Diving into Your Discomfort Zone

"Unfaced fears become your limits." -Jayson Gaignard

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do at the beach was to play tag with the waves. (My dog Asche’s favorite beach activities are smelling dead things and digging holes. As you can tell, we have so much in common.)

I remember the slap of my feet on the wet sand as I darted up to the waves to see how close I could creep before rushing madly back to safety.

Crashing and retreating again and again, the waves left a strip of damp sand. Envision that section as your comfort zone. Most of us spend our lives dashing back and forth between where we feel safe and the edge of comfort, again and again, but rarely take the extra step into the ocean.

The wet, salty side of that threshold is where your growth and your freedom lie.

The truth is, you can’t stay outside of your comfort zone forever, nor should you. Quite a few dangers may be churning beneath the surface of the waves, and there are no promises that you’ll come out unscathed (or with the results you want).

But I have no regrets about any time I’ve dared to swim in the ocean (even when I get tossed around by the waves and end up with sand in places it should never go).

Each time I move or travel to a new location, it’s like taking a dip in the ocean.

When I deepen a relationship, I wade a little deeper than I dared before.

With each new step toward building my dream business, I leave the security of walking on solid ground to let the uncertainty of the unknown influence my path far more than I feel comfortable with.

It’s not always a smooth ride. I’ve had my fair share of salt water burning my nostrils, I’ve been tumbled beneath the waves, and I’ve been pushed underwater for longer than I thought I could hold my breath.

You would think that knowing I always make it back alright would inspire some confidence, and that it might make it easier to take the plunge the next time.

But it doesn’t. New experiences still stir up enough fear in me to cause me to hesitate at the edge of the water.

Emotionally, this fear is enough to hold me back. But logically, knowing that each time I cross that threshold I grow, learn, and expand my comfort zone is a strong enough call to re-enter each time I find myself at the edge.

So, what are you currently hesitating to make a move on? What would it take to quit chasing the waves and dive into your discomfort zone?