Moving out of your comfort zone
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” –Walt Disney
What does it mean to be comfortable? Merriam-Webster defines comfortable as, “Affording or enjoying contentment and security.” Their example was “a comfortable chair: was too comfortable to move.” There is a paradox in the word comfortable. While it is something that we strive for and want, it is also one of the biggest barriers we face. When we are too comfortable we stop moving. We don’t want things to change and we do anything we can to keep the comfort we had. While on the surface comfort sounds like something we would like, the reality is, life does not stop moving when we are comfortable. Life moves on and if we are sitting back being comfortable, pretty soon life pushes us and we become uncomfortable. I often think of comfort as something that needs to grow with us. The shoes that were comfortable for us when we were five are no longer comfortable now. We have to keep getting larger sizes so that we can remain comfortable. Our life is like the pair of shoes. We are continually growing, but many people would rather keep the same size shoes for years. When they notice that things are starting to become uncomfortable they complain about the shoes and try to keep their life small enough to fit in them comfortably. Changing shoes in life isn’t easy. There is often a lot of discomfort when we take off the life that was too small and put on a larger one. Many people mistake the pain of taking off the shoes as something that went wrong. The failures, divorces, job loss, and illnesses are often looked at as things we label as ‘bad.’ Although it is true that they hurt at the moment, when we continue to move forward we put on the new pair of shoes and find that life has expanded. There is a new comfort that can be experienced. As Walt Disney said, curiosity keeps us moving. When we are in the process of a major life change, be curious about what good can come from it. What lessons were meant to be learned? What relationships can be strengthened? What opportunities lie on the other side? Staying curious opens us up to our next level of growth and expands our comfort zone. As Neale Donald Walsch has said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
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