Don't Let Your Comfort Zone Defeat Your Potential
By The Grone • December 18, 2017
"Growth requires discomfort. If you stick with what is comfortable, you’re giving up any hope of surprising yourself, of finding greatness, of having the best experiences human life has to offer." — Thomas Oppong
One of the most cliché, but ever-so-true, statements that many personal evolution coaches seem to agree on is the fact that the magic starts to happen minute we step outside of our comfort zones. The second you decide that you are willing to go beyond what is safe and wander into uncharted territories, you will have planted a seed that, if watered daily, will blossom into something that you would have never expected to come to fruition.
For me, one of the most important things that we should always keep in mind is the fact that, under no circumstance, can growth and comfort coexist.
Personal development author Napoleon Hill once said:
"Whatever the mind can conceive, and believe, the mind can achieve. Regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past or how lofty your aims and hopes may be."
This statement is especially powerful because it reminds us that we are the only ones who can be responsible for how far we will go. Whatever we believe we can achieve, we will. However, to reach any personal objective, it usually requires that we shake things up a bit.
Following through is the key to real change.
Stepping outside of our comfort zone is probably the most important step to experiencing real change. However, consistency and continuing to move forward is equally as important as it is extremely easy to quickly slip back into old comfortable habits without realizing.
Five years ago, I decided to move overseas and I haven’t resided in the United States since. All throughout high school, I knew that, at some point, I wanted to live in a Latin American country and become fluent in Spanish through full cultural immersion. Obviously the chances of this happening while living in the states were slim to none so, halfway through my undergrad, I switched over to the online version of my degree and bought a one-way ticket to Argentina, where I finished the last two years of my degree before flying back home for graduation.
I currently still live here, and I can personally say that recognizing what I wanted years ago and taking the necessary steps to make it a reality was one of the most important things I could have done for myself. The discomfort that came along with the initial culture shock, using my second language on a daily basis and learning to live life differently from the way we do things in the U.S. has turned out to be an extremely enriching experience; it was my own way of investing in my personal growth and my future self.
This, of course, by no means at all applies to everyone, and I’m not implying we should all by one-way tickets to foreign countries, wing it and see what happens. But it’s important to know that we should recognize what we desire and see what areas of our current personal circumstances we can modify to bring those fantasies to life.
Make use of today instead of leaving it for tomorrow.
In his note titled Embrace Discomfort. Your Long-Term Personal Growth Depends on it, Thomas Oppong reminds the reader that “ Most of us live with the stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today’s work.”
The comfort zone can be deceiving in the sense that it tricks us into believing that we have an abundant amount of time when, in reality, we all know that years can fly by in the blink of an eye without us having accomplished much of what we really wanted to do. So why wait? The last five years have come and gone so quickly for me, and, in retrospect, I’m thankful that I didn’t “patear la pelota”, or continue to put off my move until a later date because I would have missed out on a lot of amazing life lessons and experiences that have shaped me as a person.
Our comfort zones can be very, very comfortable. This is obvious. It’s imperative, however, to keep in mind that, if we want to experience even a minimal amount of change, we will have to step outside of it. If you’re contemplating shaking things up in your daily routine and just the mere thought of it causes slight discomfort, it means you’ve set your sights on the right path towards whatever it may be that you’d like to acheive.
Remember, comfort and growth cannot coexist, and we won’t always have tomorrow to do what we could have done today. So embrace the discomfort and allow it to take you places. You never know what you could be missing out on by remaining complacent.
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