I recently heard a quote that really stuck with me: “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there.”
This is so true!
Too often we crave change in an area of our lives, but something holds us back.
Maybe we don’t want to risk our security?
Perhaps we are afraid to shake up the norm?
Or most likely we are afraid we will fail.
These continuous doubts and fears can leave us paralyzed to move towards change, stranding us in a less-than-desirable situation.
If we spend so much time worrying and fretting about what could go wrong if we make a change, we will miss out on all the amazing things that could happen if we do.
Watching my Son Escape from his Comfort Zone
My middle son, Jakob, was always shy and had a hard time reaching out to people. During his high school years, he once wrote a paper about how he felt like a shadow. He was walking the halls among his peers without anyone noticing him. His senior year, he decided he was tired of being invisible and started making attempts to be included.
Even though he was uncomfortable and nervous, he made himself seek out new people to talk to and to try new experiences.
We never knew what he was going to do next. He started joining friends to attend events and to hang out. Nothing was off-limits for him anymore. Jakob told me he wanted to go to prom with a friend just a few days before the big event. His new friends and I rushed around to make this happen. My reserved son had a blast dancing all night long and he was so glad he went. Then at his graduation party, 25 of his classmates surprised us by showing up to support my son. It was such a joy to watch this positive change in him.
The Snowball Effect
I am proud of my son because he took the time to figure out what he could do to be happier, and then he took those first shaky steps to make it happen. Instead of complaining that he felt left out, he chose to be brave. This decision was rewarded in so many ways.
Now as a college freshman, he continues to try new things. His motto is, “Life is too short not to try everything once!”
He definitely has embodied this way of thinking. He has joined several clubs including an ice cream club and a Pokémon club. Currently, he is even running for an elected position in one of the clubs. He has been learning how to rock climb, box, and now rallies his classmates to go have new experiences together.
A New Career Outside My Comfort Zone
For years I considered a career as a real estate agent because I enjoy sales and I love helping people. However, the thought of starting something new and having to learn an entirely new field was overwhelming and terrifying.
Then one day, my friend gave me this advice: “Time is going to keep flying by. Where do you want to be in a year? You can either be in the same place you are right now, or you can have started a new career.”
This advice helped give me the motivation to step out of my comfort zone. I’m really glad I did. Getting my real estate license has given me a new sense of identity and purpose after staying at home with my children for years. It also has blessed me with the opportunity to meet fantastic people and to learn interesting things. It also has given me a sense of financial security, which is a much-needed change.
This new path can be turbulent, and sometimes I am still plagued by doubts of “What if I’m not good enough?” However, in the difficult times, I keep challenging myself, and I am proud of my results so far. Most importantly, I am grateful for the chance to grow, to learn, and to change.
But if I had never decided to try because of my insecurities, I would have missed out on so many awesome things.
What do You Want to Change?
Take a moment to think about what you would like to change in your life. Then my advice is to research the possibilities, believe in yourself, think positive, and then go for it. Get out of that comfort zone.
Remember, you only fail if you fail to try. Just by trying you might be truly surprised at what happens!