Is Your Comfort Zone Killing You?

Comfort zone: a familiar place or situation where you feel safe with no stress or anxiety. It seems like the happy place. It’s neither a good nor bad place.

When you make staying in your comfort zone a lifestyle rather than an occasional behavior, it becomes a form of addiction, a very bad habit.

Comfort zones kill.

Comfort zones kill creativity. It may sound like, “I’m not good at (fill in the blank).” It may look like being a spectator.

Comfort zones kill self-improvement. It may sound like, “ I don’t do (fill in the blank).” It may look like not going to the library, visiting someplace new, or taking a class.

Comfort zones kill one’s purpose or calling. It may sound like, “I’m too old.” It may look like sending a check instead of going, doing and being.

We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
                                                                                                          – George Benard Shaw

Comfort zones kill “yes, and…” It may sound like, “Yes, but its so far go, it takes too much time and costs too much.” It looks like sending a present or gift card.

Comfort zones kill our wisdom. Comfort zones contribute to our implicit bias and revel in one’s privilege. It may sound like, “Homeless people are lazy and don’t want to work.” It may look like being around people who look like us.

Comfort zones kill social justice. It may sound like, “I don’t like being around homeless people.” It may look like working in a soup kitchen for an hour but not doing anything to put an end to homelessness.

Comfort zones kill self-examination. It may sound like, “I maybe mean, but you are meaner.” or “I don’t have a choice. I’m just doing my job.” It may look like not showing up to support a cohort, a friend or family member.

Comfort zones kill the ability to grieve properly. Life is unfair. No one is immune to being “dropped,” cheated, short-changed, disrespected, or even abused. It may sound like, “It’s God’s will.” It may look like suicide.

Comfort zones kill productivity. It may sound “I’m just too busy!” It may look like mindless viewing of social media, the internet or television.

Comfort zones kill graceful aging. It may sound like, “I need a facelift.” It may look like wearing a toupee or not getting needed hearing aids.

Comfort zones kill success. It may sound like, “We’re number one!” It may look like that abandoned Blockbuster store front or those old Kodak snapshots.

Comfort zones kill love. It may sound like, “I’m afraid to meet someone new.” It looks like staying home in your pajamas all weekend.

Comfort zones kill uncertainty. It may sound like, “The Bible says so, therefore, it’s true.” It looks like finger-pointing and judgment.

The opposite of faith is certainty. – Anne Lamott

Comfort zones kill inclusiveness. It may sound like, “We need to build a wall.” It looks like a gated community.

The ugliest word in the English language … “exclusive.” – Rev. Sandy McConnell

Comfort zones kill our health and well-being. It may sound like, “I hate going to the gym.” It looks like having a second doughnut.

Comfort zones killed the Jews during the Holocaust. It may have sounded like, “They are a threat to our way of life.” It may have looked like looking the other way.

Comfort zones kill relationships. It may sound like, “You are a snowflake.” or “You are a deplorable.” It may look like eating alone or standing alone in a room.

Want to break out of your comfort zone? Get curious. Project yourself into the future. When confronted with something new, different, challenging, or uncomfortable, ask yourself:

                                 How will I feel if I don’t move forward?

                                 How will I feel if I do move forward?

                                 How will this help me grow?

                                 How will this make me a better version of myself?

                                 How will this impact the way I wish others to experience me?

                                 How will this build and nurture relationships?