Over the last few (many) years I’ve gone from an uncomfortable person with low self-esteem to a confident being with self-belief. This had a lot to do with escaping my comfort zone and pushing the boundaries of my identity.
For the longest time I thought that “the comfort zone” was a safe place. A place where I can be myself and find peace within the life I’m living. The more I accepted this notion, the more I felt trapped by it and I realized that it’s a place that keeps us all from opportunities waiting to be captured.
You nestle into feelings of safety and familiarity so much, that you become afraid to step outside of it to explore the possibilities of your potential. It sort of reeks of agoraphobia and you enclose yourselves within your own prison.
I love it when people experience liberation, as they tell me about overcoming challenges and how they broke down the walls of comfort to achieve something they considered awkward and agonizing. They feel the excitement and thrill of a new experience that came from overcoming a fear of doubt – they develop a power of self-belief. Many think it’s a transformation of identity when really it’s your identity just breaking free.
The problem is perception, you often look at your comfort zone as a place you can return to. “I stepped out of my comfort Zone” something you’ve all said at some point I’m sure, but what if today you redefine it? As a place to break free from or rather a zone that you can expand until you no longer see limitation.
To build confidence or to even experience it, as is the case for a lot of people, you need to first learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Until this routine becomes normal and you learn to share your aspirations and “putting myself out there” is just a way of life, until you demand attention from the world, rather than shy away from it.
I believe it’s more foolish to not have tried than to fear looking foolish, although at times it feels embarrassing or silly but who cares? Seriously, who really cares? “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but our self can free our minds” Bob Marley had a point.
You are your own betrayer, you’ll relive memories of ridicule and then criticize yourself harshly based on the perception of others to silence the sound of possibility and live with frustrating echoes of “what if.”
There’s never any satisfaction of not knowing, it closes your mind and keeps you from reaching your full potential. You may believe that straying away from what you’re used to is a dangerous mission, but one thing I’ve learned is vulnerability feeds confidence.
So long as you’re exposed there’s nothing to hide from, either people will pay attention and support you or forget about you in time. The moment they forget is the moment you evaluate and become aware of your complacency and reignite your brand and escape from comfort.
If stepping away from your comfort zone is difficult, remind yourself that the world will move on with or without you. You have the choice right now, to decide if what you want is worth putting yourself out there for or choose to become numb to your aspirations and stop yourself from becoming the best that you can be.
Rather than turn your back on fear, turn around and face it. Children are taught to stand up to bullies – a lesson that somehow gets lost in translation, perhaps with age, because the “real world” is the biggest bully I know. Eleanor Roosevelt had a point too “do one thing every day that scares you” and with each day you’ll build up your identity to withstand anything.
Remember the comfort zone is only just a tiny part of your identity you’re ok with. The moment you put yourself out there, you’re not giving the first f*** about what the world thinks, it’s with that attitude you learn about yourself and become more at peace with all parts of who you are.
You’re an individual [insert your name here], be one.