“A comfort zone is just another word for a casket.” – Quester
Quester came up with that quote about seven years ago, when we were going through a lot of big changes in our lives. The biggest change was that I was quitting my full-time job to stay home with the kids and jump-start my writing career, while he entered the workforce again after being a full-time Dad for more than a decade. These were things that we both agreed we wanted, and yet at the same time, creating big change can be uncomfortable and scary.
The point, though, is that if you’re staying stuck in the same-old, same-old, status quo, just for the sake of being comfortable, you’re not really living. And if you don’t create change on your own terms, eventually the Universe will shake things up, perhaps not in the way you’d hoped.
There’s a woman in my community who seems really devoted to her own comfort zone. She has a job she likes well enough, friends and family she spends time with, and a cozy home with familiar routines she enjoys. Though she’s very kind and seems mostly content, I was kind of shocked to learn that she doesn’t really have any personal goals. She’s just not the type of person who deliberately focuses on how she can grow and learn and become more.
Which is fine, of course. We each live our lives in our own way.
The thing is, though, that the Universe keeps shaking things up for my friend. Over the past few years she’s had health issues, challenges at work, several friends in crisis, and even some trouble with the physical structure of her home. I can’t help but thinking that if she stepped outside of her comfort zone on her own, just a bit, just once in a while, she’d discover that change doesn’t always have to be negative or disruptive. I feel like she’d be a happier person.
The changes we welcome into our lives on purpose can be so much more meaningful than those that happen in order to shake us out of our inertia.
These days, Quester is working with a good friend, doing stone-masonry and landscaping, and is enjoying the work he does. I’ve published two books so far, and I’m working on my third. One of our kids is starting college next week (gulp!) and our other one is enjoying her life as an unschooler, pursuing her passions on her own terms (she would be a junior if she were in high school). No, life hasn’t been without challenges, but by surfing the waves of change on a regular basis, we become more flexible and adaptable.
Even though we’re working for ourselves, setting our own schedules and so forth, it’s still possible to get stuck in that comfort zone. BlackLion and I face that in our business, Feline Dreamers. What we’re doing in a particular area might not be working the way we wish, but it’s familiar, and it’s hard to know what to do instead. So we just keep going.
This fall, I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone once again. I’ve signed up for a business coaching program. It’s my first time investing in myself and my business this way. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. But writing great books and creating interesting content isn’t enough. We want to share our insights and wisdom with lots of people, and that means learning how to do more effective marketing – in an ethical way that doesn’t feel icky.
Fall always feels like a fresh, clean slate to me. It’s that “back to school” feeling, but in a good way, because I’m designing my own curriculum. I feel like pushing myself a bit will help me to be more inspired on many different levels.
What about you? How are you pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone? What goals and aspirations are you ready to pursue?
If you’re ready to create powerful positive change in your life, delving deep into your core beliefs can be a good place to start. Check out our Alchemy of Core Beliefs course, starting September 1st.