You may have heard one of these statements about your comfort zone before:
Bigger, better results lie just outside your comfort zone.
Everything you want lies just outside your comfort zone.
If you’re not growing, you are dying.
You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Your comfort zone has become a cliche. And just like most other cliches, there are truths at its core. But do you know there are at least as many myths floating around about the comfort zone as there are truths?
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Myth #1 – There is something wrong with you if you experience fear
Fear is a part of the process of growth. Most of the time, it’s normal and healthy.
When you leave your comfort zone, it creates an inner conflict that activates your body’s fight or flight response. Your body starts to talk. Label it what you want – fear, anticipation, excitement – but don’t disregard it. Don’t train yourself to ignore it.
One of the benefits of doing inner work is to strengthen the connection between your conscious mind and your body.
Disregarding your fears disconnects you from the wisdom of your body. Instead of suppressing your fears, learn to feel the fear, and choose to play anyway.
Myth #2 – It’s not worth doing if you can’t do it right
Do you compare yourself to other people and their results? Of course you do, it’s human nature.
When learning, be conscious when you compare. Comparing yourself to someone who is more masterful can have two opposite effects:
- It inspires you.
- It discourages you.
There will always be someone ahead of you on the journey. The combination of seeking perfection and comparing yourself to others can kill your creativity.
No one is an expert the first time they do anything. Even virtuosos have to practice their innate skill. Stop being so hard on yourself and ask yourself this question: Are you really making mistakes, or are you on the road to mastery?
Myth #3 – Having a breakthrough means you’ll never have to deal with that limiting belief again.
“I thought I had dealt with this already. What is wrong with me?!?”
I hear these words over and over again. Stop beating yourself up because you thought you had fixed that part of you.
First of all, it wasn’t broken to begin with. Your patterns are your patterns. Becoming aware of your patterns is where growth and wisdom are found.
Personal growth is cyclical. Expect to be triggered when you stretch the limits of what’s comfortable.
If you get outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis, you’re going to run into your patterns of belief a lot.
Myth #4 – Failure isn’t an option
There’s a big difference between “failure is not an option”, and “giving up is not an option”.
Failure is always an option. Experiments fail. Even the most successful people don’t get the results they’re looking for all of the time.
When you combine failure and giving up as not being options, you risk committing all of your energy to something that’s not working!
Allow yourself to fail a little every day. Learn to evaluate and adjust your course.
Myth #5 – Your fear will be replaced with courage
In 2005, I packed up all of my belongings and moved across the country. I had enough business to keep me going for a while, but I had no idea if it was going to be sustainable. While I was in the midst of all the effort it took to realize my dream, people kept telling me how brave I was. Trust me; that’s not how I was feeling.
I felt purposeful, but I didn’t feel brave. If I had started thinking I was brave, I probably would’ve changed my mind, played safe and missed out on some of the best years of my life so far.
Courage doesn’t happen from the sidelines of your life. If there’s something you want and you’re sitting around waiting to feel courageous before you take action, you might be waiting forever.
Forever is a long time to wait.
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