“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
-Neale Donald Walsch-
Meet Roxie, a 14-week old rescue puppy, who arrived in our lives a few days ago. And like our previous companion, Buddy, she immediately began teaching us.
As Roxie gets familiar with her new environment she continually retreats to two areas—two comfort zones. Whether it’s her crate with chew toys or her comfy stuffed cushion by my desk, she feels solace in each area. She ventures out to explore a room; tentatively looking this way and that. And then, returns to one of her comfort zones. Outside she stakes claim to her new yard…and then back to the comfort zones to catch her breath. With each venture outside the zone, she gains more confidence and a bounce in her step.
She reminded me that we all have comfort zones. Those areas of refuge can provide shelter from life’s storms and give us pause to reflect on what we are doing and where we are going. A comfort zone can help us gain awareness and begin to recognize and challenge assumptions as we make plans for future action.
Comfort zones, also, can stymie our growth. Consider what would happen to Roxie if she never left her crate or got off her comfy dog couch. She’d miss a whole world of adventure and growth opportunities. She would never really stretch and strengthen her legs. She would never find her potential. Each time she steps out she increases her vulnerability and her chances for development and a fuller life. Roxie, like us, has to assess the risk of each move or non-move.
Thanks to Roxie, two comfort zone lessons emerge.
- POSITIVE. Comfort zones provide shelter and opportunities to breathe. When the world has become too crazy to handle, we can retreat from the stresses that, at times, beat us down. They can rejuvenate us.
- NOT-SO-POSITIVE. A comfort zone, however, can become a crutch and excuse not to venture out, not to risk, and not to grow. As author Neale Donald Walsch has said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Video recommendation for the week:
Carol Dweck makes a case for challenge over comfort.
As you approach the coming week consider your comfort zones. Be grateful you have these places where you can de-stress and catch your breath. And consider what steps you can take to venture a bit further from their confines so you can embrace new adventures and growth opportunities.
Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.
(c) 2015. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.