The comfort zone – 90% of us live our lives within the walls of this bubble, because, as the name suggests, it is in fact, “comfortable”. We stay here because it feels safe and there is often less stress and anxiety. The comfort zone offers a sense of stability and it takes a lot of guts and a lot of grit to be a part of the 10% who is constantly challenging themselves, stretching themselves, and becoming the better version of themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, you can live a perfectly wonderful life within the walls of your comfort zone. I’ve lived most of mine in it. I have a good job, I have a beautiful family, I have a lovely home, and I am abundantly blessed in so many ways. But, as of lately, God has been weaving a bigger dream into my heart, and it’s led me to a place where I know if I’m going to continue this path He’s leading me down…I will have to take that step out of my safe space. I have to leave my comfort zone.
Here’s the thing – outside of MY realm of ‘possible’ is where God steps in, where miracles take place, where inspiration happens, where lives are changed, and ultimately, where God gets the glory in my life for doing BIG things. The same is true for everyone. Many of us simply dream too small. I read this statement in Mark Batterson’s book Chase the Lion that was a real eye-opener. He says, “you can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right”. I’ll tell you what, it’s crazy how one simple statement can make such an impact (I recommend you read this book if you’re dreaming big dreams!).
Friends, we were made for more…
Make the decision
Ultimately, in order to go after those bigger dreams, a decision has to be made. A decision to believe in yourself, to dream bigger than yourself, and to put your trust and future in the hands of God; talk through it, think through it, and pray through it. Is this the dream God’s called me to go after? If so, then decide and commit, make the decision to go all in and give it all you’ve got. You may not see the big picture yet, you may not know exactly how you’re going to get there, but decide.
Studies have shown that once we get to the later days in life, we tend to regret the things we didn’t do and chances we didn’t take. Our regrets over what we did do that we shouldn’t have tended to fade away, but the opportunities missed are what hit us hard. Once you’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone there are fewer regrets, the chance to inspire, and discover new strengths. Plus, most find excitement and energizing, confidence boosting opportunities that they never knew existed.
Decide. Commit. Go for it.
Define your vision and know your why
Simply put, what are you doing and why are you doing it? What is the dream and what is it you are believing for? Be specific and remember this, when you’re ready to give up, your “why” needs to be big enough to keep you going. Dig deep and be honest with yourself. When taking a step of faith, opportunities are limitless, but it’s not always a walk in the park, knowing your why will help you to push through and persevere.
Embrace discomfort. Just like a Lego set doesn’t come out of the box assembled, neither will success. There are no pre-assembled successes in life; we have to set goals, follow direction, and take it one step at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to do it all at once, but challenge yourself, daily, to stretch a little further. Do something today that will better your tomorrow.
For me, personally, I struggle with connection, eye contact, and making and maintaining friendships. My circle is super small and I pour myself into one relationship and often forget that there are others. I am an introvert. This dream/vision on my heart is to encourage, connect, and empower. To encourage others through my own journey, be a connection to Jesus, and to empower others to pursue their dreams; my vision literally revolves around relationships! I have to cultivate relationships… this dream is bigger than I am.
So, I have challenged myself to get outside of my comfort zone, and I’m starting simply by introducing myself to someone I’ve never met, each week. This requires me to pick my eyes up off the floor and take notice of those around me. I am both excited and pretty scared to take this amazing journey! But, with God in it, the decision to go for it is pretty easy, and it’s all about who I become through the process. Friends, there is no “someday” on the calendar so if you’ve made the decision to dream bigger, you’ve defined your vision, and you know your why…then start today. Get comfortable being uncomfortable because in that is your growth.