A Comfort Zone is A Beautiful Place
31 MARCH 2018
A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.
What did your life look like one year ago? Six months ago? Six days ago?
What did your life look like before you left your comfort zone? Or better yet, what did your future look like before you left your comfort zone?
It’s been almost two years since I left mine. Two years sounds like a long time, but time has flown. My life looks completely different now, and so does my future.
It’s not that my life wasn’t good before, or my future was doomed. Though if that is your case then I urge you even more to get out of your comfort zone, and get the fuck out now. I had a pretty damn good plan for my future two years ago, I thought I had everything figured out. But it was safe, it followed the standard path that society deems correct, ‘normal,’ and leads to a comfortable life. The path that ensures a salary and health insurance and a 9 to 5 sentence.
Of course these are good things to have, but it's not for everyone. If getting out of your comfort zone teaches you anything it's the kind of life you want to live. Maybe a 9 to 5 is a great fit for you and two weeks of vacation is enough. Or maybe you want to live within a surfboards reach of the ocean, use the waves as your gym and hustle everyday with no paid vacations.
We have a natural inclination to surround ourselves with the familiar— familiar people, places and things. We fall into a routine that becomes our 24 hours a day seven days a week reality. A comfort zone of familiarity that becomes hard to break from.
And while a comfort zone is a beautiful place, nothing ever grows there.
During the past two years I’ve visited ten new countries. I’ve experienced pure bliss, intense anxiety and wild discomfort. I’ve experienced unbelievable highs and serious lows. I’ve met some of the most incredible and inspiring people and I’ve lost nearly all contact with those who once played a huge role in my life. I’ve swam through new oceans, rode camel back in the Sahara and hiked mountains you’d think only existed in the wildest of imaginations. These things didn’t exist in my comfort zone. These things tend to exist outside most of our comfort zones.
I’ve experienced pure bliss, intense anxiety and wild discomfort. I’ve experienced unbelievable highs and serious lows.
I haven’t earned much of a salary, I’ve worked at 4am on Monday mornings and 2am on Saturday nights and haven't taken scheduled time off in almost two years. My desk has been a hammock in Nicaragua and a kitchen table in Patagonia, a bed in Mexico and a hostel in Amsterdam.
So what does my life look like now that I’ve left my comfort zone? It appears messy, unorganized, and directionless from an outside perspective but I wouldn't have it any other way. I’ve also heard it seems amazing, like a dream. And at the end of each day, whether good or bad, I am living a version of my dream. It's not all perfect days and no worries and the great pictures you choose to show to the world. I learned that the 9 to 5 life isn't a fit for me, and two weeks paid vacation isn't enough. Give me no vacation but flexibility to move. I'm often surrounded by the unfamiliar but have embraced it wholly. I've found a balance between organization and spontaneity that is perfect for me, and I can't remember the last time I knew my direction this well.
A comfort zone is a beautiful place, I miss my friends and family and the familiarity of my hometown without a doubt. But I wasn’t growing there, and I wasn’t going to had I stayed.
But, by no means does leaving your comfort zone entail leaving certain aspects of your life behind. Everyones comfort zone is different, thus leaving will look different for everyone. The beauty of it is that is shows you what aspects you want to stick with, which aren't serving you anymore and a myriad of new possibilities.
You simply don't know your true limitations, true likes, true loves, true dislikes and true possibilities if you never leave the beauty of your comfort zone.
Get messy, get ugly, get UNcomfortable ... get out of your comfort zone.