Is your comfort zone making you uncomfortable?

Life will only Change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone – Billy Cox
I recently took my children to an indoor climbing wall facility.  My 8-year-old daughter was first to jump on the wall and start climbing.  She didn’t quite reach the top, but she went very high and loved every minute.  Then her best friend did the same, but she got all the way to the top, climbed over and stood, looking down on us all, proud and smiling. 

My daughter slowly made her way down but stopped half way, frozen with fear, crying and shaking.  I was able to reach her and slowly coax her down, but she was terrified and sat with me crying for a long time, explaining that all she wanted to do was climb over the top, but was too scared. 

I wondered how committed she really was to reaching the top?  She was certainly committed to being very careful, and she was definitely committed to looking after herself and staying safe (from my point of view, the best decision there is!).  For her though, that wasn’t enough, she wanted to climb over the top. Knowing she was more than capable of doing it if she could only get over her fear, was a feeling she couldn’t manage, and it would only go away if she came out of her comfort zone and pushed herself just that little bit further, in order to reach her goal.  She had to trust her strength and ability, rather than her fear of what MIGHT happen.

It took a few more goes, but she did it in the end and her great big smile and leap for joy at the top said it all.  It was worth it!  I did it! 

Sometimes the decision to go for it, is even harder than the task itself.

Have you ever said something along the lines of “I wish could do that” or “I wish I had one of those” or “wouldn’t it be awesome to live there”? We all have, but how many of us actually mean it??  There’s a big difference to seeing someone else parachuting out of a plane and actually doing it yourself!  Are we really saying “I wish I had the confidence to do that” or “I wish I could afford one of those” or “I wish my circumstances allowed me to live there”?  Most of the time, we don’t even acknowledge our wishes to be possible, and we just toss them aside as wishful thinking.

What if we really consider that which we want the most?  To live in another country, to start a small business, to lose a few pounds, to surf the biggest wave, to sleep a whole night through without being disturbed by one of the children, to learn a new language…  Instead of thinking it’s not even plausible, start believing it’s actually possible, but only if we’re truly committed.  What are you truly committed to? Following through on commitment, gives us the power to change.  We have to trust our strength and ability (mental and physical), rather than our fear of what MIGHT happen.

When we set goals, they don’t all have to be mind-blowing.  For example, some of mine are:

  1. To see a ballet
  2. To take the children skiing
  3. To further my education every year
  4. To have a big, open-plan kitchen and living room
  5. To be successfully self-employed
  6. To have an exceptionally close relationship with my children
  7. To meditate daily
  8. To live in a house with double-glazing (barking dogs, dust and bugs are relentless in Asia)
  9. To remember my marriage will always require effort

You see, some are pretty big and some really quite small, but they mean a lot to me and they give me something to look forward to and focus on.  If I simply think about them, they’re just hopes and dreams.  If I write them down, they become goals.  Goals to look at, read and start making progress towards. A reminder, amidst the daily chaos of life, about what’s important to me.

However, and here’s the tricky bit, at least 1 of my goals really does take me out of my comfort zone.  Having completed an 18-month life coaching course, I’m now working my way towards goal number 5 up there, and I want it really bad.  The problem is, if I really want my business to be successful, I need to step out of my comfort zone, market myself, share my thoughts and ideas and encourage people to choose me! 

On top of that, I recently returned home from a trip to the UK and the last thing I wanted to do was leave all that behind (that lovely, comfortable, safe place full of cups of tea, summer BBQ’s, walks through the forest, family, old friends and bowls of steaming hot Heinz tomato soup).  I didn’t want to focus on “what if I fail?” and “what if I’m not good enough?” and I definitely don’t want to create a video blog and post it on social media! 

That’s when I saw this quote and it hit home.  If I’m going to succeed, I have to leave my comfort zone behind.

Life will only Change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone – Billy Cox
How comfortable is that comfort zone after all?  Perhaps not so much if we want to step out of it.  Will it be easy?  No.  Will it be worth it?  Definitely.

Write down your wishes, make them goals and surround yourself with a support group that will help motivate you, inspire you, hold you accountable and encourage you.  Everything is easier with someone to share it with and someone to rely on.  In the same way I supported my daughter and helped her climb down when things got tough, your support group will do the same for you. When you’re ready, they’ll help you back up again and whether you fall or reach the top, you can be confident in the knowledge they’ll be there for you every step of the way.