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There is a deeper purpose for your work and greater meaning for your life. Escape from your comfort zone and explore it”.

The Comfort Zone Illusion-Leaving Your Comfort Zone is Not So Hard After All

 Susan Neustrom  

Change, I know a little bit about change.  Well, I really know quite a lot about change both from a personal and a professional standpoint.   Over the past seven years, I taught many adults and nonprofit organizations and small business how to experience change from a new perspective by using a comfort zone approach to experience a successful outcome. 

After all, I was stuck in my comfort zone, too afraid to change, and it took me 30 years to get up enough courage to finally take the first step.  I was trapped too fearful to even think about doing anything different than what I have done for much of my career.  No surprises, no drama, nothing to stir me out of the place I believed was my comfort zone.  It has been 15 years since I initiated the first step of change and I am no longer stuck.   I can tell you with all honesty leaving your comfort zone is not so hard after all when you understand what is occurring.   In fact, what I believed to be the most difficult challenge of my life was really the beginning of a tremendous journey of discovery.  

With this in mind, for 22 years I worked in the banking industry advancing from entry level to assistant vice president until I got the “itch” to change. What I deeply desired was to follow my calling and transition to nonprofit leadership providing services to people who experience barriers to success and being the voice of the oppressed.


As each year past, I grew more restless to move but never really had the courage to take action to create a life with greater meaning and purpose. While I had many fears about making a drastic change, one fear in particular left me immobile. I am a high school dropout, therefore, I felt powerless, defeated, and inadequate.  Without an education my voice was silence because of low self-esteem and self-efficacy.

​With this intent in mind, at age 48, over thirty years after dropping out of high school, I enrolled in College of Dupage and earned my GED.  For the next 10 years, I pursued my education earning two Associate degrees from College of Dupage, a B.S in Management from National Louis University, a M.A. in Organizational Leadership/ Training and Development from Lewis University, and a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University. ​

Of course, what followed my educational journey was a career change to nonprofit executive leadership working with adults with developmental disabilities, incarcerated men and women, and older adults with dementia. In addition, I am faculty at National Louis University, and DePaul University, a keynote speaker, panel presenter, and workshop facilitator at many universities, conferences, and organizations.

​ Oh, I’m also a comfort zone survivor who traveled an unbelievable change journey and I can help you leave your comfort zone.  It’s easy!