We all have a way of finding our own comfort zone. You know what that looks like, right? That is the time and place we seek to get to where we have a sense of peace and contentment. The place where things just seem normal, natural, and easy.
That sounds good and worthwhile, but it is a dangerous place to get comfortable in. The comfort zone has a tendency to do the following:
- It makes us content with the way things are, thus we miss opportunities to grow.
- It makes us lazy. Only when we stretch and move out of the comfort zone do we grow. Like working out with weights….your muscles grow with the resistance.
- It has a tendency to give you a false sense of peace. True peace is found when you are able to be at peace whether you are in the storm, or in the shelter. It is an inward response to external circumstances, and not dependent on peaceful circumstances. It is like the difference between joy and happiness. Joy is internal and not dependent on circumstances. Happiness comes and goes depending on what is happening in our lives.
- It is the place we often seek when we are fearful. The problem with that mentality is that we have to learn to face our fears. If we don’t, we miss our opportunities and our destiny. Remember that greatness is never achieved in the comfort zone.
So how do we break out of the comfort zone? Maybe the real question is, why should we?
- First and foremost you have to admit that you are in it. Admit that you have become complacent with things as they are. If you hold on to the present, you may very well miss the future you were intended to see.
- Secondly, you have to be willing to change. Change can be scary when you don’t know what the future holds, but change is inevitable. You can embrace it or ignore it, but how you react will determine your future.
- Thirdly, be willing to face what you fear. If you are afraid of public speaking, take a course to help you. If you fear being in a committed relationship, get some help to find out why you carry that wound, and do something about it. Whatever it is that you are fearful of, realize that fear is not from God. Fear is a tool of the enemy. Nothing good comes from living in fear. Stress, worry, anger, frustration, addictions, and many health issues (like heart attacks, strokes, cancer) all have roots in fear!
- Lastly, realize that the comfort zone is different for each person. What you might find very easy to do, someone else might be throwing up at the thought. The moral here is to cut each other some slack. If you are fearless in a particular area that is stressful for someone else, you can be the one to encourage them, mentor them, and help them overcome their fears.
It is OK to dwell there from time to time. We all need a time and place to just chill. Just don’t reside there. Greatness awaits each of us outside the comfort zone.
P.S. My wife informed me that at her age….she just wants the comfort zone. She has earned it! LOL.