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Comfort is the Enemy of Growth: Why getting out of your comfort zone is key to unlocking potential.

What could you accomplish if you stepped out of your comfort zone? No really, think about it. What dreams, aspirations and plans have you put off, or completely given up on because you are too afraid to step out of your comfort zone? What lies have you told yourself to keep you stuck in stagnation and comfortability? What new skills have you delayed learning or honing because it might require you to disrupt your business as usual? If you take a moment to examine your life and it’s purpose, what areas have you compromised all for the sake of being comfortable?

Like, PT Barnum, I believe that “Comfort is the enemy of progress."

Photo of a person from the shoulders up eating a red bowl of popcorn in their lap with a black remote control in their left had.

Comfort is an illusion and lie you feed yourself when your mindset has not risen to the level required for real transformation. It keeps you from taking the necessary risks required to discover who you really are and are meant to be. Whatever you aren’t doing, but have a desire to do, the underlining issue is more than likely because you are too comfortable. Your comfort zone is often the space that feels safe because you’re seemingly in control. But what it actually does is diminish your desire to improve or exceed expectations. It also offers a false sense of time; misguiding you into believing that you can afford to, “do it tomorrow.

The truth is, you may not have as much time as you think you do, and the consequences for allowing your fear to pin you into a perpetual zone of comfort can be astronomical. Think of the relationships, opportunities, experiences, and successes you forfeit. Through fear, you develop a lack of confidence; allowing the opinions of others and self doubt to negatively influence you. Fear cripples you into finding excuses rather than solutions, which over time, establishes a lack in the skills necessary to deal with the hurdles and problems we all will inevitably face.

Fact is, challenges and adversity are the fertilizers to our personal growth. Adversity exposes areas in our life that need awareness. It can challenge or confirm ways of thinking that are detrimental or beneficial, and more importantly, adversity highlights the changes needed most in order to propel us into a life we are meant to live. This requires the unlearning and reprogramming of our thoughts, which will change how we feel, and in turn effect the way we act.

Allowing comfort to paralyze you at the expense of your own personal growth is self-sabotage. Self-destructive actions may be deliberate, born of impulse, or developed as a habit over time; which is why self-sabotaging behaviors can be hard to shake without intention. It’s said that transformational change happens when the pain of staying the same, outweighs the pain or fear of change. If you were to create a pros and cons list representing what happens if you break free of your comfort zone and if you do not, you will see that when the change is a positive or productive one, the pros will almost always outweigh the cons.

So let’s break this down. Say you’ve been wanting to learn a new skill in order to advance in your career, make more money and in turn create a better future for yourself and your family. Or say you’ve been wanting to get fit so that you can improve your overall health by being active and experience more of life without being tied down by extra weight or unhealthy eating habits, but have been feeling insecure about if you’re capable of committing the time and effort required to achieve that goal, some of the the cons might be:

  • Where will I find the time?. I work a full-time job with barley enough time for myself already.

  • I can’t afford a trainer, yet alone a gym membership

  • I don’t even know where to start

  • I’m not smart enough to learn the subject. It's too difficult.

  • If I commit to this and don’t finish, this will be another failure.

One of the underlining issue with all of these excuses is uncertainty. If you allow uncertainty to pin you into staying in your comfort zone, eventually it will morph into fear and/or resistance. You even may find yourself being jealous of or resenting others for doing what you’re more than capable of doing but haven’t because you’re too comfortable. In contrast, the pros to getting fit or learning a new skill might be:

  • I’ll have more energy and possibly a longer lifespan

  • Looking and feeling healthier will boost my confidence

  • I can attract the kind of partner I want

  • I’ll acquire new skills to earn more income and further my career

  • The time will pass anyway, so I might as well use it to benefit my life and future

  • Proving to myself that I’m capable will keep me motivated to thrive not just survive

  • I can take more time for myself and my family

  • I’ll have more money and more opportunities to invest

I can go on but I think you get the point. The benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone would far outweigh any concerns you may have regarding change. What’s beautiful about the human experience is that it’s just that, an experience. If you go through life only doing the things that make you comfortable, you probably won’t reach your full potential and get all this life on earth has to offer you. You’re a divine being with purpose. It’s your job and responsibility to find it, feel it, be it and fulfill it. But no one can want growth and success for you more than you. Your abilities are not held hostage by your inabilities.

Learning to do the best you can with what you have and strive for better everyday is key. The compound effect of breaking out of your comfort zone in order to take the steps necessary for improving your overall quality of life and experience in this world will manifest into a life worth living. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you’ll learn to understand that growth is cyclical. There is always a new level to achieve because none of us are perfect. If you’re still breathing, it's because you still have life in your body and purpose to fulfill. Let this be your sign that it’s time to shake up the status-quo and step into a life where you get comfortable being uncomfortable. Where you take necessary risks; pushing through fear and persevering through life’s challenges all for the sake of reaching your full potential! Don’t wait or procrastinate anymore. Now is the time to get UNCOMFORTABLE!


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