Our transformational journey and personal growth will be tested many times by the decisions we make about getting outside our comfort zone. Most people do not like getting outside their comfort zone and deliberately make some changes to their life. Throughout various times in my life I have stayed inside this comfort zone. However, the truth is that our greatest growth in life comes from pushing through our present comfort zone.
This process starts at birth. A baby feels safe, warm, and secure in its mother’s womb. However, to stay there much longer than the gestation period would mean certain death for both the mother and child. Life began for all of us as we left the comfort and security of the womb and faced the strange and unfamiliar world outside. Our first breath is often a painful experience and a cry of protest at the temporary discomfort. Yet, without this experience, a baby's life would be very short.
Each milestone of growth and accomplishment for a young child involves leaving an existing comfort zone. The first crawl, the first step, many new first experiences all push from the familiar comfort zone into the unknown. For the child the process of pushing through their area of comfort leads to increasing independence and the formation of their unique personality and character. This foundational principle continues into adult life. But, what is so amazing to watch in children is that they don't look at these developmental stages as getting outside their comfort zones. Babies and children are just living in the moment and doing what is natural. We, as adults, have a lot to learn from babies and toddlers.
A child's risk of falling when taking those first faltering steps is high. Yet, what a transformation there is to a child's life once they have mastered the skill of walking. Their lives will never be the same again as limitless possibilities are opened up for them now that they can walk. The falls and tumbles are soon forgotten and overshadowed by their new adventures and experiences. They have pushed through their comfort zone.
In order to enrich our life, it is necessary to step out of our present comfort zone. Personal growth occurs when a person moves out of their area of comfort and into the unknown challenge of a fresh experience. There is a stage of risk and discomfort before any significant growth in our life. For each of them comes a point where we hold back and resist. It becomes easier to remain static and comfortable than to keep moving forward.
So, what holds us back? Well, whenever we consider taking on a new project, or venture, or we want to put ourselves out there we will feel fear. FEAR is natural and is to be expected. It is our body's way of letting us know we are moving out of our comfort zone. Fear can alert us to possible threats and dangers. However, unlike our cave men predecessors, many of the threats today are not life threatening. Fear can warn you and enable you to be more aware and cautious, but they don't need to stop you from progressing. If you want to move forward on the journey towards where you want to be, you will have to confront your fears. Unfortunately, many people will allow fear to stop them. Therefore, they don't achieve their goals and aspirations.
Fear does not feel comfortable and many people want to avoid it at all costs. Everyone experiences fear. However, people who want to be successful feel the fear and do it anyway! Fear is part of the package. Yes, there is always a risk of failure, but that needs to balance with the old phrase, "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained." What many people don't realize is that this fear is not real… It is all within them.
If they only knew that "WHEN" they get into 'ACTION' the fear disappears. Also, the good news is that once we have faced our fears and done it anyway, we have moved forward to a new place. Every time we push through and live out of our comfort zone, we will never be the same simply; because of our personal growth in leaving the comfort zone.
Pushing through to leave your comfort zone is hard work. Nature demonstrates that graphically for us. The chick pecking its way out of the shell, the butterfly struggling from its cocoon, illustrates how that struggle is necessary in order to bring life, growth, success, and personal growth. I, personally, have experienced these kinds of struggles as I allowing myself to push through uncomfortable stage.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. US Supreme Court Justice, once said:
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
I believe this is true of not only our mind, but also of who we are as unique people. Life moves into a new dimension through each experience and each transition that we go through in life. However, once we have been through this personal growth of pushing through our comfort zone, we can NEVER go back to original starting place. We are now a different person with a different level of consciousness.
However, there is also the possibility that once we have pushed through our comfort zone into a new place of growth, we rest there too long there, and will create a different comfort zone! I encourage you to keep pushing through and moving forward towards growing your uniqueness and living your life fully as you push through your comfort zone into the world of possibilities.
1. Please leave your comments below and tell me how I can assist you in getting out of your comfort zone.
2. Please leave a comment telling me of a time when you pushed your comfort zone, what happened, and what you were able to accomplish in your personal growth journey.