Those of you who are country music fans are probably hearing Toby Keith singing one of his more well known refrains right now. I was definitely hearing it as I wrote the title.
Alright, let’s get down to business. I told you yesterday that I would be talking about the ever-present Comfort Zone! Now, be clear, we’re not talking about your luxurious bathtub, or your favorite book nook, or your super pillow top bed. We are talking about that invisible barrier that we erect around ourselves. Inside this barrier everything is safe and familiar and known to us. Often, however, the things we want most are outside of this barrier…we can see them out there taunting us as we remain safely within this wall of our own construction.
A few years ago when I was giving a presentation about comfort zones to a group of people someone made a comment that they preferred to call call their comfort zone their “familiar zone”. When they were in their zone they were simply surrounding themselves only with what was familiar, nothing mysterious. That thought has stuck with me since. The word “comfort” to me conjures up feelings and pictures of lush, luxurious places and spaces, the complete opposite of what this “zone” represents. It doesn’t seem to fit this prison we lock ourselves in. It seems it would be more appropriate to name it the “familiar zone”, the “lazy zone”, the “okay zone”, the “mediocre life zone”, the “safety zone”. When you are standing in your zone, knowing that what your heart longs for is outside of it, is it very comfortable? Or rather do you feel the physical longing and aching for what you are denying yourself? Give yourself a minute and really investigate that feeling.
Let’s talk about what could be outside of your comfort zone? Take a moment right now and make a list…
Okay, here are some common possibilities: love, success, confidence, money, peace, new job, fun. Here are some other common possibilities: rejection, failure, pain, loss, disappointment. How will you know which one you are going to get? When will you know if you are going to find love or rejection, success or failure, peace or pain? What’s the asnwer? Do you know? Stay tuned.
Now, lots of people like to talk a big game about what they are going to do “someday”, what they are going to have “someday”, how far they are willing to risk “someday”. People are especially willing to use “someday” (the golden word for procrastinators) when referring to doing something that is outside of their comfort zone. Have you ever noticed that “someday” most ofen means “never”? Or, have you ever totally hyped yourself up, “I’m going to do it! I’m totally going to go in and ask for that raise! I’m going to do it in three days! Yes! In three days I will have built up the courage to go and ask for what I want! Heck yeah, 3 days for now I’m going to be king!!” Then, on the third day, “Ok, I’m not quite ready yet. Maybe next Monday would be better” and next Monday becomes the Monday after and then the Monday after, etc. Meanwhile they are living in the limbo of “someday” content to live in the mediocrity of their zone and never knowing if the answer would be “yes” or “no” because they are unwilling to take a risk! It’s easy to talk about taking a risk, easy to talk about taking action. Until you actually take action you are denying yourself of opportunities, of gifts, further success and connection in your life.
So, now it’s time to choose courage and take action. What is something outsize of your Zone right now that you want? What is the action you are going to take to get it? I’d love to hear from you. Post here or email me and let me know. What is it you want that you are taking action on? What’s the action you are taking? When? What are your results? Now’s the time…a little less talk and a lot more action!!