We are made for happiness, joy, love and fulfillment, but most of the time in order to experience these things, we have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone. In this episode, Lorissa share three ways in which we can step out of our comfort zone in order to step more fully into the lives of greatness God is inviting us to.
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TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW
Hello, my friends. Welcome to Made For Greatness, a podcast for Catholic moms where we talk about all things that we as Catholic moms hold dear and near to our hearts. And really coming at it from a perspective of wanting to live the lives that God desires for us to live, wanting to be in union with him and close to him, and living out our vocations, our motherhood in a way that, uh, draws us, our children, our husbands closer to him. And so today I wanna talk about kind of this concept of, of seeking happiness and using our thoughts and our brains and putting our, our brain really to work for us in order to seek out the things that we really long for. And I wanna start with this idea that we are made for happiness, we’re made for joy, we’re made for peace, we’re made for love, right?
We’re made by a love for love. And these desires in our heart, like the desire for happiness is ultimately God’s way. Like he places that desire in us so that we have in, in a way like this gps, this directional system that is pointing us to him and pointing us to heaven, where we know that we will experience eternal happiness. That these deep and beautiful and true and good things that we desire, these things of God that we desire, point us to a reality of spending eternity with him. And yet we also know that even though we live in this life where there’s brokenness and pain and sin and destruction, that we also have this deep inner truth that tells us that we are still capable of experiencing truth and beauty and goodness and love and joy and all of those things, even in this life, maybe not perfectly and maybe not all the time, but that there is still this desire to experience those things as much as we can, even in the midst of living in a broken world.
Now, this is where I wanna talk to you about our brain, though, how our brain kind of works. We know that we have the prefrontal cortex and this, um, the cognitive part of our brain that is, that uses rational thought and our intellect. We know that that part of our brain, our intellect, and our will, is tied into, you know, also listening to our conscience, our soul, discerning things, you know, praying and turning to God. All of that like works together. And those desires, um, for goodness and holiness and peace stem from that. And we can use our intellect and our will to, to pray, to trust that God is there, um, to to believe in him, even if we can’t see him, to trust in his word, to trust in the revelation that he’s revealed through the church and all of that, right? So like we use our intellect and our will for that, but then we also have this other part of our brain that is running the show.
A lot of times in our life, it’s like we have the intellects and the will, the prefrontal cortex that’s working and engaged, but really like those thoughts are happening like 5% of the time. All the other thoughts that are happening in our brain are kind of this part of our brain that’s, that’s really acting from our subconsciousness. And it’s like all the stuff that’s running on autopilot. So, so much of what we do in our day-to-day life is just like, it’s, it’s based on thoughts that we’ve had enough times that it goes into our subconsciousness, and then our brain is just like running on autopilot. And this part of our brain loves for us to be safe and secure and comfortable, and it likes things to be easy. And this is where that part of our brain can oftentimes take over. So we have, you know, the, the part of our brain that just wants to be comfortable, safe, familiar, and then we have this other part of our brain that says, but yeah, but I wanna be happy and I want to live a life where I’m using my gifts and my talents, and there’s fulfillment and purpose.
And so there’s like these two different parts of our brain working. And this is the thing for those of us that really wanna experience happiness and joy and fulfillment in our lives and really like step into our calling and live out this life that God has for us, and to really live out his will, that takes not only effort and it not only takes us being intentional, but to really step into that, it requires that we step outside of our comfort zone. Oftentimes it requires us stepping outside of what just comes easily or what’s familiar stepping out of our comfort zone. This is why Sterling, and I love this quote so much by Pope Benedict, which is where he says, like, the world offers you comfort because we’re not made for comfort. You were made for greatness. And we know that. We know that most of the times that we’ve experienced deep levels of happiness and joy and even, um, fulfillment
And purpose, oftentimes those were the moments that we were really stepping out of our comfort zone. We were putting ourselves out there. We were opening up ourselves to new possibilities or new relationships, um, that we were willing to step into, you know, this place of of of being willing to experience fear maybe, or just like having to completely trust in God because it required something of us. Like it required strength or, you know, being willing to step into the fear and to trust in him. And so there really is a lot of times this battle between do I really wanna be comfortable and family and like just live in what’s familiar? Or am I willing to step out of that to experience the joy and the happiness that God wants me to experience? Am I willing to put myself out there? Am I willing to try new things?
