The other night I found myself around a group of friends with one playing DJ over the song selections. As you might suspect, quite a bit of the music played was from a time in our lives that was comfortable.
It isn’t unreasonable to expect that throughout life a majority of our new experiences may be viewed as positive and others, well, a little stressful. Any type of change to our comfort zones can initially be viewed as challenging whether it’s personal or professional. That process of change can feel overwhelming in the short term and potentially leave us struggling with establishing new routines for a period of time afterwards. And yes, simply understanding the benefits of change will not necessarily make the uncomfortable moments of transition disappear either. If the majority of us readily believe in the natural order of life to include learning, growing and engaging in a wide range of varied experiences, then why the stress?
For several reasons, it seems easier to hear a person associate stressful memories with change opposed to positive experiences. At times those comfort zone stretches feel like obstacle courses of avoidances rather than opportunities to deliver incremental successes of personal growth and development. Recognizing the amount of energy needed to truly value the belief that while inside our comfort zones we rarely feel pushed, challenged or motivated to achieve our true potential is a PhD in self awareness. How many of us know people staying at a job or in a relationship simply because of familiarity, security and the fact that the unknown can seem rather intimidating? Why break a routine if its really comfortable? None of this is intended to discredit comfort zones of strength. Embracing the idea of finding a personal comfort zone to help manage our day-to-day lives is equally as important. It’s a balancing act of stress.. to grow we walk before running.
I have a friend who deeply believes we are attached to our struggles and fear losing them. Blah! I’ve heard better excuses on fishing boats!
Mixing things up within weekly routines always helps to change your perception of yourself. Whether it’s a small task each week or a complete overhaul of your schedule the momentum shift is noticeable. It’s surprising to notice how quickly you’ll begin seeing yourself as someone not tied to the idea of sticking inside a comfortable zone. The more consistent your comfort zone stretches the more you’ll see yourself as someone curious to try new things. And the reassuring thing about that change? Those stretches make future change easier and allows new experiences to feel more natural and exciting.
So what are the chances of you putting down that Duran Duran cassette and downloading a Maroon 5 playlist? Is your next song list being downloading from iTunes or Amazon?