There are two primary choices in life: you can either be comfortable (remain the same) or be uncomfortable (change and evolve). In most cases, I think I’m safe to assume we’d want to pick our comfort. Comfort is easy; we already know what to expect because we are familiar with the all marbles that we are holding. But choosing to be uncomfortable means we’ll need to stretch our limits, and that’s not always an easy task. It can be downright scary.
But why is that? What is so great about a comfort zone and why are humans so fearful of the work involved in change? Fear holds us back from a lot of things. But think about it, what’s the worst that could really happen?
Here’s the thing. Regardless of how hard you try to avoid change, change will find you.
Oftentimes our resistance to making major changes lies in the lack of faith we have in ourselves; as well as the lack of knowledge we have about others and our environment. Our biases build unstable bridges, and we limit ourselves tremendously when we are not willing to inspect and repair the mental bridges that we’ve put up. Change requires us to pay attention to our thoughts and be willing to dig up and dig through what we feel, and what led us to those feelings.
When we reach a challenging crossroad (a.k.a. unstable bridge), our minds would rather retreat to our comfort zone instead of pushing through the discomfort that comes from difficult conversations or encounters. Our comfort zone looks really inviting when, fear, doubt and the unknown are the other options. And I get it, believe me I do. But the only thing your comfort zone leads to is missed opportunities.
So, here’s the tricky thing about growth and change. Everyone says they wants it, but no one wants to get dirty. Growth requires you to get uncomfortable and mentally unpack the events that have led you to where you are now. Change requires that we be willing to have the hard conversations with ourselves first, then others. We can’t get to where we need to go, because we’re carrying so much baggage that we refuse to evaluate.
Our faulty bridges separate us from people and experiences. Change is about examining why they even exist.
So how do you get across the hurdle from where you are (a.k.a. your comfort zone) to where you want to be (the great unknown)? You have to be willing to confront the trolls under the bridge; hate, fear, doubt, lack of empathy, lack of motivation, racism, judgement, ignorance, hurt, lack of personal discipline, and lack of understanding, so that you can conquer the space in-between and choose your higher self over your comfort. Change requires us to assess the condition of our bridges, correct our shortcomings, and seek out opportunities to be courageous.
A comfort zone is a bridge we build that we fail to inspect. ~Sicola Elliott
Don’t let fear keep you from exploring the known or the unknown. I guarantee you there is something to learn about someone or something each time you courageously step outside your own personal box. It’s time to start greeting new experiences with open arms.
Yes, it can be scary. Yes, it will be uncomfortable. So, I want to leave you with this quote…
“You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you can’t have both”. ~Brené Brown