And the older we get, I believe the harder it gets because we kind of get set in our ways. And this is why the older we get, we struggle with change. We don’t wanna do things differently. We get into habits and routines, and it’s really even more difficult to push ourselves out of that. And this is what we end up seeing in our world around us, is that when it comes to people really wanting to be happy and to experience true joy versus feeling comfortable and safe and familiar, most people just automatically prefer to choose comfort, familiarity, safety over deep purpose and happiness and fulfillment. It’s crazy to think about this. And it’s very easy to see how we go into a default mode when it comes to comfort and security. There’s a big part of our brain that just wants us to stay on the couch, do the same habits, and do the same routines, not push the envelope, just stay comfortable.
Why, you know, why push that it’s this easy? Watch the same shows, eat the same meals, do the same routines, go on the same date night with your husband every single time you go out, go to the same restaurants, hang out with the same people, go to the like, just do all the same things, wear the same clothes, right? Listen to the same music, just like, it’s just safe and it’s familiar and it’s just routine and you’re parted. Like that part of your brain is like so happy when you just stay safe and comfortable. You’re not pushing it out of its comfort zone. It knows what it’s doing. It knows what the day is gonna be like, and it just feels so easy. So my sister’s in Christ, this is why especially, and I’m, and I’m, I’m doing this at the beginning of this year because a lot of times at the beginning of the year, we set resolutions or we set goals in place and we’re like, okay, I have this goal, I wanna do something.
But whenever we have a goal, whenever there is something that we want to do or something that we want to achieve, it means having to do something different, right? If there’s a goal, it means that we haven’t actually gotten there yet. There’s something that we want in our life that we haven’t yet gotten. That’s why it’s a goal. That’s why it’s like out there. We haven’t achieved it yet. We haven’t gotten to that place. And yet the reason why resolutions, the reason why goals are so hard for so many of us is because ultimately reaching for that goal or trying to achieve it requires us getting uncomfortable. It requires us doing something different, trying something new, changing our habits, changing our environment, and that feels uncomfortable and our brain wants to resist it incredibly. And so then we find ourselves fighting with ourselves, or maybe we set a resolution and we try it for a couple days, and then we’re just like, oh, no, this is too hard.
I don’t wanna do this anymore. I’m just gonna go back to being comfortable and just living my life like I’m used to. And yet, even though it’s comfortable, and even though it’s safe, being comfortable and safe doesn’t really lead us to being better doesn’t always lead us to being fulfilled in the way we wanna be fulfilled. And it doesn’t lead us to growth. It doesn’t help us to become the next better version of ourselves. And even within the comfort, there is some sense of sadness sometimes, or a sense of, um, unfulfillment, a sense of knowing that maybe God is calling us to something more, but we just kind of stay stuck. And so there really ends up being this battle. Um, and oftentimes if we, first of all, if we’re not aware that this battle is happening, we’re just gonna go to our default mode, which is comfort and security and familiarity.
And this is what we see in so much of the world. We see so many people just living out their days, day-to-day, same routine, same job, same everything, but they really aren’t happy. There’s not a lot of joy. There may be comfort, but there’s, there’s not really that fire, the passion or the desires, um, to experience really the life that they’ve been made for, the life that God desires for them. And this, this is, so much of the work that we do in masters is like really stepping into this place of saying, okay, God, what is the life that you have in place for me? Like, what are the desires that you’ve placed on my heart? And what are you calling me to? And yes, I realize that you might be calling me out of my comfort zone. And if that’s the case, how do I do that?
