But the risk in staying firmly inside our comfort zones is that it can prevent us from having what it is that we want.
A long time ago I heard a quote that has helped me a lot over the years.
Successful people are willing to be uncomfortable in the interests of their own growth.
What we know is that what’s inside your comfort zone… you're already comfortable with it because you've already achieved it, or known about it, or experienced it, or somehow made friends with it. So you're comfortable inside your comfort zone.
If you step outside your comfort zone, there may be a feeling of, “Oh I’m not so sure here”, or you may have a little insecurity, or not knowing exactly what to do. All of those things can come with growth.
On the other hand, everything alive, everything that’s in your future, and all of the things you hold as the dreams in your heart… are met at that intersection between comfort and uncomfort.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be radically uncomfortable all of your life. But it means that you want to stretch out beyond the boundaries of just staying inside the safe zone of what you already know.
Ask yourself this question… “What step could I take that I know if I took this step, or added this action, or explored this frontier, would perhaps open a doorway for me that I’ve been wanting to have opened but I’ve been afraid to take the step?” What step might that be?
It was George Bernard Shaw who said, You see things and say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and say, “Why not?”
What we know about this man is that he was willing to be uncomfortable in the interest of growth. He was a great philosopher, writer, thinker… He was willing to take the disapproval, even the disdain of family or friends or others who didn't agree with this point of view, didn't agree with his position, didn't agree with his way of seeing life. He saw life in an expansive, open way that could really open the door for people living their lives fully. He said, “Life is no brief candle to me, so I’m going to see it as a living torch and I want mine to shine brightly throughout my life.” He was willing to be uncomfortable in other people's opinions in order to live a life he loved living.
Everyone who is successful, at some point made the decision that they're willing to be uncomfortable in the interest of growth.
For as the Talmud said, “Every blade of grass has an angel that leans over it and whispers grow, grow, grow…”
That blade of grass will crash through cement seeking the light. And I bet it’s uncomfortable finding its way through that opening where it can find its way out. But it’s seeking the light, and it’s more interested in the light than in the protection of that safe dark place.
So today, go ahead and press through a bit. Give a little uncomfortable stretch into it and say, “All right. This is the feeling. This is what it’s about. This means I’m growing.”
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By Lynn Huber
p.s. If you spend a few minutes each day visualizing your success, you will become more willing to take the risks associated with it. Give your brain a break and daydream a bit. You'll be amazed at the results.
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