The Downside of Your Comfort Zone

Most of you hate to leave the safety of your Comfort Zone.  It’s so…well, comfy.  So easy, cushy; there are no risks to take, traumas to endure. Within its protective parameters Failure (fear of) can’t touch you.  No stabbing pain of not measuring up, falling short, withering away on the Vine of Shame and Bitter Disappointment. No need to gaze into the pitying eyes of loved ones and friends, or face the agony of an enemy’s schadenfreude.  As long you stay within the confines of its secure cocoon, away from the challenges of the arena, you can breathe easy, invulnerable.

Now let’s put that in juxtaposition to what Teddy Roosevelt said in “Man in the Arena,” Paris, April 23, 1910: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

There is no way to accomplish anything worthwhile in life without having the courage to step outside your Comfort Zone.  All the memorable achievements of your life, all your successes, came to you because you were willing to do that and take action; you faced the challenge head on, despite your fear, and chalked up the victory, knowledge, growth.  You basked in the glory and wasn’t that an incredible feeling?  Think about it: learning a language, asking your spouse out that first time, the commitment you made to get an education, the interview that got you your job, that improbable sale to the antagonistic prospect.  Take out a pad of yellow legal and make a list of everything you’ve ever achieved; and then measure each item on your list with the fear you felt at the time.  Pretty amazing, isn’t it?  You not only got past the fear and achieved your goal, it really wasn’t all that difficult, was it?  Okay, so maybe there were a few really tough ones along the way, but so what?  It was worth it, wasn’t it?  Sure it was!  And you must always keep that in mind.

Here’s some more good news: the discomfort you feel when you’re out of your Comfort Zone is only temporary!  It dissipates as you master the challenge.  There is nothing you can’t accomplish, achieve, master.  Keep that in mind, too.  If you do, you’ll realize that a life worth living is a life spent mostly outside the Comfort Zone.

Alas, I can’t attribute it to her because I don’t know her name, but a woman once said, “If you don’t have a dream which is so outrageous that you couldn’t possibly succeed unless God Himself puts in a personal appearance, you’re not alive.”

Go for it!  And keep going for it!