How do I step into that? How do I understand what’s happening in my brain when, um, there’s kind of this battle between, uh, the intellect and the will and the desire for something more versus just staying safe and comfortable? And so that’s what we’re gonna be talking about is how do we do this and how do we step more into living the lives of the, with fulfillment and joy that, that we really want to live? And knowing that it might require some change, it might require creating new habits. And if it requires change or doing something different or trying something new, we have to understand that our brain is totally gonna freak out about it, that that’s normal and that our brain isn’t gonna like it at first and our brain is gonna want to give us every single reason possible to just going back to the old way of doing things.
So let’s talk about, for example, some of us set resolutions to like wanting to be healthier. Maybe we want to lose weight, or maybe we want to get into a new health and workout routine, maybe eat healthier foods, you know, things like that. And so we know like the intellect and our reason and our brain and our heart and our soul, all of that working together knows that if we make some changes, that we will feel better, that we will be happier, that we will have more energy, that we’ll feel that we’ll feel better about ourselves. Like all of those things, like our, our intellect and our and our will knows that if we work out every day or if we eat better foods, if we make those changes, that it will help us to experience greater peace and hope and holiness, and that we will be able to give ourselves more fully to the service of God and to our family if we feel better about ourselves, right?
So we know that, and that’s why we set those resolutions. That’s why we set those goals to begin with, because we know that will help us be the better version of ourselves. And yet when we start to like go, okay, I’m gonna work out today, or I’m gonna go to the gym, or I’m going to eat healthier foods today, what happens? Our brain totally freaks out and says, no, that’s too hard. Working out is uncomfortable. Our body starts to hurt and like we work out and then we’re sore and we’re tired and we feel uncomfortable going and working out because we’re not used to it. And our brain starts to create all this drama saying, no, it’s just easier to stay home. It feels easier to just watch TV or to go and get fast food and eat those foods because that’s what’s familiar and comfortable and normal.
And so again, first of all, just having some self-awareness about what our brain is doing is like the first step. And it’s so powerful to just so just be able to say, oh, brain, thank you. I see you, I see what you’re doing. I see that you’re just trying to keep me safe. I see that you’re just trying to keep me comfortable, you’re trying to protect me. But now this is where we want to shift to the part of our brain that is actually in control. So ultimately we have two choices. We either let part of our brain run our life and it just runs on autopilot, and it’s always gonna just default to what’s the most comfortable and what the easiest thing is. And then that just kind of runs our life. Or we take control and we say no brain life, like I am in control now and I’m using my intellect and my reason to actually start running the show.
And so we do that by taking control of our thoughts, being very intentional, setting goals and setting things into place, and then actually using our brains and putting our brains to work for us where we are actually more in control. And so this is what this looks like. If we really want to step out of our comfort zone and start creating a life on purpose, and where we feel like we’re being guided by the Holy Spirit to create the kind of life that he wants and desires for us, then we really do have to take control of our thoughts. And I’m gonna share with you three simple ways that we can do this. Like kind of like three steps of how to live a life of deeper intention in creating a life that we really do get to experience more moments of happiness and joy versus just living in our comfort zone.
And so it really comes down to this. They’re very simple steps. They’re not necessarily easy because it takes practice, like we have to practice this. Um, but this is it. The first thing is that we have to make a conscious, conscientious decision on what we really want. Again, the part of our brain that’s running on autopilot is pretty powerful, and it’s running the show so much of the time. So what we need to do is say, no, I don’t, I don’t wanna live necessarily in my comfort zone all the time. I want to make a conscientious decision to move in this direction. So again, utilizing this, this, um, idea of having maybe a health goal or making changes in your life around your health, um, maybe weight loss, working out, getting stronger, physically, having a healthier immune system, all of that, like working on those things, just being healthier in general, that is going to require you making a decision.
