“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” – Fred DeVito
I’ve found myself thinking about ancient history lately. In particular, I’ve been thinking about my ancestors living in caves. It’s kind of hard to imagine. The only thing that makes sense is that if you had managed to find enough to eat, and you had a fire, I think you’d want to stay in the cave. After all, outside is where the lions and bears and whatever else are, and they want to eat you.
The reason I’ve been thinking about that is that the desire to “stay in the cave” impacts us still today. Our natural inclination, all these years later, is still to be safe. If I’m safe and comfortable, why do something different? Why leave the cave?
That thought process holds us back on an almost daily basis. So many of us spend our entire lives trying to be as safe as possible. People spend their entire lives trying to eliminate anything that makes them comfortable. No uncomfortable actions, no uncomfortable conversations, no uncomfortable self-reflection – nothing that might possibly cause us to have to make change in our lives.
You can’t grow that way. There is absolutely no growth as a human being that happens when we’re in our comfort zones. For us to be what we’re supposed to be, it isn’t enough that we accept being occasionally uncomfortable. For us to really reach our potential, we have to purposefully seek out that discomfort.
Think about yourself. What challenge could you seek out that would help you to grow? What could you purposefully do that would make you uncomfortable in the name of your own personal or professional growth?
There are lots of possibilities, but the point is to pick one and go after it. Have that conversation that you’ve been avoiding. Do the thing you’re not sure you know how to do. Take the leap. No one has ever been successful by staying comfortable. Get out of your comfort zone and start growing.
Love the cave metaphor