Each of us have something comfortable we love to be in–a favorite shirt, a soft and cozy housecoat, or a comfy chair–and enjoy the feeling of being comfortable. Ahhhhhhhh… The thought of my favorite comfy housecoat and chair relaxes me and takes me away from life. However, being comfortable should not be a suitable situation for us in life. Comfortable sounds are good for relaxing and finding relief; but being comfortable in life can be detrimental to our growth.
“The greatest enemy to your potential is your comfort zone.” ―Author Unknown
Living in the comfort zone stunts our growth and discourages the potential that is within us. The longer we stay in the “zone”, likely we are to move mountains, take calculated risks, or try something different. How discouraging it can be to be handcuffed to a comfort zone and not experience true living? Most of us do not recognize “death by comfort zone living” until it is too late. Failure in our relationships, careers, health, finances, or just in daily living are all signs of “death by comfort zone living”. We have to understand life begins at the end of our comfort zone.
Why do we fail to live outside the zone? We do not attempt to live outside the zone due to:
1) Fear — trying, working, success, failing, etc.
2) Safety — It’s safe in the zone
3) Failure does not exist in the zone
4) Can’t hurt in the zone
6) Too risky
There’s no sin in failing but the sin is in never trying. ―Joel Osteen
John Maxwell states, “if we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” It is IMPOSSIBLE to grow without being outside our comfort zone. Unless you’re dead, there is no growth without taking some type of risk in life. We take risks in relationships, marriages (I was once told, “if you want to grow, get married!”), careers, raising kids (Lord knows that’s a way to live out the comfort zone. Have a kid and you will not be comfortable for 21-24 years or even to life.)
Why avoid it? Why surrender to living in the zone when it’s a death trap to living? Take the steps to get out of the zone and move to where the magic happens.
Life exists outside our comfort zones. When we decide to stay put and refuse to move from the zone, God has a way of shifting us to a place where we have no other choice but to leave it. I experienced that movement last year and took a leap of faith early 2013. I was comfortable in a career for over 11 years. I searched for other opportunities in the same industry only to recognize it was not right for me. The career I had given my time–dedication, sweat, blood, and tears–drained me of living a life and fulfilling a passion and purpose. I took a leap, some may consider irresponsible or insane, that was necessary for me to experience a new level of growth.
“…often, stepping outside your comfort zone is not careless irresponsibility, but a necessary act of obedience.” ―Andy Stanley
After his 2012 WTAL Conference in Atlanta, Bishop T. D. Jakes submitted “Pecking Orders” through his Facebook page. This message resonated with me due to the shifting season I entered.
When God POSITIONS you, He has a way of putting you in a place where you have no choice but to move from the safe center to the uncertain edge of a new experience! Admittedly, you would avoid making the necessary changes or facing the edge if you could. It’s here that you learn the value of faith and fuel of prayer. Activate both as God POSITIONS you to face uncertainty. ―T.D. Jakes Ministries from WTAL – 52 Days of Pecking Orders – Day 35
We can not entertain new experiences in life if we remain comfortable in our zones. It takes faith, prayer, mental capacity, physical strength, emotional balance, financial savvy, and a wholelotta [yes, I stated it that way] guts to step out the zone. And guess what? We have all of that within us. It’s up to us to tap into the Source and power within us. Like the Nike slogan states, JUST DO IT.
Refusing to stay in the comfort zone,
Fight. Finish. Faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV)