“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Nelson Mandela
What Is The Fallacy Of Comfort?
Do you find yourself making decisions about what you do based on whether it will make your life easier or whether it will stretch you?
We are wired by years of evolution to naturally gravitate toward making our lives more comfortable. When faced with situations that offer the option to step outside of our comfort zone or remain within it, unless we consciously act against our instincts, we are likely to take the route of least resistance.
What happens over time, though, if we never stretch beyond what is comfortable?
We get stuck.
The boundaries of the comfort zone get thicker and stronger the more often we assert them in our minds. Before long it’s not even a choice, we actually believe we’re not able to do things beyond the self-imposed barrier we have created to remain ‘comfortable’.
So What’s Wrong With Being ‘Comfortable’?
What begins as comfortable gradually becomes uncomfortable. You become trapped by the comfort while the dreams and aspirations you have are still festering away inside of you, unfulfilled. No matter how ‘comfortable’ you try to make yourself with external stimulus from the material world, the yearning to fulfil your aspirations burns on unabated.
The comfortable options are almost always dressed up as ways to indulge in short term gratification of some description, so you predictably end up falling back on what you’ve always done instead of trying something new. The lure of comfort is designed to distract you from the benefits of fulfilling your potential, hidden behind the guise of short term pain, which runs the outside perimeter of your comfort zone.
The short term pain waiting for you beyond your comfort zone will show up as things that you are fearful of, but if you look closely you will also see that what you really want lies just beyond the fear. The fear is the indicator of what you should pursue, the more fearful you are of doing something, the more you absolutely must go and do it. More than that though, fear stands between where you are now and doing work you are uniquely equipped to do. It’s almost like we are afraid to explore what we are truly capable of.
If we only have a finite amount of time available to us, why do we relent to the fallacy of comfort, when we could set our sights on fulfilment? In doing so we are essentially settling for a life of mediocrity and unfulfilled potential.
We feel most alive when we are in pursuit of goals that mean something to us, even if it’s uncomfortable to begin with, doing something that matters will cause us to meet the fear head on.
This week I have been mostly writing and thinking about ways we can think and act to fulfill our potential, some of which will be discussed in future posts, all of which will be in an ebook due for release on the 16th of February 2014.
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