One of the most common questions that I am asked is ‘Will I be able to change?’ and another is ‘How long will it take to bring on the change that I am looking for?’ Most of what we call our ‘identity’ comes from the choices we make, what we choose to focus on, what skills we develop, how we relate to others and how we want others to see us. However, we have a tendency to forget that the source of our identity is actually a result of the choices that we have made in the past and the choices that we continue to make in the present. We become what we think is expected of us and then assume that it is just a part of who we are. It can be very difficult to see ourselves differently thus making it difficult to make real changes to our identity. I am sure that you have heard yourself or others say ‘I can’t change because that is just the way I am’. Well this is not wholly true because it is possible to make choices that will bring about a change that can contribute to our lives and to change our identity.
Is it possible to change a key decision that has shaped us, even if it’s been a part of us for 20 years or longer? The answer to this question is ‘yes’ of course it is. We have all seen it happen. People quit smoking after 20 years, change and become athletes after living a sedentary life, return to education and receive a degree after a 20 year gap, leave secure employment to become an artist or a writer. People are taking big steps, coming out of their comfort zone and bringing about change all the time. Change comes from rediscovering and bringing to light the reason why key decisions were made in the past, what needs they were meeting and what the benefits and consequences of that decision were. With this information new decisions can be made that will allow us to experience the fullness of our life and our relationships.
Coming out of the comfort zone
Each time we make new decisions or to try out something new we come out of our comfort zone. Coming out of the comfort zone can appear challenging to a lot of people. . So why is it that some people jump to a challenge and others move away or resist change? Well I’d like to say a little about the comfort zone; firstly it is the place where we feel most comfortable. Our homes for example can be seen as a comfort zone. We know the lay of the land, we know where the light switches are, where the fuse box is. We know where all the rooms are positioned and which room is which. We know which tap is the hot and which is cold tap and we know how to work the shower. We know the lay out of the kitchen and where everything is kept. Now if you were to leave your own home and go to live in someone else’s home for a while you will feel somewhat lost, or out of sorts for a bit until you find your way around. You are out of your comfort zone and just once you find your way around then this now becomes your comfort zone. So in short we are in the comfort zone when we are doing the things that we have already mastered and feel comfortable doing.
There are two ways of coming out of the comfort zone, one is within our control, it is by choice, seeing something that we want and going for it, the other is by life’s events, things that are out of our control such as death, redundancy, other peoples behaviour, storms and floods etc. etc. One thing is for sure is that we will experience coming out of our comfort zone whether voluntary or involuntary. The easier we become with ourselves and life, and the more we accept that change is inevitable the easier it will be to deal with what life offers. If we are fearful we will run away from situations, if we live life from a place of excitement we will go towards them. Bring about change today in your life by doing one thing ever day that will take you out of your comfort zone.