Picture this. You’re waking up without the alarm, at a time that your body is ready. The room temperature is just right. The bed is the perfect mix of soft and firm, there’s a slight breeze coming in the window and everything is perfect. You could truly and honestly stay there forever.
That, my friends, is a dangerous place we like to call a comfort zone. It is somewhere you are safe, it feels incredible, you’re happy to be there and you want to stay, but there’s just one problem with that scenario. How much life can you live, and how many goals can you achieve from the safety of your cozy bed?
I’ll go ahead and let you know, the answer to that is… NONE.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
You see, comfort zones make us feel awesome. They’re full of fluffy pillows and blankets, and the waters in a comfort zone are calm. But they don’t produce growth.
If a ship spent its life in the harbor, why on earth is it even a ship? It was built to sail, to explore the unknown waters. It was created to adjust with the wind and carry on through the tossing and turning that comes with the journey of going from one port to the next.
A ship was made to do more than just stay in one place. You, me, all of us were created with a calling and a purpose that is going to require us to leave our comfort zones. It’s not smooth, and it is not easy by any means. Everything in our nature will tell us not to do it and to just return to what we know because we gravitate to the path of least resistance.
I don’t know what your struggle is and I don’t know where you are having a hard time going, but I know personally that I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember.
Some ways my anxieties surface involves my ability, or lack thereof, to talk in front of people (even small groups of people). On the flip side, one of my aspirations in life involves a lot of public speaking.
Me. The girl who gets a red face when anyone even mentions standing up in front of people… the one who has to write her name down on paper when making a phone call so I don’t forget to tell them who I am (I really wish I were joking). Heck, I almost passed out at my own wedding and that was a room full of people I know and love.
This goal and this dream of mine will never be achieved if I don’t do a lot of hard things to get past the point that I am currently comfortable in life. Chasing this dream means I have to make the decision that my goal matters enough to push through the limiting beliefs and thoughts in my mind that are telling me I can’t.
They say, “you’d be better if you‘d stay in your comfort zone where it’s safe in a place where you know no one is judging you and you won’t see failure.” And guess what? If I let them, they will win and that will be my fate.
Make the decision now. It doesn’t have to be a big monumental leap into the unknown, although it might feel that way. Start small. Reflect on what goals and dreams you have in life, and think about what areas of your life you would consider to be a comfort zone.
Little by little, and day by day, make it a habit to do something to expand the limits of that zone. Do things that require you to step outside of the familiar territory and into the unknown that will lead you to where you currently only dream of being.
If you keep doing these small actions every day, inching closer and closer, before you know it you’ll look around and realize you left the safety of your harbor a long time ago. It will be nowhere in sight, and you won’t miss it one bit.