Comfort is the Enemy of Progress

Last night I went to see The Greatest Showman in theaters with some friends. First of all, let me just say this was an incredible movie! Whether the character was a true depiction of the actual man or not, P.T. Barnum is an individual that doesn’t give up on his dreams, no matter what unfortunate circumstances arose. He believed in his dreams, and in something bigger than himself. He didn’t give up on his pursuit despite what was considered unfavorable or unpopular. He believed in others even when they didn’t believe in themselves. He saw the bigger picture. And… he knew that what he needed to do in order to see his dreams through would require him to think outside the box and step outside of his comfort zone. After the movie, a quote from P.T. Barnum lingered on my mind, “Comfort is the enemy of progress.”

Stepping out of our comfort zone requires us to step outside of ourselves. If we are going to strive for progress, whether professionally or personally, we have to get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. This isn’t easy for everyone. For someone like me, who is self-prescribed introvert, this can be difficult. Stepping out of our comfort zone requires extra effort, energy, and sometimes forced experiences. It requires us to set aside our fear and be vulnerable. We have to be willing to try something new, different, difficult, or even something that’s never been done before. We have to put ourselves out there — trusting in ourselves and trusting others with our most vulnerable self. It’s a frightening thought. What if we get it wrong? What if we look silly? Will it be worth it in the end? Will I stand alone? What if I fail? Oh but, what if I succeed and evolve?

That feeling of fear reminds you that you’re still alive. The worry of not knowing what to do when you get there reminds you that you have more room to grow and learn. The frightening feeling of being exposed and vulnerable reminds you that you’re not alone and that you’re human. What’s more exciting than knowing you haven’t quite reached your full potential…. that this great state you already exist in is only just the tip of the iceberg… and that even as magnificent as you are right now, it is only a glimpse of the incredible potential still within you?

What are some things you have been avoiding because it’s outside of your comfort zone? What has fear kept your from pursuing? I’d love to hear from you, so leave a message below in the comments!