And so that’s just the first step, making a decision and making a commitment. So saying not only setting a goal, like at the beginning of the year, like saying, okay, I want to be healthier, but it’s like making a decision of what does that look like? Maybe it’s, I wanna work out three or four times a week. These are the workouts that I wanna do. I want to be able to lift this much weight, or maybe I wanna be able to walk this many steps a day or do, you know, run a certain distance or whatever it happens to be, right? I want that’s what I desire in my life because I know if I work out, then I’ll have more energy, I’ll feel better about myself. These are the foods that I want to eat versus these are the foods that I don’t want to eat.
And making a conscientious decision about what that is and getting very clear about what that looks like. So I want you to think for a moment, if getting healthy is one of your goals for this new year, what does the healthy version of you look like? What is she doing in her life? What are the choices she’s making? How is she living her life? What does that look like? Because when you make a commitment to those choices and to living like that, again, your brain is gonna freak out and it’s gonna say like, wait, wait, wait. This is too hard. It’s too hard to do this and you need to come back to this place where you’re like, no, I’ve made a decision. This is what I want. I want to be a woman who is healthy, who lives a healthy lifestyle, who has energy, who’s eating foods that fuel her, that make her feel good.
And I’m making a decision. This is the decision that I’m making. And as we know when it comes to making any significant changes in our lives, it’s not just a one time decision, it’s a daily decision, a daily commitment to keep coming back to that. And so the first part, like I said, the first step is just making a decision and putting that into place and like intentionally saying, this is what I want for my life, and this is why. So you always wanna have a powerful why with your decision. Why do I wanna get healthy? Because I will feel better. I will experience greater joy, I will have more energy, I’ll be able to show up for my family, I’ll be able to do these things, right? And I will ultimately like to have more happiness if I’m healthy versus if I’m just comfortable and living a life of familiarity, um, just on default mode with all of the old habits that I had in place.
The second step is learning how to manage your mind. Learning how to take captive your thoughts. And I mean, that’s straight out of scripture, right? Take captive your thoughts for Christ, but really learn how to not only make a decision, but manage your thoughts around it. So knowing that when you make a decision, your brain is gonna challenge you with this. And your brain’s gonna say, no, no, no, just go back to being comfortable. Go back to the old way of things. And for you to say, no, I’m actually gonna manage my mind. I’m gonna take control of my thoughts. I’m gonna choose how I want to show up and do daily thought work to actually start moving towards a life with more intention. So again, if we wanna be healthier, we’re gonna have to manage our mind, manage those thoughts, do the thought work every single day to create new habits, new thoughts, new ways of living so that we practice that enough times that this new way of life, of working out every day of eating healthy foods, of drinking plenty of water, of getting good amounts of sleep, of taking care of ourself.
Like the goal is for that to eventually become over some time that that becomes the new comfort zone. That becomes our new level of familiarity. That becomes our new normal, is that we actually end up becoming women that are just living healthier lives. And that starts to be what gets put on autopilot where our body just wakes up in the morning and says, oh yeah, we need to go for a walk or we’re gonna go for a run, or we’re gonna work out today because it feels so good. And this just becomes the brain’s new normal. And then the brain starts to create desires around that, and it starts to pick up momentum. And the brain just says, oh yeah, of course we’re gonna work out today. That’s just what we do now. That’s the new habit, that’s the new normal. But it takes managing our mind at a very intentional level, day in and day out for a number of days, even possibly a couple months for that to become the new way of life.
So the first step is to make a decision, make a commitment to know your why. The next step is to learn how to manage your mind around that and take control of your mind and take control of your life. And, and really when your brain is battling you for you to say, no, I’m in control. This is what I’m choosing. This is what I want. This is ultimately what’s gonna lead me to feeling better and having the life that I really want to have and being the healthy woman that I want to be. And then finally the last step is surrounding yourself or putting yourself in the company of other people that share similar goals. So for example, if you want to be healthier, if you want to have a healthier lifestyle or make healthier choices, you know that the people you spend your time with and the people you surround yourself with are gonna have a significant influence over you.
