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Monday, January 7, 2008

Progress & Change Aren't Possible if You Keep Doing the Same Things

Kukulcan Pyramid, Chichen Itzá, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Doing the same things implies never leaving your comfort zone (see also: Leaving Your Comfort Zone: Fear of Emotional Expression).

When you feel safe inside of the status quo of whatever it is you have done to this point in your life, and when you feel safe in any field of endeavour that has formed part of your life to this point, you are inside your comfort zone. It is only when you notice the tug of fear, of apprehension, perhaps merely of discomfort, that you actually are feeling the call of what may very well lead to potential growth and change.

This applies to all areas of your life:

  • professional
  • emotional
  • financial
  • sports
  • physical (health)
  • travel
  • leisure time activities
  • academic
  • culinary
  • spiritual
  • political
  • philosophical
  • moral
  • aesthetic
  • ethical

In other words, when you notice that something is happening in a specific area of your life, and you begin to feel uncomfortable, when you notice you would like to escape and no longer talk about that subject, or be there with that person, or no longer think about that subject, then you may very well be treading close to the threshold of whatever your particular comfort zone is delineated by.

This brings up many feelings of risk and failure, fear of the unknown (see also: Making Fear of the Unknown Work For You), wondering if you will have any chance at all at success, fear of rejection (see also: Rejection: The Devastating and Paralyzing Effect it Can Have on Us), and fear of allowing those terrible biting feelings in your solar plexus any time at all.

This means that when you begin to notice those feelings that tend to signify fear, you take it as a sign to run, rather than as a sign that this might just be the next step to growth. Think back to those times in your life when you have achieved something you were proud of. How many of those times were connected with those awful feelings at the pit of your stomach prior to actually accomplishing whatever it was? Probably most. And yet, that was how you grew, how you changed, how you stepped beyond the threshold, to become the person you are now.

So do something new frequently. Try to make a habit of it. Even if it's just something small like trying a new kind of food. It will not only enrich your world, it will help you grow beyond your current limitations, your current parameters, your current comfort zone.

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