Life Begins At the End of Your Comfort Zone. Here’s Why.
Do you ever feel like you are comfortable in your life, yet somehow stuck at the same time? As if things are easy, but you want more for your life? This is a common feeling for people who live their lives inside their comfort zone. While there are benefits to living a life of comfort, your most exciting, passionate, and purposeful life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
And that life starts right now!
Life Begins At the End of Your Comfort Zone Meaning
What does “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” mean? This quote from Neale Donald Walsch can be interpreted to help us understand the importance of growth in our lives. Growth that takes us outside of our comfort zone has the potential to open doors to new experiences, passions, and dreams.
You know, all the good things that life is supposed to be made up of!
However, many people do not leave their comfort zone. As a result, these people do not experience the goals and dreams they have for their lives.
Your comfort zone is the space (real, or in your mind) that you have carved out for yourself that makes you feel safe. To say that life begins at the end of your comfort zone means that you have to leave your safe space to really experience what life has to offer you.
Why the heck would you ever want to do that? Global pandemic? Mass uncertainty everywhere you turn? I will stay right here in my safe space, thank you very much!
Isn’t it amazing that we get to wake up each and every day to a blank slate of opportunity? We get to make choices that determine how we will spend the time we have while the sun still shines.
Life is full of amazing challenges and endless potential in every moment. Yet we still gravitate toward routine, comfort, and familiarity.
So, if life begins at the end of your comfort zone, why do we build safe and predictable routines? Why do we repeat them everyday without question?
Well, we prefer a predictable life for a few reasons. And it all comes down to a couple common fears we all share.
The Fear of Failure and The Fear of Making Mistakes
One of the main reasons we stick to our comfort zones is because of a deep and profound fear of failure and making mistakes.
Failure means something different to us all. Our families, schools, and the media send different messages about what it means to fail. In some cases we are taught that mistakes and failure are shameful and indicate that we are inadequate.
In school, making mistakes means that you aren’t smart. At work, making mistakes leads to less credibility.
We like our comfort zones because they are the places where we don’t have to be afraid of failing and making mistakes! Our comfort zones are the one place where we only answer to ourselves, not to the pressures of the world.
Leaving our comfort zone means that we risk coming across something we can’t handle. Something we might fail at, or something that causes us to make a mistake. What happens if we leave our comfort zone and come across a problem we can’t solve?
As a lifelong recovering perfectionist, one of the most helpful pieces of advice I ever got was this: step outside your comfort zone and trust in your ability to react to the setbacks of the day. Rather than worrying about being judged or looked down on, choose to believe that you will be able to handle whatever life throws at you.
This advice resonated with me for a reasons, but most of all it because it reminds us that mistakes are proof that you are trying. If you fail and make mistakes, it means that you are trying new things, feeling the full brunt of failure, growing, and getting better with each and every setback.
The Power of a Growth Mindset
A key tool that makes this type of thinking easier is a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a way of thinking that allows us to see opportunity in our failures and mistakes, rather then seeing permanent defeat. These opportunities teach us, and help us grow and develop new skills and passions.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone because you will take risks outside of your comfort zone. You will make mistakes outside of your comfort zone. And you will experience failure outside of your comfort zone.
But when you do, you will learn, and you will grow. And growth opens new doors and exciting possibilities for our lives.
The Fear of Change and the Fear of the Unknown
Another reason people stay in their comfort zones is the stability and predictability they bring. Stability and predictability make us feel safe and secure, and these are essential needs we all have!
However, stability often gets mixed up with two other common fears: the fear of change and the fear of the unknown.
These fears can keep us stuck in some pretty unhealthy situations in our lives. Think of the worst job you have had, or an unhealthy relationship you felt stuck in. Did you stay in either of these longer than you should have? Maybe you even left and went back a few times.
The fears of change and the unknown drive us back to the safety of our comfort zones. But let’s lean on the inspiration of the ‘life begins at the end of your comfort zone’ quote.
Yes, change and the unknown are scary. But just like challenges, obstacles, setbacks, and mistakes, there is opportunity in change and the unknown. Change brings endless and exciting potential when faced with the unknown.
Don’t Hold Yourself Back
It is very easy to tell yourself that you can’t step outside your comfort zone. If you have been in it for too long, you have become used to the feeling of safety, and your brain likes that. So, your brain starts feeding you limiting beliefs that it thinks you want to hear.
To break this cycle, you need to push yourself to go beyond your limiting beliefs. Next time you catch yourself thinking “I can’t just quit my job and find a better one”, ask yourself: why not? Imagine what it would be like to make a big crazy change in your life. Let yourself dream and wonder about the impact it would have on your beliefs about yourself and what you are capable of.
When we build comfortable routines around jobs we aren’t passionate about, it becomes harder to make a change when we are unhappy at work. And when we find ourselves in bad relationships, it is hard to imagine what life would be like without that person in our lives.
We need stable jobs to earn a living and maintain a certain quality of life. We build comfort zones around the idea that we know what we can expect at our jobs, and they will always be there to provide us this stability.
But, you have a choice in the job you have. Now, you can’t just declare that you are going to be a nuclear physicist without any training or schooling. But, you have the power to choose to pursue whatever type of work inspires you.
Feeling challenged in your work, applying skills you have, and being passionate about what you do is important. In fact, the Japanese believe that this is the key to finding your ikigai – your reason for being and a life of passion and purpose.
Your Life Begins At the End of Your Comfort Zone
It is very easy to stay in your safe place and dream about what your life could be like. But that will be the beginning and end of those dreams. What you are capable of and meant to do in your life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
As Oscar Bimpong puts it, your “comfort zone has the most comfortable bed in life where dreams become alive in your mind, but never become a reality because you never get up from bed to make it happen”.
It is time to confront the fears of failure, change, and unknown head on. Embrace the challenges you will face and the mistakes you will make when you step outside of your comfort zone.
It is time for you to wake up and get out – no – dive out of your comfortable bed with a burning passion for growth.
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! This could be the push they need to step outside of their comfort zones!