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Stepping Out

person rock climbing

“When was the last time you left your comfort zone?”

I find this to be a strange question and odd prompt – do people really hunker down in their comfort zones for weeks at a time, maybe even months or years?

Of course they do and I have been there a few times in my life. One of the great needs for humans is the need for homeostasis; stability in a crazy, ever-changing world. I may have misconstrued the prompt slightly – “write about the last time you left your comfort zone” – but my opening message remains the same.

I am not sure that there is an easy way to pinpoint this because I feel that ever since I asked my now-wife to marry me, I have been challenging myself to leave my comfort zone as much as possible so that I could grow in life. And while I say this, we always have one thing that we cling to and hold onto for dear life as the constant that gives us some sanity in life. Maybe it is the family life, maybe it is your career, but the truth of the matter is that you cannot thrive in a comfort zone and if you feel yourself sinking into one, you need to assess it – and challenge it if you ever desire growth in your life.

I believe that every morning when my alarm goes off at 4:30am, and I actually get up rather than snoozing it until 5:00 or 5:30am, then that is a successful day because I have removed myself from the first comfort zone of the day, my bed and my peaceful (though often dream-filled) sleep. We all need an adequate amount of sleep, so I am not saying to neglect your body’s needs, but if you have big goals & dreams set for yourself, how will you conquer them when you are asleep? If I lay there, or am able to snooze and pick up an extra 15 minutes of sleep, I have to ask myself the question – was that 15 minutes even restful sleep, or could it have been better utilized on other tasks in the morning to prepare me for attacking the day?

I think that the latter will always win out because the psychological weight of missed time & opportunity will weigh you down through the day more than the missed sleep. If anything you will feel more awake & energized with that small victory under your belt so early in the morning.

I’m sure that I could have dressed this “leaving my comfort zone” post up much more, but I am a huge believer that small things make the biggest impacts in our lives. So often people will go way over the top just to prove a point to themselves, or the proverbial ‘they’, without realizing the action did not fit the situation and will not illicit a reaction they desire because they have not calculated, but have dropped an errant bomb with no purpose other than destruction to prove a point.

So often we think that we must be showman, that what we say has no weight without theatrics, or that a blog post must be long, intricate, and perfectly manicured with a stylistic flair that jumps off the page. Sometimes all it takes is asking yourself “what is the right thing to do” and executing on that thought no matter how much fear bubbles up in your gut.

Use the fear as a guide of where you can leap out of your comfort zone – and take your steps to freedom of mind and watch your life get better with every chance you take.

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