Dying a Slow Death in the 'Comfort Zone'
Okay, that sounds a bit harsh - let me rephrase - being comfortable for too long sucks... Also known as the 'comfort zone'.
I'm sure many of you have experienced the oasis of calm, ease, no worries and no stress that sometimes comes along with cruising in the comfort zone. But are you aware of the subtle darkness we give permission to creep in the second we spend too much time in this state?
Deep down I think we all know it somewhere inside ourselves. The comfort isn't an oasis. It's a mirage. A complete illusion we convince ourselves to believe in.
The truth is hanging out in the comfort zone is a slippery slope.
All it takes is a slight dip in our willpower, our drive and determination to push us over the edge and initiate that initial downward momentum into comfort.
It’s important to note that the initial hit to our drive, determination and willpower is not impacted by the material things we think have so much importance in our lives... Salary, the ego massages, the things we accumulate, our shiny toys. These are all ‘lagging indicators’ when gauging our intrinsic motivators. Instead, believe it or not, our gas tank of drive, determination, energy and willpower is driven by the work we do and the impact we have in the world on a daily basis.
And most importantly, whether this impact has a direct and profound link back to our intrinsic desires and passions as human beings.
When we get this right - aligning deep passions with the investment of our valuable time and energy - we equip ourselves with super hero power. We access a deep self belief that anything is possible, we can overcome any amount of discomfort or hardship.
We can tackle huge obstacles and lead massive visions. It all becomes possible.
It’s not an easy equation to get right. It takes courage and a deep sense of self-understanding to align the universe and make this environment a reality. Beyond that it takes a religious commitment to regularly check in with ourselves gauging whether we are moving down that road with every new adventure, project, commitment, and ultimately with every new day we live on this earth.
And it is in the loss of that connection with our truest selves that we come upon the slippery slope of comfort.
As we slowly move away from this crossroads where our time and energy is fully invested in our intrinsic passions it creates just enough of a gap for the excuses of comfort to slip in. This gap is created because every time we take a step away from that intersection our happiness and energy take a huge hit. As we set up camp in the comfort zone we are unknowingly sabotaging our ability to put our most valuable assets in life, our time and energy, to work for us. We become quick to fill the gap with reminders of all of the comfortable things we have accrued. A job. Steady pay. Friends. A family. Trips or life events to look forward to in the future. On and on...
We create a nice cozy bed for complacency to curl up and get comfortable.
All the while we slip further and further into the comfort zone. Which admittedly feels good in the moment.
It feels easy.
We can relax knowing that the simple things in life, whatever that is for you, are taken care of.
And why do you need to do more than that? Who is telling you to do more? Who are you trying to prove this to?
And so we slip further.
One day you wake up and realize the work you are doing is not only no longer aligned with your passions, but it is actually sucking that valuable energy and time away from you. Everyday you feel more robbed of your most valuable resources in life.
And in these moments the gremlins and stories in our head start popping up to make us feel helpless. To make us feel small. Insignificant.
The steady IV drip of security and stability keeps you getting up in the morning, but you begin to question if living this life in a sandbox that seems to get smaller and smaller is worth the steady drain on your soul.
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What would life look like if you were back at that crossroads with your super hero powers and inspiration to change the world?
But the upward battle of reclaiming that vibrant energy now seems so far out of reach.
As we continue to grow and age, life’s major responsibilities settle in and become the ‘easy’ scapegoats of why we need to maintain this slow decay of our souls. We become a sacrifice to what we have created in our lives. The notion of jumping back into the deep end of life is unjustifiable if it means compromising or even completely losing the security that is supporting all of the blocks we have built up in our lives. A relationship, a family, a mortgage, a social status, a title.
I believe as human beings we are actually most secure in life when we are being stretched, pushed, challenged, and sometimes even exhausted on a daily basis - doing the things we love. I will take the superhero power that anything is possible over living in my safe and ever-enclosing sandbox any day. Bring it on life, take your best shot. A glowing career, volunteering in the community, raising beautiful kids, paying off our dream home, travelling around the world, leading movements, changing the world…
No problem. We’ll find a way.
Doesn’t just the thought of that light you up with energy?
Those conversations and feelings don’t exist in the comfort zone. That slow self sabotage cuts off our access to the fertile environment from which this energy is manifested.
We are dying a slow and steady death in the comfort zone.
What would you do if you could jump?
Out of the comfort zone and into something brand new.
Something that scares the hell out of you.
Something that inspires the hell out of you.
Something that would truly change the world you live in through your deepest held passions and desires - catalyzing your time and energy to be 10 or even 100 times more fruitful.
Comfort sucks - our energy, our time, and our life.
Acknowledge where comfort is having a sucking effect in your life - than take the leap.
You won’t look back - you’ll be too busy trying to stay afloat, struggling for dear life, and holding on with everything you've got as you claim your seat on the roller coaster of life.
In other words - you will be living life to the absolute fullest. And loving every second of it.
Image Credit: Kim Daniel | Jonas Nilsson Lee