Part 2 of a 3-Part Trapped in Your Comfort Zone Series
Some people are content to stay in their predictable, safe, and cozy box, while others voluntarily push their limits. The dividing line that distinguishes successful people from everyone else is the choice to challenge their comfort zone. Successful people place a high value on breaking out of their mold because they view resistance in a different way. They don’t shrink back from discomfort but pursue it for a greater purpose. Kris Vallotton says, “Vision gives pain a purpose. Vision will get me past the sacrifice it takes to get there.” The dream of the prize on the other side will help you push through fear, failure, worry, and embarrassment. In my previous article, I outlined two obstacles that keep people trapped in their comfort zones, and in this article, I present five rewards to help fuel your imagination of what life could be like beyond your comfort zone.
1) A Destiny to Gain
Do you ever feel that you were born for something more than what you are doing now? Do you feel as if you are watching life instead of living it? Your destiny is waiting for you outside your comfort zone. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look back at my life with regret. I don’t want to miss out on the fullness of what God has purposed for my life because of fear. Imagine getting to heaven and discovering the magnitude of your calling – only to find out that you never fully received it due to a lack of courage. In order to encourage myself to push my boundaries, I have been repeating this mantra: “Little risk means is little reward. Nothing ventured means nothing gained.” Everything that is worth attaining lies outside your comfort zone. If we are unwilling to take risks, we lose our chance for greatness. But when we move in faith, we open ourselves up to possibilities we never had before. We partake of new experiences, receive new blessings, and achieve more. So, when you face a situation that intimidates you, instead of imagining the worst-case scenario, ask yourself what if something amazing happened. God wants to take you on an adventure beyond your wildest dreams.
2) Growth Opportunities
You have freed me when I was hemmed in and enlarged me when I was in distress… – Psalm 4:1 (AMPC)
Do you avoid risks at all costs? If so, you may be depriving yourself of tremendous personal improvement opportunities. For most people, the first thought that comes to mind before stepping outside of their comfort zone is, “But what if I fail?” We avoid the risk of failure like the plague. But what would happen if you leaned into the discomfort instead of running away from it? What if you gave yourselves permission to make mistakes? Your rate of improvement would drastically increase. Failure is the best teacher if you welcome it as a learning opportunity. Consider how a pearl is formed by means of pressure and irritation. If you view each struggle you encounter outside of your comfort zone as a buffering agent, you will be formed into a better person. Your attitude is the key to extracting the treasure from the setbacks. By remaining open-minded throughout the process, you will obtain the essential ingredients needed to achieve your goals. You will be wealthy in wisdom, knowledge, skill, and character. In the midst of defeat and disappointment, remember that God is enlarging you for greatness.
3) Your Comfort Zone Gets Bigger
When you camp out in your comfort zone for too long, you become rigid and stagnant. Your strengths and skills start to atrophy. But the good news is that your comfort zone is malleable. Every bold step expands its perimeter. The more you push yourself, the more territory you gain. Over time, what was once difficult and anxiety provoking becomes your new normal. The more you challenge yourself, the more flexible and resilient you will become. You will notice that you are better able to adapt to unexpected circumstances when life throws you curve balls.
Have you ever struggled with self-doubt? When you advance outside your comfort zone, you will see yourself in a whole new way. You prove to yourself that you are capable of far more than you thought was possible. You tap into your full potential and your personal storehouse of resources. You might find yourself saying, “I never knew that was in me. That wasn’t as bad as I expected.” When you dig deep within, you put to bed those nagging doubts about your performance. You gain self-respect. As you observe your progress and complete your goals, your confidence increases, and you will probably continue to take on more smart risks. You will feel good about yourself, knowing that you pushed yourself and came out successful on the other side.
5) Where the Magic Happens
Comfort kills productivity and ambition. But outside your comfort zone is a place where your adrenaline, creativity, optimal performance, and talent collide. This territory is called your sweet spot. It’s the place where you feel most alive and fulfilled. It’s a place where new experiences and new skills open the door to innovation. Personal passions become ignited, and purposes are further defined. When we unplug from autopilot, extraordinary things happen. For example, the Holy Spirit is free to do mighty works through us when we are fully present and abandon our script on life. It is my experience that when I move out of my comfort zone before I know what exactly I’m supposed to say, then God speaks most dramatically through me.
Christian Counseling to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
What are you longing for? What are you too scared to attempt? Don’t allow your comfort zone to kill your dreams. Make a commitment to yourself that you will no longer settle for the mediocre. You were born to thrive. Believe that success is within your reach. Are you willing to withstand short term discomfort for a lifetime of benefits? Are you ready to trade in your security for the greatness of the unknown? As I Christian counselor, I have witnessed many clients finding new life as they dare to step outside of their comfort zones. If you would like to find out more about how Christian counseling can help you break out of your comfort zone, please contact me here.
“Woman on a Pier, courtesy of skeeze, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License; “Enjoy the Rain,” courtesy of StockSnap, pixabay.com CC0 Public Domain Licensing; “Joy” courtesy of Jing Qu, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY 2.0)