Today I was sitting at a coffee shop sipping some coffee and on the wall right in front of me, there was a nice painting with this quote written on it: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone… I believe it is a quote by Neale Donald Walsch.
I am currently struggling with some issues of my own, some fears that prevent me from moving out of my comfort zone, so this really hit home for me. I wonder why is it that we often prefer to stay in our comfort zone, in the security of the familiar, the known, even when it doesn’t serve us any more? and even if it hurts us more than serves us in fact.
Of course, we can all move out of our comfort zone in small steps, doing little things at a time, working towards gaining comfort with unknown situations little by little, etc. But sometimes we are faced with greater challenges that require we take action, and make changes that are radical, in those cases, panic sets in and can often paralyze us.
My dad always says that when we take a risk, (like making a life-changing decision for instance) we always know what we are loosing, but we don’t always know what we are getting, that is why fear is often stronger than courage when it comes to taking a big jump out of our comfort zone. We can see all that we are loosing, all that is familiar (whether pleasant or not), but we can’t really see what’s on the other side… we have no warranty of winning, we are moving into the unknown, and that is scary.
However, embracing the unknown is part of our journey into consciousness, clinging onto the known is NOT.
The zone outside of our comfort zone is a “learning” zone, a place where we can grow, expand and eventually bloom. We have to trust that in spite of the hurdles, we are moving towards a better outcome, towards our dream, towards a better version of ourselves and our lives. The more risks we take, the more our comfort zone expands.
I chose the picture above, because I really believe that when we take a great risk, there is a moment of panic, a moment where we may feel we can’t breathe anymore, but we need to take a leap of faith and just GO. There are no great rewards without great risks.
Every person has a different comfort zone, and risk zone. Some people will say that I am a risk taker because I love adventure, I love to travel to new places and discover new cultures, new foods, etc. However, in my case, what really scares me is to let my emotions be free. To fall in love for instance was to me the greatest risk ever taken, that is were I felt the most panic and fear. So we are all different in what we consider risky and what we don’t.
But the truth is, if we want to live life at its fullest, we have to get more comfortable with taking risks, big or small. It is also important to realize that life is changing everyday whether we like it or not. Everything around us changes constantly.
Knowing and truly accepting that our life and everything in it is impermanent, will help us live better, because we will be more aware, more present and more clear about the risks worth taking. The more conscious we are, the more comfortable we will become at taking risks and stepping out of our comfort zone.
In an ideal world, we should make decisions and take risks based on a deep sense of awareness, following our heart and our intuition as opposed to what is expected of us, what we were told to believe in, what others tell us, etc.
And remember: change is part of growing and is part of live, and there are no great rewards without great risks!
Have a good week!