Human beings have evolved over time to be creatures of comfort. Since our origins, we had mostly been nomadic, searching for new places to settle, food sources, and resources, such as water. All this in the search of one thing: safety.
It is normal and a natural part of being human to enjoy being safe. A lot of us take solace in cozying up in front of the TV, or scrolling through our phones for entertaining videos or content.
However, true growth comes when we step out of our comfort zone.
I am sure you have heard this quote and its variations time and time again. But what is the real meaning behind it?
When you step out of your comfort zone, you are making the conscious decision to act in spite of your fears. The voices in your head that say "What if?" will never be satisfied until you choose to take the road you never thought you would.
I enjoy watching Goalcast videos because of their inspirational message and motivation for living your life to the fullest. However, after watching a few from successful entrepreneurs, the message they conveyed in their speeches was simple: You must act in spite of fear.
A lot of times, when we are scared to do something or act, it is because we are afraid of the unknown. What might happen? How might we fail? But, why can we not ask ourselves: "What if you succeed?" You will never know what is on the other side of that question if you do not first try.
Success, of course, looks different to many people. For entrepreneurs, they want their business to be successful and, in turn, their audience might see their income and notoriety as indicative of what success is. In truth, these people stepped out of their comfort zones at one point in their lives. They chose to act in spite of their fears and the voice in their head saying "you might fail". They chose to question that voice.
The thing is, these people that we put on a pedestal are just like you or me. We are all human and we are all capable of great things. In order to accomplish these things, we need to BELIEVE we can. Furthermore, believing is only the first step. The more crucial step is ACTING on our belief and at least attempting to accomplish our goal.
Fear takes away a lot from us, but only if we let it. Our comfort zones do not include fear. They often include a cozy blanket, a Netflix show, and some funny cat videos. However fun and enjoyable these things may be, you won't get far in life if you continue staying in your comfort zone.
Recently, I was part of Courtney of Positively Planted Press' Positively Planted Journal, as well as many other contributors. I loved the positive message that this community was sharing with the world. However, the one downside I saw was that this message was only available on digital paper. I believed these messages of positivity and personal growth needed to be shared with as many people as possible.
So 2 weeks ago, during my lunch break, I had the idea to showcase all the writers of this journal, as well as reading their pieces and giving my insight into their work on my Common Sense Living podcast. Originally, I was very scared to even ask Courtney if this would be a good idea. The voice in my head was saying "She will say no. Your idea sounds ridiculous". I realized the voice in my head was holding me back. It did not want me to advance because of fear of failure of rejection.
But guess what I did? I acted in spite of it.
I embraced my fear and jumped in head first, not knowing what to expect, but hoping for the best.
The best way I can describe this is by submerging half your body in cold water, then jumping in the rest of the way. There is a rush when your whole body hits the water, but at the end you are so happy you did it. Most of all, you are proud of yourself.
Turns out my idea wasn't ridiculous after all. All the other writers of the journal were totally on-board with my idea, and were grateful for the chance to be featured on my podcast. Now, am I going to say that the process of writing, researching, and recording was easy? Definitely not. But, was the pay-off worth it? Absolutely.
So today, I challenge you to get even a little bit out of your comfort zone. This could be something as small as saying hello to a stranger or acquaintance, or something big like taking steps towards creating the business you always dreamed about.
Either which way, there is no reward without risk. So jump in today; you never know what could be waiting on the other side.