You already know that you can’t ever get to where you want or become who you want to be unless you start taking yourself in that direction. But still we so often don’t start. Starting is scary, I get it. The future (How will it all work out in the end? What if I fail? What if I choose the wrong path to take? What if I waste my time? and on the list goes) is hazy and undefined. The place where you are now is at least making you feel comfortable (even if you’re not happy).
1. You need to start to overcome fear
There are two types of fear: real fear and head fear. Real fear ends in bodily harm or death; head fear is everything else (read more in-depth about the two types here). The only way out of head fear is action, at least that’s been true for me.
Fear does wonders to keep you locked inside your comfort zone. But why would I want to leave, you might say, because my cozy blanket and favorite slippers are there? I would argue though that you won’t get everything you’d like to have/do/say nor will you grow into all you could be by remaining within that zone. In the end, it comes down to this: your comfort zone is familiar, and so safer (you tell yourself) than stepping outside of it into the vast unknown (where safety is not assured).
Keep these perils in mind if you choose (yes, I say kindly, it’s a choice) to use fear as an excuse to remain inside your comfort zone:
- You’re confined by limits of your own making, and you won’t ever find out just all you’re truly capable of by putting yourself in a box and closing the lid.
- New things/opportunities/people can’t come into your life because you’ll always say no just to keep yourself within the boundaries of your comfort zone.
- There really are no guarantees. Life is still going to happen without asking your permission first. Keep in mind that bad things can still befall you even while you’re tucked away in the center of your comfort zone.
2. You need to start to crush self-doubt
Self-doubt trails a close second to fear as the reason you don’t step out and pursue those things that you want to have/be/do/say. The only way out of self-doubt is: 1. knowing your motivation, 2. knowing your why, and 3. perseverance.
Your motivation needs to be you, and only you. Why? Because other people, no matter how good their intentions, will eventually fail you. We’re all human; we’re all fallible. The only one guaranteed to always be with you no matter what is you. And you are a rock you can stand on (oh yes, you are!). If you don’t believe that, well, that’s where you need to start — trusting yourself to take care of yourself no matter what comes your way.
Your why simply needs to be because whatever it is you want to have/be/do/say deeply matters to you, which is reason enough to pursue it (because nobody but you is responsible for your happiness).
Perseverance is just a matter of keeping on because you believe you’re worth the effort (which you absolutely are), and if you don’t believe in your own worth and value, well, you need to start — your worth and value are innate, you were born with them and no one can take them away from you, ever.
Keep these perils in mind if you choose (I say kindly) to keep doubting yourself and remain inside your comfort zone:
- You’ll likely never realize your full potential and all you could have/be/do/say.
- You’ll spend your days wishing and wanting (which will leave you frustrated/afraid/envious/anxious/etc.) instead of doing and achieving.
- You’ll lose respect for yourself, which completely disempowers you.
3. You need to start so you can stop betraying yourself & instead become who you want to be
You might not think of refusing to start as a self-betrayal, but it is. Why? Because you know what you want but you refuse to step out and give it to yourself. And if you think that being betrayed by someone else is painful, it absolutely pales in comparison to betraying yourself. Why? Because you can’t ever get away from the pain you’re causing yourself; no matter where you go, there you are.
Keep these perils in mind if you choose (again, I say kindly) to betray yourself and remain inside your comfort zone:
- You may end up numbing yourself with substances/activities.
- You may waste your time and focus distracting yourself with things you don’t really want to have/be/do/say.
- You may exchange your life for things that don’t deeply matter to you so that 5-10-20-30 years down the line, you wonder how your life ended up where it is.
Oh yes, there are!
There are things you are meant to have/be/do/say in your lifetime, and you won’t realize them by staying in your comfort zone. Starting will:
- prove to yourself that you’re worth the effort to pursue those things that matter to you,
- show you just how brave, strong, and capable you are, and
- reveal just how much potential you really have.
Some things I’ve learned:
- You don’t need to know see the whole path, you just need to take the first step. The path, I assure you, will reveal itself as you go.
- You don’t need to know every detail before you take the first step. You’ll learn what you need (and also what you want) along the way.
- It doesn’t matter how small the steps are or how slowly you go. What matters is that you keep going and you don’t stop.
- The only one who can truly stop you is yourself.
- The only way to get anywhere you want to go is to take that first step and start.
So what will you step out of your comfort zone and start today?