Are you in “the zone”? For goodness sake, get out of it.

Right about now, you might be thinking that I’ve absolutely lost it.  Who gives out such shoddy advice, right?

But here’s the kicker…….if you think that advice is terrible, but you don’t continue reading to see how in the world I could say something like that……you’re FIRMLY in “the zone”.

The “zone” to which I’m referring is not your “in the zone,” got-everything-going-on, on-top-of-your-game zone that you might have thought I was talking about.

No…..I’m talking about the much dreaded comfort zone.

Ahhhh……the comfort zone…….that deceptive place that woos us from afar, calling us with whispered promises of safety, security, and reliability.  The problem is this – we ALL want to be comfortable.

You’ll never hear a person say, “I hate being comfortable.  I avoid it at all costs.”  Ain’t gonna happen.  That would be absurd.

Because we, as humans, do ENJOY being comfortable.  It’s the reason air conditioning was invented.  It’s why Snuggies were such a big hit.  (Am I the only one who thinks Snuggies WERE a big hit?)  It’s why luxury cars were invented – AND why people pay for them.

But comfort does something sinister, too.  It robs us.  It robs us of ambition.  Of being inquisitive.  Of taking risks.

When I said earlier that thinking I was giving horrible advice but not being at least inquisitive enough to give me a chance to explain myself, I meant that not taking a second glance is a form of being stuck in your comfort zone.

When we are so comfortable that we stop asking why or how, we lose out on opportunities to learn, expand, and grow.  We miss out on the opportunity to allow someone else to teach us something.  And when the tables are turned, and we say something that someone else makes an assumption about without engaging us in conversation about it, we lose out on the opportunity to be the teacher, the encourager, the mind-broadener.

When you hit a point where you believe you have all of the answers, you cease to grow.  I call that a bad case of “smug-in-your-rightness comfort-zone-itis.”  And it’s my hope that if you’ve ever found yourself in that place (I know I have), you don’t allow yourself to dwell there.

Do a bit of self-reflection.  Allow yourself the permission to not know everything.  To not have all the answers.  To be a bit vulnerable and admit that you need a little guidance (in a conversation, a task, an idea, etc.).

That’s the only way to grow.  And life has shown us very clearly throughout nature that unless you’re growing, you’re dying.

Without each of us striving to grow, we’re not reaching our fullest potential.  And if we’re leaving potential on the table, we’re leaving solutions to the problems of the world on the table.  We’re leaving the potential for introducing more goodness to the world on the table.

So, if you find yourself in that dreaded zone – not pushing, not questioning, not reaching, not striving – for the sake of your own and the entire world’s goodness and prosperity, put the Snuggie aside and get uncomfortable.

Okay, okay…….you can stay in the air conditioning.  🙂

Have you found yourself with a case of comfort-zone-itis?  How did you get yourself out of it?  Or are you still stuck there?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

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