Tuesday, July 19, 2011

COMFORT ZONE

I like my comfort zones.  If I could I would stay in them all the time.  Life doesn't work that way though.  Life demands that we step outside our comfort zones on a rather regular basis.  We are required to stretch that envelope of a comfort zone just a little almost every day to keep growing and to let our comfort zones then grow with us.

My comfort zone these days is much smaller than what it use to be or so it seems.  I leave my comfort zone every time I go into a situation where there is going to be a crowd of people.  I step out of my comfort zone if I am going to be in a place that is noisy.  I would rather not go into situations like that but I have discovered that if I don't step outside that comfort zone I would be missing out on a lot of what life is.

My ultimate comfort zone, I think, would end up with me being a recluse.  I would be living by myself.  I wouldn't be interacting with any one else except my music and my television and perhaps the internet.  I wasn't always this way.  I use to go to ballgames with an exciting anticipation.  Now if I go to the ball game the minute I get in my car I begin to leave my comfort zone.  I get more and more uncomfortable as I proceed to the beginning of the ball game.  The traffic getting into the stadium makes me nervous and I find myself trying to hold it together.  Working my way through the crowd to my seat increases the discomfort.  It is only when that first pitch is thrown and the ball game begins that I find myself able to relax somewhat and slide into a different comfort zone.  I have something other than the crowd and the noise to focus on.  I focus on the game and every little thing that happens during it.  I keep a score card to be sure my mind stays in the game.  When the game is over I have to fight people to get out of the stadium and to my car and then fight the traffic to get headed home.

I think it is worth stepping out of that comfort zone for a bit to be able to enjoy a ball game for a few hours, releasing my mind from all the other problems I may be facing in day to day life.  If I had not stepped over that line and worked my way through all the discomfort, I never would have had the satisfaction and enjoyment of watching these great ball players play a game for a bit of my life.

That is what getting out of your comfort zone affords you.  The chance to experience something that would otherwise pass you by.  So many time we miss out on things that we might find extremely enjoyable except for that fact that the fear of being out of the comfort zone may not be all you thought or hoped it might be.  Sometimes stepping out of the comfort zone does end in a less than positive feeling.

I am convinced that we all require a certain comfort zone in our life.  A place where we don't have to worry about anything and can feel relaxed.  For some people this comfort zone is very large with very few things or events that would make that person uncomfortable.  But there is always that one thing, as small as it may be, that lies in the back of your head and mind that you know you will not like even though you never tried it.

Stepping out of a comfort zone can be dangerous and should be at least thought about before taking that step.  Sometimes stepping out of the comfort zone in the wrong direction can leave you broken, homeless and defeated.  Sometimes taking that gamble and stepping out of a comfort zone can bring you knew friends and a little joy that you never thought possible.

Most businessmen and women at one time took a step out of their comfort zone and put it all out on the line and became successful by doing so.  It probably wasn't easy for them to do so, but by pushing that envelope they found a life that seemed unreachable before stepping out and taking the gamble.  You simply never know what you can achieve unless you try different things.

Men and women stepping out of their comfort zones is what built this country.  From the earliest settlers to the founding fathers to the leaders of today, everyone has had to push themselves a little to make things happen.

This post is starting to run around in circles on me, but I think it is an important ideal.  Everyday I find myself outside my comfort zone.  Some days it is worse than others.  Sometimes going over to my parents house is difficult for me because of me not wanting to leave my comfort zone.  Going to work every day is sometimes a problem because of this.  Going out to dinner with my cousins once a week is not the easiest thing for me to do but it is so worth it.  I have discovered that I like my cousins and can enjoy them and have fun.  Still making that first move to get in the car and drive to the restaurant to meet with them is just a little difficult at times.

I don't know what else to write without going in another circle again.  The main thought I guess is that we all have a choice to sit and become dormant and let life pass us by, not finding out what living can be, or we can make ourselves try things that we may not want to really do and possibly find new things that life has to offer us.

It is a struggle I seem to go though every day and, yes, I have found some wonderful new things that life has to offer me.  The problem is getting it through my head that these new things that life has to offer is worth continuing to step outside my comfort zone in order to experience them until my comfort zone stretches to include them.

I certainly hope this makes sense.  It seemed to become more of a ramble than a well thought out writing.  By writing on this topic though, I had to take a step outside of my comfort zone.

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