So you want to be intentional about putting yourself in the company of others that share in those similar goals. Because if you see other people getting out of their comfort zone of being willing to do sometimes the things that are hard or challenging or difficult or even what sometimes our brain perceives as scary, but you see them doing it and you see them making those choices every day, do you know what happens? Your brain starts to say, oh, well maybe I can do it too. And I see her getting up every day and I see that person making
Healthy choices and I see that person stepping out of their comfort zone. Maybe I can do it too. And we start doing it. And then the crazy thing is then other people see us doing it and they see us stepping out of our comfort zone, and they see us doing these things that are challenging and difficult and hard, but we keep doing it. And then they say, look at her. Go look at what she’s doing. Look at her reaching towards her goal. She can do it. Then maybe I can do it too. And it starts as a cyclical effect. And so these are the things I want us to be thinking about. Whenever you set a goal, whenever you set a desire to want to do something, whenever you feel this, um, prompting in your heart to want to step into the next level of like the best version of yourself, it’s always gonna feel scary.
It’s always gonna be hard. There’s gonna be a little bit of fear there. There’s gonna be these thoughts like, well, what if I fail? Or what if I can’t do it? What if it’s too hard? That’s just your brain. That’s just that part, that primitive part of your brain just trying to just keep you plain small and keep you safe and just comfortable. But we weren’t made for comfort, we’re made for greatness. We’re made to step out of that. And so these are the things that I want to remind you of, again, making that daily commitment, making a commitment to doing the thought work and surrounding yourself with others that are wanting the same things for themselves in, in their lives. And this is ultimately why we created masters or why we created this, this work, this ministry of Made for Greatness and the master’s community.
Because ultimately we’re saying to ourselves like, yes, like I, I want to live this life where I experience joy and fulfillment and living out my purpose. And I know that there are oftentimes gonna be like where I’m called to step outta my comfort zone and it’s scary. And I wanna have the tools to be able to make that kind of commitment and to know how to manage my mind and how to manage my thoughts around it. This is all the work that we’re doing in Masters is like how to actually do this. How to actually manage our thoughts and our minds so that our brain is working for us and is helping us go in the direction that we wanna move in a direction of following God’s will and a direction of going to that place of being the best version of ourselves.
And then finally, we are working so hard at creating a community of like-minded Catholic mothers who are in this together, who are saying, okay, I wanna be inspired by other women who are doing this work every day as well, who are also just like me willing to step out of their comfort zone to reach towards these dreams and these goals that God has placed on their hearts. And to know that we’re supporting each other, we’re lifting each other up in prayer, we’re inspiring each other as we do this work. And so whether it’s the master’s community or your parish community or a group of women or a group of friends or family members, like, I want you to be thinking about who are the people in your life that you see that you know that are doing this work, of stepping out of their comfort zones of saying like, how do I live this life that God’s calling me to live?
And they’re willing to do that. Like they’re willing to do the uncomfortable work and step out of their comfort levels to do the things that God is calling them to do. Those are the people that you wanna be hanging out with. Those are the people you wanna be surrounding yourself with. And um, being around. And also as you are doing this, there’s gonna be other people that are gonna be drawn to you because they see something in you that ignites a desire within them, within them to wanna step out of their comfort zone. So this is the beauty of this work, and this is ultimately the calling that we have to sainthood. They’re like every saint. When you read their stories, when you read their biographies, when you hear the things that God called them to do, they were always like stepping outta their comfort zones.
They were putting themselves in positions where maybe they didn’t always know exactly what they were doing, but they were trusting that God was gonna work through them and that they were gonna be his instruments even if it was bigger and scarier than what they could imagine. And in doing so and stepping out of their comfort zones, God was able to do amazing, extraordinary, miraculous things in and through them. And my sisters in Christ. Isn’t this what we want? Ultimately, isn’t this the kind of life that we wanna live? Like we only have one life to live? Do we wanna just live a life that just feels easy and comfortable all the time? Or do we wanna say God, like I’m willing to step out of this. I’m willing to put myself out there. I’m willing to use my gifts and talents for your glory, even if at times it’s terrifying.
