The comfort zone is a very interesting place. Good things happen here. Things are typically neither excellent nor horrible. Life carries on business as usual. It’s the place where mediocrity flourishes.
Google defines the “comfort zone” as a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress. Safe. At ease. Without stress. Who wouldn’t want that? I’ve spent/spend most of my life living in my comfort zone. Doing things I like with people I know at places that I am familiar with. Living the good life. I’m sure you can relate.
But what if I told you life can be more than good? What if life could be great? What if there is a magnificent life waiting just outside of your comfort zone?
Over the last couple of years, God has been prompting me to step out of my comfort zone. I’ve taken on new jobs, reached out to people that I wouldn’t otherwise have, and gone places I’d never even considered going in the past.
On a recent trip to Lake Tahoe, I was challenged to step even further outside of my comfort zone. I decided to step out (and by step out, I mean I went along kicking, complaining, and pouting) and do some things that are out of the ordinary for me. I tried snowboarding and I snowmobiled for the first time. As I was riding through Mt. Rose, enjoying some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen, I began to think about the realities of the comfort zone:
- Most of your fears are unwarranted. I’d shied away from skiing and snowboarding, because I had vivid pictures of myself rolling down the hill to my death in an avalanche of snow. Snowmobiling? Terror. Pure terror. The guide went over the rules for the snowmobile, and my anxiety heightened as he talked about snowmobiles falling over and ankles being broken. OMG, what had I gotten myself into? Once on the trail, my fears quickly faded. This was easy as pie! Most of the things that we worry will happen, will never happen. Maybe you’ve felt the urge to start up a business, or go back to school, or mend a broken relationship. The enemy loves to fill us with “what ifs” and “worst case scenarios.” Don’t psyche yourself out. Take the chance. The only thing worse than failure is the looming thoughts of “what would have happened if I tried?”
- You may know yourself better than you think. After I’d heard all about snowboarding, I still wasn’t interested. Seemed like it was going to be hard, stressful, and too much work. I was right. I didn’t like it just as much as I thought I wouldn’t. It was hard, stressful and too much work. Sometimes we step out into situations that turn out exactly how we think they will… and that’s OK. Sometimes the ability to say “I tried, and I was right,” is better than the feeling of never knowing. As we begin to step out, we become more self-aware. We start to learn that we can trust our own judgement in certain situations. We are better able to distinguish the difference between unwarranted fears and justifiable reasons for not doing things.
- Others need you. I really only went on the skiing and snowboarding for my friend. Had she not wanted me to go, I never would have gone. There are people around you that need for you to step out of your comfort zone. They need you to take a chance. They need you to push past the fear, doubt and uncertainty and move forward with the vision God has placed inside you.
- There are amazing things awaiting you. Again. Comfort zone = good, mediocre, ordinary. Stepping out of your comfort zone = great, exceptional, extraordinary. My friend’s dad asked me if I’d ever seen snow before. Sure, I’ve seen snow plenty of times. Have I ever been on top of a snow-capped mountain overlooking a gorgeous lake with more snow-capped mountains in the background? Absolutely not. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the difference between “alright” and “amazing.”
So today, I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone. Take that thing that you have been wanting to do, and do it. What’s the worst that could happen?