There are times when we have the opportunity to do something different. Something new and exciting that will dust the cobwebs from in front of our eyes and stimulate us. We know when this occasion arises because the butterflies start in our stomach and we wonder if the ability to push past our comfort zone can be found within.
It can be difficult to change something, I can attest to this first hand. For years I went from menial job to menial job, largely without much thought. I would work for a particular company for a certain amount of time and then the sledgehammer would strike and I would realise I had to get out. Only, I would then seek out another job which was similar to the previous one. Madness!
I give you permission to slap me retroactively.
You can go ahead and slap yourself too if you have done the same.
So it became a cycle, and here is the worst part. When we keep doing the same thing over and over it just becomes a habit, and one which is hard to break.
Why do we do this?
Simply the brain doesn’t like change. It likes being in a comfort zone because it requires less effort than pushing the boundaries. If enough time has passed, and the brain is too set in its ways then it can be a monumental effort to break free. How many times have you wanted to search for a new job and you kept putting it on the backburner because you were too tired or you had something better to do? I think we’ve all been there.
It is one part laziness and one part fear I think. They both work together in tandem to keep those shackles locked tightly. Laziness stems from a fear of doing something new and fear grows from the laziness of not doing anything different. Like a downward cycle of depression and monotony which just grows stronger with time
The ‘arghhh’ moment
I believe that there will always come a point in our lives when we reach that ‘arghhh’ moment. You know the one. You wake up one day or someone says something to you and you just think to yourself ‘that’s it, I can’t do this anymore’. Your life suddenly forks out into two pathways, sanity and insanity. Which one you choose will often come down to the courage you have at that moment.
We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same over and over but expecting different results. So that must mean sanity is the result of changing something. Choosing a different path from what has gone before.
When we reach this make or break moment we must have the belief in ourselves that we can choose the right path and leave our fear behind.
I have failed to take the right path on many occasions and each time it happened it was soul destroying. I just knew I had the chance to do something different but I let my lack of courage stopped me from even trying. I let fear win and every time this happened it became stronger. It feeds off your negative emotions and the next time you’re faced with a similar situation, its hold on you gets tighter and tighter.
Break your comfort zone
Courage is always there, bubbling under the surface, teasing us with short glimpses of what is possible. So how can we tap into it whenever we want? The trick is to recognise when it is there, and then to act on it with conviction. The next time you get an opportunity to do something that really pushes your comfort zone, embrace that initial surge of positivity and act on it before it becomes crushed with fear.
Trust yourself that the decision you want to make is the decision that you should take. Go with your gut instinct as that is rarely ever wrong. Force yourself to break from the fear that has been holding you down. I know it can feel like walking in water at times but it does get easier. Like I mentioned above with fear becoming stronger the more you allow it space. Courage also becomes stronger the more you allow it to breath.
It is like a long lost friend who constantly leaves you answerphone messages, but you never phone back. It is reaching out and all you need to do is meet it halfway. The title of this article is a bit misleading. You don’t really need to find courage, you know where it is. Just learn to give it a go.