In order to escape from your comfort zone you have to escape the mindset that you led you there. – Cornell Thomas
What does that mean?
This quote urges us to consider our comfort zone, and to consider making the effort necessary to escape from its warm embrace.
We are where we are because of our mindset, of what we think is possible and not possible. These assumptions, presumptions and presuppositions are the bars of our own prison.
This prison is our comfort zone. Within it, there is little growth, and there is always the possibility of decay and stagnation. To break free, we have to remove the bars which hold us back, to escape that mindset.
Why is escape from our limiting mindset important?
If we do not escape from our limiting mindset, we are stuck right where we are. Forever. Or at least until we do change our mindset. Until we do that, what we have now, we will continue to have. What we do now, we will continue to do. There will be no change. There will be no growth. Just stagnation and decay. Does that sound like a great way to live a life?
Our mindset, if unchanged will keep us right there. If the world changes, if our situation changes, if friends change, what becomes of the person who is still trapped in their old mindset? What if the person decides to change with their world, their situation or their friends? They must first change their mindset and escape the part of it which holds them back.
By changing the limiting parts of our mindset, we can escape the prison our mindset makes. Yes, it can be comforting, keeping us safe from what might lurk outside. But eventually, we have to move on with our lives, and that means breaking out of our prison and moving out into the dangerous places. Don’t worry, you’ll build new bars as soon as you get comfortable again.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like fun to me. No growth? No change? But life around us grows and changes all the time. If we don’t grow and change, we get left behind. The only way to keep up is to evaluate our mindset from time to time, and determine when to break it down and escape.
Escape to where? To wherever you need to be to continue with your life, to keep up with change, to chase pleasure, or to remove and evade pain. We live in a world of change, and our mindset can become a trap or prison, if we are not careful. By examining it, we can keep what makes sense, and remove the rest.
Our comfort zone is a nice place to go for some comfort after a busy or difficult day. But it’s not, in my opinion, a good place to live. Life keeps changing, and we will get left behind if we do not adapt and learn from our experiences. That means doing the unpleasant things. It means growing. It means taking risks.
None of these things happen in a comfort zone. These are all mildly uncomfortable activities. There is uncertainty. There is risk. Something could go wrong. We could end up looking foolish. All that is true. But we can try something new, we can give it a try. And if it doesn’t work, laugh with our friends, and ask them what they would have done instead.
But the same is true if we remain in our comfort zone. And wear the same clothes we wore 20 years ago, the same haircut, the same slang terms. Perhaps you’ve seen someone like that, stuck in the 80’s or in the 90’s? Perhaps the house is decorated in vintage 50’s or 60’s decor? Almond or Avocado colored appliances in the kitchen?
I try to take a look at my life a couple times a year, and try to find what of my mindset might be holding me back, limiting my options, or making me a prisoner. I consider what thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, presumptions or presuppositions are holding me back. And I try to change a few of them.
The end of the year is approaching, and the time of renewal is at hand. Can you come up with something you’d like to do to break out of your comfort zone? Get a new haircut? Trade your plaid shirts for something a bit more current? Learn a new skill? Try something different to keep up with friends and family?
What bars of our mindset will you bend in order to escape? What will you do to move outside your comfort zone, if only just a little? It will take some courage, but it’s not impossible.