“Whatever we cultivate in times of ease, we gather as strength for times of change.”
-Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
Regular readers know I’m a big proponent of getting out of our comfort zones, trying new things, stretching, learning, and growing. It can sometimes be uncomfortable (hence the term ‘growing pains’), but it’s always worth it.
As someone once said: “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”
But, as with anything else, balance is the key.
A lot of people give up on new ventures, even ones they’re extremely passionate about, because they just get too darn uncomfortable. Most of us have been there and done that.
Sometimes, we just run out of the fuel we need to keep going, to manage the discomfort, and eventually get to some level of mastery over the new thing we’re trying.
There are the obvious fuels, always worth a reminder: Getting plenty of sleep, good nutrition, water intake, exercise, and relaxation.
But what about the less obvious fuel? What if the alternative fuel that will help us get out of our comfort zone is…making regular visits to our comfort zones?
Revisiting the things we’ve already mastered – for the sheer joy of doing something well and for the reminder we made it out of an earlier comfort zone to achieve that mastery – can be just the energizer we need. If we did it before, we can do it again with something new.
It’s important to celebrate and remember and enjoy.
The trick is the balance. That pesky word that’s so important. Picking and choosing the things to keep in our lives and the things to leave behind; creating a happy blend. Not getting so comfortable that we get stuck, but not “throwing out the baby with the bathwater,” as the old saying goes.
And let’s not forget about the things that feed our soul and nourish our spirit – filling us with renewed energy and enabling us to get back on the growth track. Getting out of our comfort zone doesn’t have to mean getting out of our healthy zone, or our fun zone. (Note to self: Remember this!)
So, if you’re pursuing something new and feeling a tad uncomfortable (or maybe wicked uncomfortable), take heart. Draw on your comfort zones to move out of them. And maybe have a little more fun along the way as a result.