obstacles and moving beyond what is accepted or ordinary. It is built on overcoming your fears, insecurities, worries, and your own self-imposed limitations.  In other words, we need to move beyond our world where everything feels safe, secure and comfortable; by motivating ourselves to step beyond what is snug and cozy, we get so much in return:

  • Accomplishment
  • Pride
  • Achievement
  • Power

When we don’t challenge ourselves, we end up creating unconscious habits that end up running our lives; they chip away at our self-esteem.   But, once we’ve  stepped beyond our comfort zone, our world will never return to it’s original size – we will always be more than who we were before with one less fear to hold us hostage.


This week’s exercise:  Between now and group therapy on Thursday, think about an activity that would challenge your comfort zone; then, confront that fear and do it.  This is your challenge, so be as daring or as conservative as you want – but stretch yourself beyond what you think you can do.  Can’t do the exercise because you can’t think of an idea?  You’re in luck!  I’ve thought of some for you (you’ll thank me later, I promise!)

  • Wear something that you would not normally ever wear, and wear it for an entire day; or wear a hot pink or deep red lipstick instead of the low-key color you always wear.
  • Pick a day and stop apologizing for things that do not need your apology.
  • Commit to looking at everyone you communicate with directly in the eye for a day.
  • Take a class at your gym  that you’ve never taken before, even if it doesn’t seem interesting.
  • Take a day and focus on being more assertive.  Your opinion matters! 

Fear is such a driving force.  It can paralyze you.  How many times have you regretted not doing something because of your fear?  I was a living example of this for years and still have to force myself to try new things all of the time.  Last year I made up my mind to face some of my fears.  A few were small; others were a bit more challenging.  Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I failed, but this, I can tell you:  I felt better about myself after having faced my fear.  If you need some extra motivation for this exercise, I encourage you to read (or, reread) some of my comfort zone challenges over the past year: 

Eating out all by myself

Teaching myself to ride a bike (at age 41!)

Signing up for Yoga classes

Going to a party full of strangers

Talking to strangers


Thought for the Day:   Stepping outside our comfort zone can be extremely difficult because we feel strongly influenced by how other will see us.  How would I look to these people if I do that?  Don’t let the opinions of strangers rule your life when it’s your life you’re living. 


Quotes of the Week:  

Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.

~ Robert Allen

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.

~ Max DePree

Nobody ever died of discomfort, yet living in the name of comfort has killed more ideas, more opportunities, more actions, and more growth than everything else combined.

~ T. Harv Eker

This may be a hard one for some of you, but have faith in yourself.  Look at what you’ve achieved so far this month;  you can DO this!



16 thoughts on “Hate-Loss Challenge Topic List: Week Three

  1. KCLAnderson (Karen)

    I just had a HUGE ah-ha moment reading this Ellen. And it’s funny because I’ve been in the process of writing a blog post (not for this challenge specifically) and your post today is what helped me understand something about myself. I have always resisted the idea of “going outside my comfort zone” because it took me so long to HAVE a comfort zone…I grew up in a discomfort zone and even as an adult, I often felt like I was constantly having to put myself in situations that were bad for me. And so when I hear that phrase (“get outside your comfort zone”) it sets off alarm bells in my head. Now I know better!! OMG! THis is huge!

    1. Ellen Post author

      Karen!! I know EXACTLY what you mean. Exactly. I dig in my heels faster than anyone I know when I need to do something different. I had absolutely no control over anything during my childhood, and having developed anxiety at such a young age because of that made me very resistant as an adult. I thought I was simply expressing the idea that I was finally living my life MY way; it never dawned on me that I was actually stunting my growth. I’m so glad you had a moment of clarity. I can’t wait to see where this takes you!

    2. Munchberry

      I was thinking the same exact thing. About it taking a long time to get my comfort zone!

      I also thought – OH I am rarely concerned about what others think of what I do. AND THEN I sat back for a few minutes and realized that that knee jerk thought was completely false. I am better than I used to be, but… I am going to enjoy working this one this week! Yet another good exercise.

    1. Ellen Post author

      Thank you for your continued support, Vickie. This week will be a difficult one for me. Nothing like putting a time constraint on something that’s already going to be difficult to do.

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  3. Jan

    I know this one is a bit lame, but this last week, I went to church all by myself (first time ever) with my son. We had missed the week before because we were all sick and with my husband still sick, I couldn’t let my son miss another week of church, so I sucked it up and went. I put this on the same level as eating out by yourself (which I’ve also done…at an airport, so it may not count). LOL! I survived, although stressful for me. :)

  4. Cindy

    Ellen, this exercise came at just the right time. It’s amazing how all of these exercises fit perfectly from step to step. Last week, after the last exercise, I went to an evening event by myself. This is something I would have never done before. After the last exercise, I felt like it was the natural next step in building up my self-worth. As such, I was so pleased to see that this was our next exercise! It all makes sense. Thank you so much for organizing and managing this challenge for us. I hope you know how very much you are helping all of us.

  5. Alyse

    I love the encouragement to step outside your comfort zone. One of my personal mantras is “Do something you’re afraid of every day.” It doesn’t always happen, but it helps me overcome the anxiety that goes with new experiences, or talking to strangers!

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