I was reminded, today, by my friend Miles Welch, that in order to “have the better life” we all long for we must “get out of our comfort zone.”
Understandably, comfort zones provide – comfort. And comfort is one thing with which we are certainly comfortable. In fact, when we are in our comfort zone we appear fearless. Now that is one way I have always wanted to appear, i.e. fearless. Because when you appear to be fearless your enemies are often intimidated. I know this to be true . . . because when I encounter people who appear fearless to me – I am intimidated.
The muscle-bound, confident, square-jawed specimen of a man. The intelligent, superior, gentle-but-assured visage of a scholar. These and other persons can appear to be fearless, beyond defeat. As if self-assurance promises a true and trusted reading of what is beneath the surface.
But it does not.
I learned years ago a truth that is worth your while: we judge ourselves by our insides, and others by their outsides. Isn’t this true? For we see into our own selves so deeply that even if our outward demeanor hides the truth – it does not usually hide it from us. But when we look at others . . . the exterior, the surface, the part least indicative of the truth . . . prevails.
In our comfort zone we appear fearless. And so when we find ourselves out of our comfort zone fear lures us back to its version of safety. And we are trapped.
Never better. Never stronger. Always intent upon maintaining the illusion of fearlessness. But all the while knowing the truth.
To be truly fearless I must experience a “change in my perspective.” I must not try to manage my circumstances so as to migrate back toward my comfort zone; rather, I must launch out into the deep and face my fear head-on. I will “take risks,” “make moves,” and “have conversations” I would not otherwise have had.
“Goodbye, Mr. Comfort Zone,” you might say. I have places to go, things to do, and people to see.