I was recently asked, “When was the last time you left your comfort zone?”
The idea of a comfort zone always has confused me. It insinuates that at any regular time of the day, you find people to be comfortable and in a state of rest in what they are encountering at that moment. And that you need to leave this state in order to grow into whatever your hopes and dreams are.
The thing about a comfort zone is that I don’t really think they exist.
We live in an environment that is constantly stressful and that is constantly pushing us past our limits. The zone we live in at any given time is hardly ever comfortable.
When you think of a time that you feel comfortable in your state of mind, what do you think of? Are you comfortable right before you fall asleep? During a meal with good company? During a night alone with a significant other?
I doubt it.
In retrospect, sure, these moments are the finer things in life. When life is supposed to make sense and be content.
But this doesn’t make us comfortable.
We all live in stress. Stress to make more money, stress to be a better friend, daughter, mother. Stress to be healthier and happier. And we stress about a whole lot more when it comes to our success.
When I think of comfort zones, the first thing that comes to mind is exercise.
There are inspirational quotes online, on t-shirts, in books, and public figures who talk about pushing limits, going the extra mile and ultimately, leaving your comfort zone.
I see this notion as more being more than burning extra calories.
When I read an inspirational quote that tells me to push my limits in order to get out of my comfort zone, I laugh.
Dude, I don’t even have a comfort zone, and neither do you.
I think it is important to strive for more, of course, because face it, we can all be better people. But I don’t think we should get down on ourselves when we think we aren’t doing enough because someone came up with the idea that we are suffering because we won’t leave our comfort zones.
If one of you finds a comfort zone, please, don’t leave it- embrace it, because it probably won’t be long until life hits you in the face with the next uncomfortable that that comes along.
This zone we do live in, not a comfortable one but something else, however, isn’t bad.
Humans wouldn’t get anywhere in life if we always do the same thing, and if we think we are always perfect in everything we do.
We aren’t, clearly.
So, in other words, the failures and the insecurities we have about ourselves individually has lead to everything that has ever been created and achieved in the world.
Back to the question I was asked, although I don’t understand the idea of a comfort zone, the last time I felt like I made a step in the right direction of achieving something was last week.
I quit my job.
Yes, I quit my job and am really pursuing my writing career. And I am so thrilled.
I am broke as hell, yes. Most of us are. But I have made a big step, some would say THE big step towards my dream career, and I am more than determined.
This really ties into my big spill about comfort zones, because it definitely wasn’t a comfortable decision to make. There was nothing easy about it, and there was nothing comfortable about not knowing what the future will bring.
But that’s the beauty in it.
That’s the beauty of the world we live in, we surprise ourselves all the time. And here I am, totally shocked, and totally 100% all in.
Now, this question probably wasn’t expected to have such a loaded answer. But hey, that’s our reality. We spend so much time worrying and wondering when things will be the way we want them, and that scares off a lot of us. I never thought I was going to get out of that job and finally do what I wanted, but here I am. I believe this is what the real expectation should be, not just pushing yourself a little longer to get things done, or staying on the treadmill a little longer just to burn those extra calories I was talking about earlier.
That being said, I challenge you to follow your dream and forget about that stupid quote you heard about your comfort zone. Make a point to be the person you want to be today, not the person you are hoping to be tomorrow.
Instead of asking you the question I was asked, I will reword it.
What will you do tomorrow that brings you closer to your dreams than you were today?