Step into your growth zone
Pam saw this graphic floating around the internet a couple months ago and saved it for me to write about, and expound on…
Most of us love the comfort of our own homes, or the comfort of our favorite jeans and sweatshirt, or the comforter we pull around us on those cold winter nights. You probably even find the comfort of your daily routines to be…well, comforting.
What if that comfort was the very thing that is preventing us from achieving our purpose and potential? It’s easy to get into daily and weekly routines that allow us to live our lives comfortably. We see the same people, carry out the same activities, produce the same results at work, and collect the same paycheck each week. If we stay in our comfort zone, we will feel safe and in control, and who doesn’t want that in these days of pandemic and political divide?
What if God put you here for another reason? What if God put you here to face your fears and trust in Him? What if He put you here to learn great things and create great things for the rest of the world? What if God put you here to take people where they could not have gone without you? (I’m not leading you into a Star Wars or Star Trek adventure, I promise, but what if George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry hadn’t gotten out of their comfort zones? Just sayin’.)
The only way to truly change, grow, and reach your potential is to get out of your comfort zone. I know that may be scary for some of you, but let’s look at the steps to reach your potential.
- What is your big idea, your dream, your life goal? If you haven’t thought about that, please take some time to do so. There are probably some things that get you excited or make your heart pump faster when you think about them. There may be some things that even break your heart with compassion. Write those things down and create a picture in your mind of what it would look like if you could achieve that idea or dream. Here are some questions to consider as you dream:
- What breaks your heart?
- What makes you cry?
- What makes you sing?
- What makes you so excited that you must do it now?
- What is it that only you can do?
- In order to accomplish that dream or goal, what do you need to learn? Is there knowledge you need to gain? Are there skills that you need to develop? Are there experiences you need to have in order to take another step toward your goal? If there are things you need to learn, ask yourself these questions:
- Who do I need to meet and/or know in order to grow my knowledge, skill and abilities?
- What do I need to learn and who do I need to learn it from?
- What haven’t I experienced that would be helpful in growing my capabilities?
- What courses, books or workshops would benefit me in my learning process?
- How can I accelerate my learning process?
- If I am going to overcome these learning and capability needs, what fears do I need to face? What is holding me back from starting right now to learn and grow? And what can I do about that? This is the first step outside your comfort zone, and for some of us, it is our last step. We get held up by people who don’t believe in us, or by our own lack of confidence. This is where we need to turn to God in faith and trust him to direct our steps. Proverbs 16:9 says “man makes his plans, but God directs his steps.” Let go and let God! As one of my pastors used to say, “You can’t but God can.” Ask yourself these questions:
- What is one thing I can do today to start walking toward my dream? You’ve probably heard something like this in the past, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
- Who do I need to remove from my circle of influence in order to take positive steps forward?
- Who do I need to add to my circle of influence to encourage me and hold me accountable for moving forward?
- What am I truly afraid of when I step out of my comfort zone? Remember, F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real.
- How can I pray and talk with God about my fears?
Are you ready to get uncomfortable? Are you ready to begin the journey toward your dreams and purpose? Take the first step today. Start in a new direction! Lead on!