Allow Room for Change…
While growing up everything probably seemed new and unfamiliar. It was this way because we lacked experience and understanding. However, curiosity and fascination drove us forward into the unknown. We treated every experience as a learning opportunity that helps us grow and understand the world in a better way. Yes, of course we made mistakes and tripped over many times, but that’s expected when entering into the unknown.
Stepping into the unknown is like walking into a dark room. It’s pitch black, so we don’t know what might be lurking around the corner. As a matter a fact we don’t even know what lies beneath our feet. However, over time as we experience this new environment we become more familiar with what is there, and with familiarity comes confidence and self-assurance. In fact, spending enough time within this environment will sooner or later lead us to a light switch. When the lights go on we no longer face the unknown. We can finally see what is there. Yes, there might still be some fear and uncertainty, but at least we know what we’re dealing with.
This is at least how a child approaches their world. Their curiosity and fascination leads them into that dark room. Yes, the room might feel uncomfortable at first, however over time that feeling dissipates and is replaced with understanding and comfort.
So why is it that as adults most of us no longer have that sense of curiosity and fascination when it comes to stepping into the unknown? It just might have something to do with the habits and rituals we develop over time. It might also have something to do with the limiting beliefs that hold us back.
As we grow up and gain more familiarity with the world, we naturally come across certain boundaries and rules that prevent us from moving forward. We are taught that crossing these boundaries often leads to pain in the form of discomfort, disappointment, punishment, unhappiness, etc. In fact, often we might even experience this pain first hand. This of course leaves a lasting impression on our minds and on our emotions. And so we develop boundaries that protect us from experiencing that pain in the future.
These boundaries of course define our comfort zone. Within this zone we are safe and secure. We rarely experience the harshest of pain, however we probably do still experience a painful restlessness that takes us back to our childhood curiosity and fascination with the world. There has to be more to life than this, right?
The sad thing is that nobody ever taught us that pain can often lead to positive change. In fact, any change, even a change for the better is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomfort. And yet most of us resist change and continue to cling onto our comfort zones.
The greatest accomplishments over the course of human history have not been comfortable. In fact, individuals the world over had to step into uncertainty, had to beat adversity, had to break through their fears, and had to overcome their problems to reach their goals. They had to do this because there was no other way. In fact, sometimes they had no choice because change was forced upon them. But as we’ve already discussed, entering a dark room will often stir up some form of discomfort. That’s perfectly natural and okay. It has to be expected. What’s not okay is walking away from the opportunities that lie hidden in the darkness.
These individuals used discomfort as a platform and opportunity for learning that eventually helped them reach their goals. They had to consciously move through the pain in order to create a better life and world for themselves.
You no doubt have goals that you would like to achieve. However, lying in the gap between you and your goals is the discomfort zone filled with uncertainty, fear, problems and pain. There is absolutely no way to jump across this gap. You must consciously move through the pain in order to create a better life for yourself. Consider for a moment:
- How is my comfort zone preventing me from moving forward?
- What am I missing out on by clinging onto my comfort zone?
- What goals would I like to achieve?
- What sacrifices might I need to make to achieve these goals?
- What adversity and pain might I need to go through?
- How will I gain value from experiencing this pain?
If you want your life to change, then you must change. And the only way to change is to pursue something that lies beyond your comfort zone. Face the discomfort. Learn and grow from the experience. A better life is yours for the taking.
IQ Matrix Maps
Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:
- Be Open to Change: Provides you with insights that will allow you to be more open to change.
- Embracing Change: Explores how to prepare for and manage unexpected change in your life.
- Embracing Uncertainty: Examines how to find certainty and confidence during uncertain times.
- Expanding Comfort Zone: Presents you with ideas on how to break free from your comfort zone.
- The Seasons of Life: Explores how life cycles through seasons of change that we must embrace.