But if you remember my post on the subconscious mind, you might recall that we typical tend to follow the same patterns day after day. Not only do we tend to repeat patterns, we are also programmed to be risk averse. Meaning, our natural way of being is to avoid risk or situations that seem risky. This is why people tend to imagine the worst case scenario whenever they discuss a new endeavor. Since we're programmed to avoid situations that could be perceived as "dangerous" or unfamiliar, we tend to remain within the circle of our comfort zone.
But everyone keeps telling us to "break free of our comfort zone." So what do we do? I believe that our subconscious wishes to exert as little mental & emotional energy as possible. Operating outside of the comfort zone takes a lot of mental energy. You've got to overcome limiting beliefs, fears, and uncertainty. That's too much to deal with.
There's a car wash that I frequent near my home. At the end of the wash there's this massive drier that sits right at the same level as my windshield. As I drive towards it, I feel like my windshield will collide with dryer causing irreparable damage to my car. But guess what happens? As I move closer to the drier, it inches upwards. I move even closer....it moves up a little higher. This little dance continues until I've reached the end of the car wash and the drier is now behind me.
The first time I went through that experience, I was genuinely afraid of what was going to happen to my car. But now I understand that drier behaves in the same way as our comfort zone. We think that by moving forward we're headed straight for a disaster. But, on the contrary, it expands.....(YOU EXPAND).....Our comfort zone moves as we move. This means that you don't have to worry about operating outside your comfort zone, you just have to move towards the edge.
But there is no edge, really.
And the great thing about moving towards the edge is that you don't have to do anything too drastic. Just something that makes you feel "slightly uncomfortable", but not uncomfortable enough to stop moving towards it. Just like with the car wash drier, I didn't stay in same spot, I kept inching towards it hoping that it wouldn't collide with my car. Right now, your mind keeps nudging you to move towards something in your life. But you remain still....paralyzed with fear. You're deciding to remain in the carwash for the rest of your life instead of moving forward.
Just think of the most comfortable step you can take. And once you've done it, take the next one. Keep moving comfortably outside your comfort zone and experience