If you don’t do it now, you will probably never do it.
For many years I have heard this sentence, but it always passed from one ear to another.
And while I didn’t give it too much importance back then, today I feel like this sentence was written about a very specific, shallow time of my life.
Like that time when I hesitated too much time to ask a cute girl I met to date. And by the time I have finally summoned the courage to send her a message, she already started to date someone else.
Or maybe that time when I came back from Thailand and said that it’s all good, “tomorrow” I’ll start looking for a job, and ended up unemployed for a whole month.
Not to mention that time I told myself that I’m going to take writing more seriously, start a blog or maybe post some articles. Three hours later, I have found myself shouting and yelling at the TV because I’m losing to my little brother in FIFA again.
Yes, for a long, specific time of my life I have been a lot of things you may imagine yourself right now: a coward, slacker, horribly bad at FIFA — just choose. Though, if I needed to describe it in the best way, I would say that a long, specific time of my life I have spent inside my comfort zone.
What is the comfort zone?
According to psychologists, the comfort zone is a state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and (perceive they are) in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress. In this zone, a steady level of performance is possible.
Or, in other words, because I’m not a psychologist: the place where our lazy ass feels the safest.
And yes it applies for all of us. For you, the player who ends up every night with a different girl in his bed, but his experience with deep, meaningful relationships is so poor that the moment something good and serious starts to develop, he gets scared and runs away.
Also for you, who speaks for years about starting your own business, but the second you get the chance to expand your client base to more than two people, you start hesitating, citing a bunch of stupid excuses.
It’s not a criticism, it’s the simple truth that each and every one of us has his or her own, individual comfort zone.
Now I know what a big part of you are thinking: “There he goes, another prick who thinks he’s some kind of mentor while all that he’s going to tell us is: come on, get out of your comfort zone, fulfill yourself, get some kind of spiritual enlightenment that will give you an orgasm that lasts weeks blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
Because in my opinion, to get completely out of your comfort zone is too general, arrogant, and mainly stupid thing to do. To get completely out of your comfort zone can also be to get into your old-man new BMW and drive on 100 mph into a guardrail on the highway.
I’m sure the example above won’t be comfortable to any of us, but hey, at least you’ve got completely out of your comfort zone didn’t you? The trick in my opinion is not to get completely out of your comfort zone, but to expand it instead.
To be honest, this article will probably not change your life from end to end. It won’t make you awfully successful and rich. It also won’t make you fulfill your wildest dreams immediately. However, it will help you make the first step towards expanding your comfort zone, which in my opinion, is worth a lot.
LEGOs and wetting yourself
Not a single person is born with a comfort zone, In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons why I’m so envious of children.
Have you ever seen a child asking himself: “I’m not so good building LEGOs, should I avoid them?” or “I have never ridden a bike before, I should probably never try to learn.” No. They’re just going out there playing with LEGOs, learning how to ride a bike, and wetting themselves on morning break in front the whole kindergarten (shit).
Because when you’re a kid, without even noticing, you’re repeatedly expanding your comfort zone. You don’t think to yourself if it will pay off in the future, or what will happen if you fail, you’re just going out there and do it.
When you’re a kid, you have curiosity without the fears that come along with being an adult.
And when you fail, you cry a little bit and try again. And all of the sudden, you know how to pop a wheelie, and build the Empire State Building out of LEGOs, and wetting yourself without anyone noticing (it took me some time to get over it). The things that felt so scary and uncomfortable to you before have become an integral part of your comfort zone just by doing them repeatedly.
Your own prison
However, as the years pass, you start to create yourself an identity. Some kind of prison built from self definitions meant to make you feel special, but in fact, they do nothing but limit you.
“I will never lose weight, that’s in my nature.”
“I guess relationships are just not for me.”
“Why should I handle the headache of creating my own business? I’m more of a chill kind of person and it’s too much pressure anyway.”
Without noticing, the comfort zone in which we spent our whole childhood expanding has become our own prison.
At a certain point in life, we stop trying to expand it because this action threatens the way we see ourselves. Our fear of failure is no different from our fear of success. For whether we fail or succeed, our own identity will change and our comfort zone will grow a little bigger.
But here is the thing: The moment you overcome this stupid fear, the moment you dare to try something new. Whether you fail or succeed, unless you’ve gambled away all of your savings in Vegas or something like that, you understand that it’s probably not the end of the world.
And the next time you’re going to try this thing, you’re going to be a little less suck at it because your own comfort zone will be a bit bigger.
And if you are out there, reading this article, it means that I have also expanded my own comfort zone. From a one-bedroom apartment to a more proper place to live in. So whether it’s riding a bike, building with LEGOs, or maybe just wetting yourself, get out there and do it now. Because if you don’t do it now, you probably never will.