A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” – Unknown
“I'd rather deal with the devil I know then with the devil I don’t know.”I’ve heard this saying so many times and while I get what it means I've never understood why people wanted to deal with the devil at all.
People normally use this saying when they choose to deal with a situation that may not be the best for them, but it’s more familiar, it’s routine, there’s predictability, it’s safe (at times) and it all seems so comfortable.
On the other side of this is the unknown. You’re starting over, it’s something new and there are no guarantees with the outcome. There tends to be extreme anxiety and discomfort with that notion, however in the end, how can you grow or thrive in a place that doesn’t provide any nourishment for your spirit, your heart, or your mind? You honestly can’t.
Let’s think about it, when a child attends school for the first time, they first start off in kindergarten and every year after they’ll attend a new grade. Within these grades the child encounters a new level of learning and many new experiences. This may be uncomfortable for the child at first, since they really don’t know what to expect in their new atmosphere. But in order for a child to grow, they must engage in the unfamiliar to gain new skills and confidence.
Imagine a child saying, “I think I’m just going to stay right here in the 2nd grade since it’s so easy, I already know what to expect, I know all of my multiplication tables and I like it here. As parents, and educators we would encourage our child(ren) by talking to them concerning their fears, but also assure that no matter what, they will do well and be fine because they have what it takes to succeed.
Now imagine if we spoke to ourselves this way more often when fear and doubt crept into our minds, we would develop a pattern of nourishing our positive thoughts more than holding tight to our beliefs of what may not happen.
Remaining in your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean you are happy or that you’re even thriving, you’re pretty much just surviving there. You prefer to manage your current situation then to change it. You may even feel content at the moment, but it’s only temporary. There’s always a slight tugging at your heart and reminders in your spirit that this isn’t working for you.
The feeling never truly disappear, it’s only suppressed by your desires to mold the situation and spin the story so that it can suit the reality of what you want, and that is to remain comfortable.
Subconsciously or even consciously there’s a certain level of fear and anxiety about accepting that promotion, because you feel you’re doing fine in your current position, but you’re scared of taking lead of a department. What if you fail at it?
Or you’re scared of leaving a relationship where you both get along well, but deep down it’s not working for you because he/she doesn’t want to make a commitment. You wonder what if there isn’t anyone else out there for me. What if this my last chance at love? You could honestly play the "what ifs" all day, but the only way to truly know is to give it a try. You'll discover that doors will begin to open to support you on your new journey.
In thinking about stepping outside of your comfort zone, here are a few questions to help you get clear about what you want and begin seeing beyond where you are now:
What am I gaining by staying where I am?
How would I feel if I’m in the same place this time next year?
How would my life change if I were to leave my comfort zone?
What am I afraid will happen if I do what I really want to do?
What’s the best part of staying where I am? What’s the worst part of that for me?
What conversation is it time to have?
How is staying where I am affecting me? My surroundings?
If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I really do?
As you think about where you are now, and process your answers from the questions above, think about what are your next steps in moving forward. Remember baby steps is still progress!
I will make this topic about the Comfort Zone a three part series, so look out for the next post! If you know anyone who would be encouraged from this post, please feel free to pass it along.
If you have any questions or a comment, leave a message below or feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time,