…and now it’s time to break away from it.
Yes, my friend, I am talking about the good old comfort zone. Truth is, the web is littered with endless materials on the subject. But I still feel there are some points to be made, and I wanted to share some personal experiences with that.
If you’ve been following me so far, you know I don’t “fluff” things up and I like to go straight to the point, and that I put a higher value on living through something and learning from it rather than sitting on the fence wondering what it would have been like.
In very straightforward terms: if there is anything you want to do, anything you want to learn or change in your life, then you need to allow yourself to have some room for growth. This is easy to say but for many, the reality is different.
One of the main things standing in the way of your growth is called Fear. It has sneaky ways of showing itself, too. Perfectionism. Procrastination. Overthinking. Self-Sabotage. It is a natural feeling for anyone in the human species. We are afraid of what we don’t know.
So, our comfort zone is the cozy fortress of things that are known to us and with predictable outcomes. It’s our daily, normal, usual stuff that we do almost on auto-pilot. It’s tempting to just stay there, it’s just so safe. But the thing about fortresses is that they are built to not just keep things out, they also keep us in. Your comfort zone can turn into a prison, if you let it.
Every time you want to experience something new and with unknown outcomes, you need to face the unknown. Unless you can foresee the future, you don’t know what’s going to happen once you step into it. Others may disagree, but to me, that is the fun part.
Why is it fun? Because that’s how you grow – by going out there, trying it, assessing your outcomes, adjusting your approach, learning the lesson, trying again. And more often than not, you will find yourself thinking, ‘how foolish of me, I should have tried that sooner.’.
How tall are the walls you’ve built around your comfort zone?
What little things have you been putting off, even though part of you wants to give it a try?
Are you too scared to take that trip, start that blog, open your business, find a new job, try that food or take that class? Take baby steps, but do take them. Some walls take longer to climb than others, and nobody else can walk in your shoes. And that’s exactly why you must act.
There’s a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt that changed me completely. It said, “Do one thing that scares you every day”. It doesn’t have to be a crocodile-wrestling, skydiving, daredevil kind of thing. To get the hang of breaking out of your comfort zone and expanding your growth, do one little thing every day, or every week. Make that phone call. Try that weird dish. Sign up for that class. Soon enough you will look back and think, “wow, that was super cool. What else can I try?”.
And once you learn to break through your own walls, you will be amazed at all the progress you’ll make and all the things you will learn. I know that because I go through this process every day, and next time I will tell you a cool story about what happened once when I attempted something I had been scared of my whole life.
So…what are YOU going to do? What One Scary thing will you try today? Share it with me!