Comfort Zone Discomfort

If This Is My Comfort Zone, Why’m I So Uncomfortable?

I’m going to stick up my hand and ask a dumb question here: Why does everybody call it a “comfort zone”?

We’re always hearing psychologists, psychiatrists, ministers, teachers, inspirational writers and speakers talking about comfort zones. We’re too comfortable, they say. If we want to make progress, they say, we’ve got to be willing to move out of our comfort zone.

I’m not quite sure where they get that. Most of the people I meet are pretty UNcomfortable in that so-called “comfort zone” of theirs. And they’re interested in learning how to get MORE comfortable. Not less.

Oh, I know the teachers are just trying to get us to move forward, toward a more beneficial life.

Move? Why?

Here’s a shocking idea: nobody moves because they’re comfortable. And nobody — NOBODY — moves out of a REAL comfort zone.

Just look around you. Isn’t it true? People only move when they’ve become so uncomfortable they can’t stand remaining in the same old spot any longer.

And even the most highly motivated among us has to be at least a little uncomfortable before they’ll move.

The writer W. Clement Stone called it inspirational discontent.

Inspirational, yes, but still discontent… discomfort.

When your “comfort” zone is so uncomfortable, how accurate is that description?

Maybe it’d make more sense to call it a “Known Zone.”

Or even a “Familiar Zone.”

That term fits better. Whether we’re comfortable or not, it’s a zone we’re familiar with, which helps make it a little clearer why so many people refuse to move out of a spot they no longer like.

Aligators Coming for Dinner

Many people are like the old country boy standing waist deep in swamp water, batting away alligators with an axe handle and wondering what it would be like to live up there on dry land.

So many people are surrounded by problems, spending most of their energy and time wrestling those problems, and wishing they didn’t have the problems, but they don’t move. But why?

“Well, this swamp is my home. It’s what I know.”

That illustrates why I suggest changing the term. However, as interesting as that little change might be, most folks would rather hear how they can just get more comfortable.

So how do we do that?

The short answer? Drag our tails up out of the swamp onto dry land where the alligators don’t go.

Even from down here in the water where we stand, we can see that there are fewer alligators up there. And it’s a lot drier. And we might live longer. But we don’t move.

The Dual Secret of All Non-Achievement

The real reason we don’t? We just haven’t decided to do it. Simple, right?

And there are usually only two reasons why we don’t make that decision. Either we don’t believe we CAN have it, or we don’t believe we DESERVE to have it.

Right there is the real core purpose of all self-help, positive thinking, and inspirational teachings.

That core purpose is to somehow get us to believe we CAN have — and that we DESERVE to have — something better.

All those affirmations and goals and prayers and chants and visualizations and releasings and everything else we’ve been doing for years — all of that is just an aid to help us believe in a possibility. Once we believe, then we can move — provided we actually want what we’ve been aiming for.

And that’s why if you have chosen goals that don’t turn you on at the deepest level, then I know for a fact that you probably haven’t attained them. Or in the rare instance where you might have reached them, you’re not enjoying them.

So if you’re visualizing a house or a car or a mate that doesn’t particularly satisfy your deepest inner wants, you almost certainly won’t be getting them.

The people who attain their dreams are the ones who pick real dreams — their own dreams, not somebody else’s.

If you’ve ever slaved away over a lukewarm affirmation for days, weeks or months without ever even getting close to attaining your target, that’s the simple explanation: the goal wasn’t yours. It was a goal you heard somebody else suggest. Or it was a goal you thought you OUGHT to want because, “well, I guess I SHOULD want a big new house and fast car and high income.”

When you find out what you really want, what you want as much as a starving man wants food, or a drowning man wants air, when you find what you really, really want, getting it will be quick, efficient and exciting.

Not Universal

Self-help techniques are not for everybody, however.

If you already know exactly what you want, you don’t really need self-help books or tapes. Just act. The sharp focus of your desire will bring what you want into existence in your life. History is full of people who achieved great things without ever hearing of affirmations.

On the other hand, if there’s nothing you want badly, hey, just relax. Stop beating yourself up for it. Maybe you are really, truly already in your comfort zone. So while the people all around you battle to reach their dreams, you can lean back, smile and enjoy your life.

Self-help and self-motivation are for people who are not where they want to be and are having trouble connecting with a bundle of second-hand desires.

But if you’re already there, and you already know (or possess) exactly what you want, then just relax and enjoy. You’ve got what all those other folks are straining so hard to get.

While they’re struggling to get out of their familiar zone, you’re nice and snug in your (real) comfort zone.

But if you KNOW you’re not comfortable, then get your tail up out of that swamp now. You already know how. Stop thinking and just make it happen. And yes you CAN do it.

Simply start… and don’t stop …