And even if I don’t always know how it’s gonna go, or even if other people might think a certain way about me, I’m willing to do it. And the only way we’re really gonna be able to do it is one with his grace, but two, with willing to feel uncomfortable, to feel the emotions of discomfort and to be willing to manage our mind around it, to trust that we can try new things, even if we might not be great at it at the beginning, but we can trust that we’re learning and growing and making mistakes and figuring things out, and willing to like live in those moments where things are a little bit uncomfortable or uncertain, trusting that something great is gonna come out of it. And for me in my life, those have been the moments where I stepped out of my comfort zone and like really trusting in God that I’ve experienced those amazing moments of deep fulfillment and deep joy.
And also just like being so in awe of God and like being able to be like, wow, God, look at what you’re doing and look at what you’re revealing and wanting, like more of that. And so this is, I think, the pathway of, of sainthood, the pathway of being able to witness and to be a part of the miracles that God wants to do. He’s gonna do those miracles. He’s gonna do those things on the other side of our comfort zone. That’s usually where it happens because when we’re comfortable, we don’t really like, need God a whole lot. It’s when we’re uncomfortable, it’s when we’re scared. It’s like when we’re in those moments where we’re like, okay, God, I really need you right now. I need you to show up. And that’s when God’s like, yeah sister, this is where I’m going to use you and I’m gonna show you things and I’m gonna work through even your weaknesses and your struggles to bring about a greater good.
And this is where we get these tastes, these four tastes of heaven, these four tastes of being a part of something that’s bigger than ourselves, A part where we’re like, wow, did I get to just witness this? Did God just use me in this way? That is where this like happiness and this joy that, um, is not even really of this world that we get to experience. And um, and so that’s the challenge. And so I wanna invite you to be thinking about this, to be listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit that’s stirring within you these desires to step out of yourself, to step outta your comfort zone, to trust that God is gonna hold you in those moments and that it might feel a little scary and you might wonder what people might be thinking of, of you, but that’s okay because it’s in those moments that God gets to do some of his greatest things in and through you.
Again, my sisters, we’re not made for comfort, we’re made for greatness. And if you want a community of women that are striving for sainthood and holiness, who are learning how to manage their minds and their thoughts, who are stepping into this place of wanting to live the lives that God is calling us to live, then I wanna invite you to come and be a part of masters. We’re doing this together because God created us for the community. We are meant to be in communion with him and in communion with each other. Like we cannot do this alone. We really do need a supportive community and we need to be witnessing others doing this work so that we can see what’s possible. I know for me, that’s one of the reasons that I love to like read the lives of the Saints because in reading their stories, I see like what’s possible for me, even though my story is gonna be different than theirs, it gives me this hope, this inspiration of like, look at what she did.
Look at how St. Terre lived and St. Catherine of Sienna, St. John of Ark. Look at the ways they stepped out of their comfort zones. Maybe it’s possible for me to step outta mine for the glory of God. And this is how I feel when I’m, you know, in masters. When I see women like Sterling living out her vocation in her life and her willingness to step out of her comfort zone, it gives me strength to do so as well. When I look at our members and our other coaches and I look at the women in my life and, and the people that God has brought into my life and I see them doing it, I’m like, oh my gosh, if she can do it, then maybe I can do it too. And it’s so incredibly powerful. We’re meant to be in community, in communion, in communion, walking together, in holiness and lifting each other up in prayer and support and encouragement and being the light of Christ for each other.
So this is it. My sister’s in Christ. This is what I have for you. Let’s capture our thoughts. Let’s use our intellect, our will, our reason to guide and create the life that we know we’re meant to live. And to get very intentional about the things that we know are gonna bring us, the happiness and the fulfillment that we truly long for, um, certainly in this life and in the life to come. And, uh, that’s my hope. That’s my hope for myself. That’s my hope for you and, uh, let’s continue to support each other in this journey. I hope you have a great week. I hope you know how deeply loved you are and that you never forget, mama, that you are Made for Greatness.