life begins at the end of your comfort zoneI ran across this quote recently and it got me thinking. I love the word comfort. It’s, well, comforting. If words had a smell, comfort would be vanilla. I looked up the word comfort and found this definition: a state of ease and satisfaction of bodily wants, with freedom from pain and anxiety. Comfort sounds pretty good. However, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” continued to ring in my head.

What does it mean? The way I see it, doing the expected day-in-day-out can be comfortable. You know what is going to happen and your anxiety levels are low. While your stress might remain low, your energy, creativity and curiosity are low as well. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you are opening yourself up for some stress, but stress is not as negative as many believe. Stress, in reasonable doses, comes with excitement, change and new ideas. For most people, stress is thrust upon them because they allow others to dictate the changes and terms of their lives. As an entrepreneur, you should be constantly stepping out of your comfort zone. That’s the point, isn’t it?

If you are feeling that slow, comfortable feeling everyday when you wake up, figure out why that is.

  • Are you running your business with blinders on? Do you miss opportunities because you are happy with the status quo. Or you are maybe nervous about what changes may bring and you don’t want to rock the boat?
  • Have you mentally checked out, leaving the business to run itself? This is certainly your right as a business owner, but is that it for you? Are you ready for a new challenge with either your existing business or with another one?
  • Have you isolated yourself while running your business to the point that you are getting little or no input from others? Is it time to purposefully seek out fellow entrepreneurs and catch a little of their spark?

Challenge yourself here and now to take one small step out of your comfort zone first thing tomorrow. If you have been comfortable for too long, start small and build up your comfort zone challenges. Once you’ve met the first challenge – even if it’s simply confronting your fear of attending an event where you can expand your horizons and meet new people, possibly creating new opportunities – you’ll remember the thrill of really living. If you want comfort, buy a new chair. If you want to live, challenge yourself every single day.