Anyone who enters a journey of self-discovery, awareness or spirituality, anyone who start investigating how to improve one’s life and grow, any person who picks up a book on how to get rich or succeed in business, is sooner or later bound to encounter this phrase – ‘comfort zone’.
But what is it really, why is it dangerous and how do we learn to grow out of that zone?!
We make decisions every day, all day long. What part of us makes the decision? You might say that the source of the decision making will dictate the energy we produce. What I mean is that it is not the quality of the decision, whether it is the right or wrong one, but the voice in our head that made the final cut. Was it a voice of comfort?! Or a voice of taking a risk.
Comfort means something we know! Something that feels like home because we are familiar with it, it is comfortable, we have done it before.
It was said many times that if we do the same things we will have the same results, hence if we do things differently we will have new results.
But why have different results? What is so bad about comfort and why every self-development book pushes us to get out of our comfort zone?!
Our universe has a magical quality of growth. What makes the flower turns towards the sun and grow? What makes a baby grow in its mother’s belly? It is food that nurtures the baby and builds its cells but it’s that miraculous quality of growth that makes him grow and develop. It has nothing to do with the mother or even the food, it is the universal intelligence that makes it grow, birth out of the belly and never stops changing, for as long as it lives.
I just came back from a hiking trip in the stunning Alps mountains of Italy, In one of the hikes, we rode a cable cart, who took us 2000 meters high in about 4 minutes ride.
The hike was just beautiful. We traveled with our feet from hut to hut, surrounded by what seemed to be an endless range of mountains, snowy tops, green trees as far as the eyes can see.
As I looked around I was thinking about the first people who ever came here, all the way up to this high mountain I was standing on.
At that moment I was after a 5 hours hike, my muscles were singling me to rest, my clothes were moist from the sweat, my heart pounding fast from a full day of effort, and all I could think about is how do those first pioneers, that had to climb 2000 meters high felt?! They had no cable cart, no huts to feed them, no comfortable hiking shoes and mostly what they didn’t have is any idea what it will be like up there.
What made them go up? Why didn’t they stay in the valley? Rich with food and water, shelter and warmer weather? What made them decide to leave their comfort and take the climb?
The answer is The universal quality of growth!!! It’s a truth that pounds within each and every one of us, it is our nature, it is our calling, it is life.
I called this piece of my mind ‘life begins at the end of our comfort zone’ not because there is no life in comfort, but because it is the natural tendency of life to reach higher, take risks and search for new domains. It’s what makes our life interesting and furthermore, in my opinion – worth living.
Each person’s growth and comfort is different. When I pictured those first brave men who climb the mountain, I imagine that it wasn’t the whole village who climbed together, but a few of the strongest, wildest men and women, who stepped forward and volunteered to be the ones who will research this new land for their community.
Not every one of us is designed to be the ones who will climb the mountain and risk their lives, but each of us has a comfort zone to step out of occasionally and each of us has growth potential, always. For some, leaving their comfort zone means to start a new job, for some to cook a new recipe or even change their hair to another color, for some to be a parent and for others to heal from an old painful experience.
We live at a technological age and technology is all about comfort, that is, physical comfort, a practical one, our transportation is easy, our machines are amazing, we can reach the world in the palm of our hands, all that practical comfort leaves us wonderfully free to grow intellectually and spiritually. We are in the age of personal development, lucky us!
There are no more new mountains to climb or new continents to discover, but we have much more interesting discoveries to find, our soul, mind, and intellect.
By not participating in the joy of growth you are sending yourself to a life of not living, the opposite of life is not death, but stagnation, growth is about moving, it’s about changing, I love the word ‘promote’ and ‘motivation; because it’s clearly talking about moving, not moving the same as you always have before, but moving in new ways, inventing yourself, again and again, trying new things and exploring.
Now to the practical part of this post, How should we grow and how do we know if we are out of our comfort zone?! Simple as that, it is not comfortable, it is scary. Some people go through life avoiding decisions that raise fear in them. When we do that, our energy becomes weak and our power loose impact.
Taking risks is a metal muscle and like any other muscle, it needs practice. Go ahead and start with small things, take a new turn, wear something you usually won’t wear, speak to someone you haven’t dared to speak before, do something as small as wearing a new hat, something that is simply not comfortable and is not really ‘you’. When you do that, you will feel your body shaking, your heart will be racing faster than normal, your breath might be shorter, thoughts like ‘what will they think of me’ will start to flow your mind. This is normal, these are not ‘your thoughts’, but collective thoughts, which came through you because you took a risk.
Stay there, feel your body, talk to yourself and breath deeply, by doing that you are expanding your comfort zone, what I mean is that if you take that risk again and again, soon it will feel like home and be comfortable, that is growth, your line of what you can do easily just became bigger. The first time I dance in the station of a public train in New York City, I was flooded with fear, my eyes were looking around to see who is laughing at me or judging me, I had sweat running down my forehead and I basically didn’t know my own name, but 10 year later, I was dancing as I walked through the streets of my neighbourhood and I simply enjoyed being myself, free and careless in my dance.
There is no better feeling in the world.
I would love to hear from you, about your experience, feel free to email me at any time and share, ask or tell your story
My name means ‘movement’, I love that about my name, I invite you all to stay in motion and to never stop growing towards the sun, towards yourself, towards the mountains of your life.