Imprisoned by the Comfort Zone

Close-up of cage wire with out-of-focus image on other side

On Pinterest, I pinned this great quote by Anais Nin:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to bloom.”

My friend and fellow career pro Shahrzad Arasteh commented on the imagery conveyed by this quotation. Of course, it is quite a beautiful picture of opening up, basking in the light of taking a chance at success.

But then I thought about the converse — staying “tight in a bud.” Not being willing to venture outside of that familiar comfort zone. And this idea occurred to me:

People like being in their comfort zones until they realize that those comfort zones have become cages.

A rather uneasy feeling, isn’t it? To find that you have been entrapped by the very things that have felt so warm and secure. They’ve been your default for so long you can’t imagine not going to those places. And yet, when the awareness of the limitations is felt, those comfort zones cease to be welcomed. Rather, you may find yourself despising how you are a slave to them.

That is the first step to breaking out. Once you have a consciousness of what your comfort zones represent, you start to look around at the options. They don’t seem as scary now, do they? It might be interesting, exciting even, to make different choices. And you embrace the thrill that contemplating something new can bring.

But are you going to let it stop there? For as wonderful it is to consider new things, change is not real unless you actually do something.

Have you been experiencing an increased dissatisfaction with your job? Feeling stuck in your career? First, make sure that you are not making a change in a hasty manner. Once you have a little time to think things over and can see that change would be a positive thing, create a plan and start working toward it!

You’re the only one who can break free of the cage created by your comfort zone.

Image courtesy of JenVista GaLLeRiA JeNeSiS

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