The more you step out of your comfort zone, the faster you’ll grow.
My uncle and respected automotive VP shared this nugget of wisdom with me while we were out to lunch for my recent 30th birthday. I always enjoy having dialog with him that expands my mental landscape and this new chapter presented a prime opportunity for some reflection and realignment. My talks with him have always been something that I look forward to just because he makes me think. We need trusted people that can speak into our lives, challengingly and encouragingly. This year I purposefully asked those around me for their insight about this next season of life after 30.
During this particular conversation, I shared that I had come to realize areas in my life both personally and professionally where I felt stagnant and was not growing. It’s inevitable that what doesn’t grow dies. And although we all want the fruit that results from growth, we don’t always want the pain and sacrifice that comes along with it. Growth requires pruning. And pruning hurts. But this is also what removes the clutter and dead weight that then positions you to be your best. Succeeding at something doesn’t always mean adding to in order to get there, sometimes it means taking away. Sometimes it means a less than certain outcome or transition.
Living outside of your comfort zone is a catalyst for growth. You are alert, poised, and hungry. You are forced to be creative and constructive in order to thrive in and meet the challenges of your environment. Hunger keeps you seeking. Outside of your comfort zone is the incubator that prepares you for your next level, opportunity, promotion, relationship. It is the place where your character is curated and you walk in the shadows of your purpose.
When you begin to think about a life well lived, you’re reminded that it’s not just about you meeting your personal goals. But who might you be helping or yet holding back by staying in the comfort zone? What skills, resources, connections, blessings, insight and wisdom have you passed up because you’ve settled? You have something that someone needs. I’ve always found that the opportunities to step outside of the comfort zone are all around me. I don’t need to go on an adventure hunt, I just need to respond differently, yet prayerfully, to what’s around me. I need to remain determined, hungry, and not eager to settle. What opportunities have you passed up because they were outside of your comfort zone? What can you re-visit today?