Are you sitting comfortably?
Perhaps a little too comfortably?
Are you stuck in a rut?
Do you feel like all the excitement has been drained out of your life?
Have you lost the confidence you once had?
Then consider this….
Every one of us has a Comfort Zone. Your comfort zone defines the perimeter of the life you live now. It’s the job you have, the routine you have established, the friends you spend the most time with, the things you do in your spare time, the holidays you go on and the qualifications you hold. Your Comfort Zone is all the things in your life that make “you” feel like “you”. In a way, it’s your safety net. You may not be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon but you know your limitations, right? You know what you are good at and what you’re not.
But do you ever stretch your comfort zone? The comfort zone that you have built for yourself may feel safe but it may not be a space in which you can blossom and grow. Maybe secretly you know that you are hindering your personal growth because you are too scared to stretch those comfortable boundaries.
Think about this… when you left school, you stretched your comfort zone. When you left home for the first time, you stretched your comfort zone. When you started your first job, you stretched your comfort zone. When you got on a plane and left the country for the first time, you stretched your comfort zone. But are you still stretching? When was the last time you did something that frightened or challenged you?
If you are not stretching, you are not growing.
Stretching your comfort zone can be doing anything from going for a promotion or giving yourself the chance to do something you previously considered impossible. It could mean going somewhere completely different for a holiday, learning a new language or taking up an exciting new hobby.
Last weekend, my friend and I visited York. We considered a number of different cities before we settled on York but for all of those we discussed – there was one specific criteria. It had to be somewhere we had never been. I travelled south from Edinburgh and my friend Jane travelled north from London. We met in York on Friday evening, staying in an apartment we found online, exploring a city we knew very little about, discovering all the little boutiques and curiosity shops in The Shambles and interacting with people we would otherwise not have met.
We had the most wonderful chat with Dean – who was working in the whisky shop and with Lianne, the owner of the art gallery. Both fascinating and inspiring individuals – and we would never have met either of them if we hadn’t stretched our comfort zones. On top of that, we enjoyed the most delicious Thai meal on Saturday night at a restaurant we found absolutely by chance.
York Minster Cathedral
Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be ‘challenging’. Our weekend was very pleasurable and so not only have my friend and I enjoyed 2 full days of ‘catch up’ but we have a full collection of memories from our trip to York to add to those of Seville, Florence, Barcelona, Venice and Hong Kong.
If you have stopped stretching, you could be preventing yourself from living a life that completely fulfils your dreams. You could be missing out on so many opportunities, memories to smile at, people to meet, or even the chance to change your whole life.
Stretching your comfort zone is not about quitting your career tomorrow or walking out of your life today. It is about looking at life from a different perspective and asking yourself if it fulfils you and makes you feel proud of where you are and who you are. This is a rare opportunity for you to question (if you dare) the way you live your life and an opportunity to consider living it in a different way and trying something new.
If you have landed the job of your dreams, great! If you have got an amazing relationship that allows you to grow – fantastic! But if you haven’t? Dare to imagine for a moment how your life might be if you did have those things. What would you be doing? What would you look like? How would you be feeling? Who would you be spending your time with?
The feeling of actually doing something that others just talk about is truly amazing. You will grow in stature, you will develop into a stronger human being, and you will develop a sense of confidence in yourself that you previously envied in others.
So, what are you waiting for?
Do something today that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Take a different route home, try a new restaurant, speak to someone in the office next door ….. or in the elevator – someone you have never met before.
The more you do it…. the easier it gets.
xxx Sending you so much love xxx