Your comfort zone. A place that is very secure and protected, but where nothing is able to grow or flourish.
Comfort zones are places we feel safe. They’re cozy and warm, but unfortunately, if we stay in there too long without venturing out, we become stagnant. We become unable to remember what it’s like to be uncomfortable or afraid. We forget how to deal with change.
If you stay in your comfort zone too long, you may start to notice the physical effects. You feel lethargic. Uninspired. You lack energy or motivation. You may have even started to feel a little depressed.
“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses it’s purity from stagnation . . . even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” Leonardo DiVinci
We may be breathing, but are we really living?
If we stay too long, our comfort zone starts to quiet us; it quiets our bravery, our enthusiasm, and our curiosity. For more on this, read about the time I discovered how complacency leads to the silence of our soul.
Here are some ways to tell you may be stuck inside your comfort zone.
- You tend to go to the same restaurants and order the same things.
- You feel bored and unexcited with life.
- When someone asks you to do something new and a little risky or inconvenient, your first reaction is usually no.
- You haven’t changed up your personal style in several years.
- You rarely make conversation with strangers.
- You always tell yourself “someday” you will take that hip hop class, travel to Spain, or learn to paint.
- You believe that only after X, Y, and Z are completed, can you start doing the things you really want to do.
- You often hold yourself back because of fear of ridicule.
- You can’t remember the last time you tried something new.
- Life is good, but you’re unhappy and you’re not sure why.
Everyone’s comfort zone is different. Some people are adrenaline junkies and need greater and grander adventures to feel their lives are fulfilled. And some people need to order something different at the sushi bar or learn to drive a stick shift to be challenged and feel gratified with life.
Being stuck in your comfort zone isn’t literally going to kill you. But, it will steal the life from you. It will slowly make you believe it is better to be safe than challenged. You will become more fearful than courageous. You will let opportunities and adventures pass you by until one day, you will wake up and ask, “Where did the time go? I thought I had time.”
Life is short. I know sometimes in the hard moments it can feel painfully long, but it’s not. It will go by in a flash. So we all need to decide if we want to live our lives messy and exhilarating and a little bit scary; vibrantly living up to our greatest potential. Or, if we want to live our lives safe and complacent; never really exploring all we could have been.
It doesn’t matter if you leap out of your comfort zone or tiptoe, as long as you make a conscious effort to get the heck out of there. That you realize what is at stake and work to live the juiciest life possible. Cuz it’s the only one you got!
If you feel this is you, look here to find simple ways to start getting our of your comfort zone.
This topic is one of my passions, so if you’d like to continue the conversation, I’d love to hear about you or your comfort zone in the comments.
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