I was traveling this week. I had a goal that I set for myself before we left- I wanted to start running. I have been cycling lately but it wasn’t feasible to bring my bicycle. Keeping up my fitness has become very important to me…So… This trip was the perfect time to do a different activity! There was another reason that I chose running and it plays a bigger role into making deeper life changes. The simple fact is………… I hate running.
I’ve heard for a long time that when you make your to-do list that you should prioritize it based on the importance. Many times there will be one item that, if you do that one single thing, the rest will often take care of themselves. I’ve also heard that the item that you don’t want to do the most is the one that you should do first. This can be for several reasons, but many times you don’t want to do the important things because they get you too far outside your comfort zone. What is a comfort zone?
From the dictionary:
a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.
Let’s think about that comfort zone. We all have one. We all have a limit to what we’re comfortable doing, both in public and in private. But for me and my life, I’m changing the name of my comfort zone to the “anti-growth zone”, because that’s what a comfort zone does—it stifles your growth, creativity, and even your possible potential. What we’re comfortable doing today is simply an internal limit that we’ve placed on ourselves. How comfortable does our ‘comfort zone’ really make us feel? Not very comfortable when you really boil it down.
I see on Facebook all the time people who have statuses like “I hate my job” or “I can’t wait until Friday”. We all have the friends that can’t seem to wait for the weekend to escape their Monday – Friday. There are even songs about it–you may remember Loverboy’s 1981 hit “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend”
And you know what? I bet they live a very comfortable life in their ‘comfort zone’. But that comfort level is limited severely to what they know, or maybe rather to what they don’t know. That’s the thing about the limiting factor of our minds- to paraphrase Secretary Rumsfeld, “we don’t know what we don’t know.” And the only way to expand our knowledge is to experience. To make the jump. To try something different.
Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be a crazy big proposition. It can start with some pretty small changes that you can make today. Try something different from the menu at dinner. Strike up a conversation with someone that you don’t know. Get out and exercise. Do something that you hate doing. You’ll thank me later.