It was Neale Donald Walsch who said:
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
And it cannot be more true if you think of life as the journey towards our purpose, our true calling, the fulfillment of our true potential.
Most people live out their lives in their comfort zones. Afraid to change, afraid to step out, afraid of the unknown, they stay where they feel safe and where they know all the rules of the game.
Then there are the rest, who take those steps, who embrace change and who leap into the unknown, for they know that true human potential knows no bounds.
They know that staying in your comfort zone is the greatest evil you could fall prey for.
Test your limits
How often do you test your limits?
Most of us live our lives within the limits that we have set for ourselves regarding what we are capable of achieving.
These limits are born out of fear. We dread what lies beyond what we already know. People are not even ready to imagine a situation where they overcome these fears.
What do you do when somebody asks you to run a marathon? What about writing a novel? What about speaking in public? And many other things like that?
Sure we admire people who do all these things. But when it comes to doing one of these ourselves, we invent a dozen excuses as to why “I” cannot be doing it.
The mere thought of doing something that they have not done before makes most of us uncomfortable and defensive. And then we see and hear only what makes us feel safe. All the possibilities that lie beyond the fear are not seen or considered.
“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find what you already know and you will see the way to fly” – Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Know that there is no human endeavor that is impossible for you.
You don’t need to always stand on the sidelines and admire the marathon runners. You could be running it too. You can write a novel. You can do a speech and receive a standing ovation form the crowd. No, not in a day, but definitely.
The first step is to step over the fear. Get out of your comfort zone.
Use comfort as a flag
One of the best ways to avoid falling prey to the lure of comfort is to use it against itself. Be aware of the the time when life seems to be too comfortable. Look at the situation with the understanding that you are capable of achieving anything.
Most of the time, what we call comfortable is what our mind conditions us to believe is comfortable. Most of the time, we settle in our comfort zones, we are settling for mediocrity. Those boundaries that your mind constantly reminds you to not cross, those were placed there by your mind itself, and they do not in any way represent your potential.
And when you recognize this, and deliberately push at the limits you have set for yourself, you start seeing that there is a whole new world out there, that is far more satisfying than what you were comfortable with earlier.
If there is one thing that is sure to come your way in life, it is change.
Everything in life is gonna change at one point. Even if you cannot fathom the reasons at this point in life, the changes are gonna happen whether you like them or not. The only way to deal with change is to embrace it.
Those who try to resist change are the ones who dwell in past and live in constant misery.
Being attached to your comfort zone can cause so much sloth and inertia that you start resisting change. When you are comfortable, it’s very easy to believe that change is something that happens to other people and that what you are enjoying now will remain so forever.
Even if you believe that change will come sooner or later, you may dismiss it with the thought that you will adapt to it when it arrives.
This is a mental trap. Not only will you be unprepared for the change, but when it comes, your attachment to your comfort zone will make you cling on to the past and make life miserable for you.
The best way to beat this is to embrace change even before it comes knocking on your door.
When you realize that you’ve been in the comfort zone for too long, when you recognize that your growth is stagnating, when you realize that you have not done anything new or exciting for the last one year, call Mr.Change in.
Make changes, big changes to your life. Learn where you want to take your life and move in that direction.
If that calls for a career change, do it. If that calls for a change in a relationship, do it. If that calls for a change in where you live, do it.
Make the changes that you were afraid to make all along.
Ask questions to yourself and realize the limits you have placed upon yourself. Push them. Break them.
Let go of the limiting beliefs and thought patterns that don’t serve you in attaining your goals.
This new year, trace the ends of your comfort zone and take the step beyond. Life begins there.
Do you feel like you’ve been in you comfort zone for too long? Are you struggling to get out of it and move forward? Feel free to share in the comments.
By the way, I have started a new twitter handle for the Life Probabilities Blog. I welcome you to follow the blog there too, so we can have some great discussions. Follow @LProbabilities
Image Courtesy: Scott Ableman