'You must leave your comfort zone if you want to really live' is advice I'm sure you're heard before - but how often have you actually followed it?
Looking at others' lives, it's easy to see when they're stuck or playing it safe... but often when confronted with our own fears and doubts, we will fight to stay in our comfort zones without even realising we're doing it!
Leaving your comfort zone is a necessity though, if you want to express your free spirited nature. Life isn't meant to be 'safe' - it's meant to be a beautiful, slightly crazy adventure.
But if you're honest, how many adventures, crazy or otherwise, have you ever had within your comfort zone?
When you look back on your life, I'll bet that the times that stand out most in your mind as the most rewarding and fun, are those where you took risks, felt the fear and did it anyway, trusted that it would all work out somehow, closed your eyes and jumped!
As a free spirit you thrive on adventures, on doing things differently, which is exactly what happens when you leave your comfort zone - without them, you're only living half a life.
In fact I'd go as far as to say that if you don't leave your comfort zone it will slowly steal your life away - because it lures you into a false sense of security - a feeling that you are somehow protected if you just stay where you are and don't change anything.
But the truth is, it's only by leaving it that you achieve growth in life, that you really experience what life has to offer.
Whether you want to change your job or climb a mountain – you have
to leave comfort behind and venture into the unknown….
By staying 'safely' in your comfort zone you could paradoxically be doing more harm than good.
“If you want to move to a new level in your life, you must break through your comfort zone and practice doing things that are not comfortable.”
~ T. Harv Eker ~
There's a huge misunderstanding about this whole comfort zone situation. Living in this zone is not always comfortable either... It contains everything that is currently in your life, which also includes things make you unhappy, but that you try to ignore or cover up.
The trouble is that you may have become so used to living this way that you cling to it, even though you're not really happy. And when new opportunities come by that could improve things - you feel too scared to step outside and grab them.
So even though you may not really like the way your life is right now, because the situation is familiar and you know what to expect, there will be resistance when you try to change things, even though you know it will make you happier in the end.
"You might think you will feel more secure by keeping things unchanged, maintaining the status quo. Yet, security only comes from taking a risk, opening up, and discovering more of who you are. Some people have discovered when they try to keep their world safe by not taking risks they end up even more scared and insecure. Facing fear always lessens it. You may have noticed when you did something new you felt braver and stronger in other areas also. Is there any area calling to you to take a risk?"
~ Sanaya Roman ~
The bottom line is, if you want to start making the absolute most of your life, you'll have to leave your comfort zone and risk feeling unsure and even a bit scared for a while.
.... if you want to learn to salsa, you have to live with looking a little foolish during your first few lessons...
.... every parent will tell you – babies do not come with instruction booklets – so you have definitely left your comfort zone far behind if you've ever become a parent!
.... travelling solo around the world, no matter how much you wanted to do it, will feel a little lonely when you first set out.
A big mistake that many people make at this point, and a big reason that could keep you stuck is that you interpret the unsure and anxious feelings as ‘this is not a good thing’, or ‘this feels wrong therefore I shouldn’t be doing it’.
I'm not talking here about those times when every fibre in your body is screaming 'this doesn't feel good - get me outta here!' I'm simply talking about the times when things are unfamiliar and you feel like you want to go back to what you know.
Those feelings are actually telling you that you’re going in the right direction!
Our brains are geared to avoid change, so when you do things you haven’t done before, it will send signals out to say – this is not ‘normal’ therefore this is not what we should be doing…. in an effort to keep you ‘safe’.
This was all well and good when you were trying to avoid getting eaten by sabre toothed tigers, but not so good when you’re a free spirit feeling trapped in a life you created by mistake.
If you've been hiding who you are for a long time, it will feel terribly weird to start opening up about who you really are, showing the world your true free spirited self. But the rewards will far outweigh any initial discomfort, and gradually, expressing the real you will feel completely normal - and exhilirating.
Some people have commented over the years about how they think I have lived an interesting life… That they couldn't have done some of the things I have. But I know that's just not true - of course they could! The truth is, I have rarely known how I was going to accomplish some of the things I've done when I first had the idea. I just had a desire to do it and then took the first step.
Every time I did that there were definitely times that I was scared and wondering why on earth I couldn't have just stayed put, but the end result is that I HAVE lived an interesting life, because along the way I was willing to leave my comfort zone.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So if you're feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning not an ending.
~ Neil Donald Walsh ~
Take a look at your life and ask yourself, "where am I staying safe to the detriment of my vision of freedom?" Then promise yourself that you will do something that will make you leave your comfort zone a little every single day – it may not always be comfortable, but it will be worth it....
If you feel like you're trapped in your comfort zone - it's not as hard as you think it is to break out and unleash your free spirit. Right now I'm giving away the first part of my brand new course free - download your copy now (and get the workbook free too!):