My comfort zone is enticing. It offers warmth and familiarity in a world that can be chaotic and unpredictable. But I have to remind myself to take a closer look, to remember that despite its warmth, my comfort zone is also a barren desert where not a lot grows.
One afternoon at work several weeks ago, when my colleague’s granddaughter was telling me all about her day at school, she suddenly stopped mid-sentence and pointed at my phone. “Aren’t you going to answer that?” Set to silent mode, I was completely oblivious to the incoming call flashing on the screen. I had recently applied for a job, had an interview, and this phone call delivered the news I had been hoping for. I was thrilled, beaming, but what I hadn’t anticipated feeling was fear and resistance. As with starting anything new, there were so many unknowns.
We are creatures of comfort, and by nature like to have an idea of how things will pan out. It gives us a feeling of security and control in a world where a lot of what happens is completely out of our hands. For our primal caveman brains, familiarity means safety and a better chance of survival, and heading into any unknown territory often sets off the alarm bells. The thing is though, trusting inspiration and intuition almost always means taking a step into the realm of uncertainty and unknown outcomes, but that’s where the magic happens, where the growth happens. I could have declined the offer, sticking to the comfort of a bigger paycheck, the familiar routine, familiar work place and a role that I could do in my sleep, but a little voice reminded me to look at my comfort zone a little closer. What is growing here?
There’s this guy I follow on Instagram who I hope to meet one day, his name is Stefan Hunt. He is a filmmaker and director who has worked on some incredible projects. Despite openly sharing on social media that the idea of screwing it up and the crippling fear of making the wrong decision plays on his mind daily, he recently moved to New York with no job and no plan. ‘When you’re trying to calculate the most “fail proof” route I reckon you can miss the magic. Sometimes you just need to jump in the deep and then figure out how to swim rather than standing by the edge of the pool all your life.’ Amen to that.
I quit my job.
Courage over fear. Growth over comfort. Quit standing by the edge and jump on in.