“In an increasingly competitive, cautious and accelerated world,
those who are willing to take risks, step out of their comfort zone and into
the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards.”
As adults, we human beings are definitely creatures of comfort. There is safety in knowing what to expect. When we abide by established rules governing our thoughts and behaviors, stress and risk are minimized and we experience a state of mental security; we’re in our comfort zone.
Our comfort zone is the creation of our life experiences. Babies are born with a clean slate and day by day, year after year, life experiences begin to fill the energetic space in our mind where our comfort zone resides. Our perceptions and beliefs are formed and become the habits of thought that govern our lives.
But, we live in a world full of uncertainty. And sometimes things happen to us by chance or by choice that require a response outside the boundaries of our existing comfort zone parameters.
We are called to change, to act in ways that are perceived as risky and challenge the well defined limits of our comfort zone. This unapproved behavior triggers a red alert. Our brain starts pumping stress hormones and bombarding us with the litany of verbal chastising that has kept us in line in the past.
The fear and discomfort are real. What if we fail? What if we are rejected by our tribe?
“We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure all your life. It’s as simple as that.” states John Gardner, author of the classic book, Self-Renewal.
We are meant to expand and grow during our lifetime. Challenging and pushing the limits of our comfort zone is at the core of personal growth and transformation. Staying within the confines of our comfort zone holds us back from experiencing the fullness of life.
Focusing on the end result of your goal will help stave off the fear and anxiety that challenging the comfort zone can trigger. Each time we challenge these boundaries, they stretch and we grow. It will get easier next time around.
Practicing with small steps on a regular basis will help us respond to the ongoing challenges around the calls to change we experience in our daily lives and prepare us for the possibility of bigger challenges to our comfort zone as we travel through life.
Building the change muscle and expanding our comfort zone will serve us well throughout our lives. Children are natural risk takers because so many things are new to them. As we move through life, risk aversion becomes more prominent and our comfort zone gets narrower.
There’s no cap on how much transformation we can experience during our lifetime. We are the ones who make that decision. The opportunities to recreate our comfort zone throughout on the journey of life are endless. And the more we stretch ourselves the easier change will become and the more opportunities will open up for us.
How much do you want from life? The choice is yours.