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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

Damn the Comfort Zone

I have a favorite t-shirt that I wear just about every day. I’m wearing it right now, as I type this blog post. It’s stretched out of shape, has a few holes, and the lettering has faded. But my Army t-shirt is never going anywhere.

Even though I’ve had it for about 20 years, it literally makes me happy and it’s the most comfortable t-shirt I have. I can’t imagine throwing it away, because of the sentimental value of my time in the military. Buying a brand new one would be great but just not the same.

This is how we are with certain areas of our lives, right? We hold on to certain things or people because it makes us happy and comfortable.

The proverbial comfort zone is really a psychological state where we feel at ease and in control, experiencing extremely low levels of anxiety and stress; just enough to keep us on our toes but never willing to do any different. We settle in to the certainty.

Many years ago, I noticed areas of my life where I was comfortable – personally and professionally. Out of fear, I realized that I wasn’t willing to make certain moves, because it would force discomfort on me.

It feels like being in a box, floating from corner to corner. It’s safe and there’s no way you can alter the outcome. It’s destined to be the same thing over and over. The sad part is that many of us are okay with that.

While hanging out in the comfort zone can result in consistent, steady performance, stepping out of your comfort zone into a new and challenging task can create the conditions for optimal performance.

I grew up in Kansas City and even though my family, friends, and everything I knew was there, in my heart I knew it was time to leave. It was difficult treading off into the unknown, but I knew that I needed to.

I needed to expand my wings and see what I was really capable of. Moving to a new city brought a great deal of stress and anxiety but it was necessary in order for me to grow.

Being slightly uncomfortable can push us to achieve goals we never thought we could. But it’s important to remember that we don’t need to challenge ourselves and be productive all the time.

We can’t expect to evolve in our lives if we only stick to habit and routine. Reaching new heights involves the risk of attempting something we might not succeed at.

I realized there is a heavy price for our fear. I’d rather take a chance on me and fail than to not have tried at all. #noregrets

Just know that some of the most successful people failed – and failed often.

While my Army t-shirt may provide me with all the feels of comfort and joy, I do spread the love to other t-shirts. Promise.

I challenge you today to make a plan to step outside of your comfort zone. Write down 3 areas of your life that you’d like to level-up and determine what is holding you back from it. Once you have identified the reason, what could you do to move past that?

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