Updated: Mar 9, 2019
Look at that chair. It looks inviting doesn’t it?
I bet if you were sit on it you would sink down, kick your shoes off and feel oh so very comfortable. So comfortable in fact, that you wouldn’t even want to get up.
You might just take resident there and claim it as your seat forever!
It wouldn't matter that you were presented with many other different seats to try. 'No thanks' you'd say, 'this is my seat, I know my seat and I am staying in it'.
How might this be a metaphor for your life?
That chair and the comfort of it, is what I am using to describe your comfort zone.
When we refer to our comfort zone we are referring to a state or set of circumstances in which we feel safe, comfortable and at ease. It's familiar! But you know what they say about familiarity in the end don't you? It breeds contempt!
Change is the only guarantee in life and yet, it is what we resist most but what we resist, persist.
We may do this for many reasons, but fear and a lack of self-belief are usually high on the list.
We want life to be different but we fear change and so, we end up with many unrealised dreams. It's sort of like a itch that we don't scratch and this leads to irritation, apathy, and powerlessness.
I am not just talking about the big life events either. There are many day to day examples of how we live in 'comfort city'. Sitting in the same chair at meetings, the same corner of the room in our exercise classes or ordering the same food.
Changing our routine or stepping outside of our comfort zone signals scary but is scary bad?
I am not knocking comfort and in fact, we are hardwired to choose safety but growth doesn't occur from inside our comfort zone and so many of us are stuck there but let's have a little look back over your life.
Pick out some of your best and most memorable moments.
I guarantee that many of them came about when you stepped out of your comfort zone and when you took on a challenge or goal without being certain of the outcome. Also remember, that the things that were once difficult, you now do without a second thought.
Where are you on the comfort scale of your life?
When was the last time you tried something new?
Have you worn down your comfy seat?
Big question time:
If there was something you were avoiding or running away from, what would it be?
Whatever your answer, if the risk of stepping up and out of your comfort zone feels too great consider this, what do you stand to lose by remaining in your comfort zone?
Do you think your 80 year old self will be congratulating you for not taking a risk? We tend to think of what me might lose if we take action but we also stand to lose by not taking action.
Another way to look at it, is this:
What do you stand to gain from challenging yourself and dealing with this situation?
When doubt is creeping in and preventing you from realising a dream or goal instead of focusing on what might not work out, ask yourself this...again and again
'What if it does work out'?
Embracing change and moving out of our comfort zone builds resilience, courage and will open up a world of new opportunities.
If you want things in your life to be different, then you need to do things differently. My favorite way to illustrate this is the saying:
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.
So, what is it that you have been putting off doing because it make you feel scared or uncomfortable and what steps can you do to start addressing it?
Sitting in another seat might well be the start :)
Encouraging yourself to do ordinary every day things differently, helps to build momentum and for the bigger stuff, remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. We just have to start.
To help you get moving think of what it is you do want. Answer the questions in this blog and the following two:
1. What resources do you already have to help you achieve your goal? Make a list and consider things like, experience, knowledge, time, money, support, contacts, strengths, opportunities, etc.
2. What resources do you need to help you achieve your goal? Write it down.
Compare the two and make an action plan choosing one action that you can start today.
It's time to get up and moving, dreams await and they don't happen from sitting in the same chair your whole life.