Beyond the comfort zone: How willing are you to stretch yourself?
Do you know that feeling of stretching after an intensive work out? Loosen up the strained muscles and stretch as wide as possible. Well, what I want to talk to you today is a different kind of stretching, though the metaphor can apply. When you are lengthening your body after exercise trying to reach out an imaginary skyline, same when you stretch yourself aiming higher by stepping out of your comfort zone.
You may wonder why look outside the boundaries of your known realm when everything seems to be working fine quite well. And even when it is not, why risk jumping into the unknown when you are already familiar with your current reality. Seems probably like a lose-lose from where you are sitting.
What if I told you that whatever you might find you could turn it into a win-win? Does it sound more appealing right now? I am not saying it is easy or comfortable. Nor am I saying that it does not involve change. What I can tell you is that it is worth it. If you are not sure yet, let us play these two scenarios.
A. You stay wherever you are right now. No changes. No trying something different. Perhaps an opportunity comes around, perhaps not. You do not feel challenged, the same way you do not feel particularly motivated. Sometimes you get frustrated with yourself or others, but after venting out to your friends or to strangers in the middle of traffic, you feel a momentary relief.
B. You stretch yourself regardless of where you are right now. Some small and perhaps big changes. Opportunities reveal themselves while you lift your head and look around. You may be fearful at times for not knowing what comes next, though rather excited with the endless possibilities. Sometimes self-doubt kicks in, but after you look within and listen to the supportive words of the ones around you, you feel a confidence boost that keeps you inspired.
Reading the two scenarios above, which one would you choose? If your answer is obviously scenario B it means you have already stepped out of your comfort zone. Keep aiming high and stretching yourself toward your goals. Do not apologize for dreaming big and ambition more. You will keep learning and growing, knowing that no matter what comes your way you will make it work. You will excel even if you fail as long as you believe in yourself and your awesomeness.
If you are thinking, there is nothing wrong with scenario A, it is also a valid answer. You have been living your whole life going through the motions and you are still moving somewhere. Isn’t that the point? When embracing this way of living there is a trade-off however. There may be no change or the uncomfortableness that comes with it, but there are also no exhilarating wins. Everything is indeed average.
Which scenario is the lose-lose and which is the win-win? It is up to you to decide how do you want to live your life. Move along while life happens to you or stretch yourself and make what you want out of life.
Back to our metaphor, stretching after a strenuous exercise releases you from tension allowing the energy to flow through your whole body. Keeping you active and ready to the upcoming challenges.