As we grow up and move along the journey of life we pick up habits, customs and routines. We settle down into a way of life that is comfortable, manageable and acceptable to the people around us. Yet for most of us, we crave for something more. We desire a better job, a better social life, a better house, car and holidays. We have this constant feeling we can be better than we currently are, but, we ignore it. We feel where we are today is where we are supposed to be and all those people who keep telling us we can do better and achieve greater things are just snake oil salespeople talking rubbish and trying to sell us things.
This thinking conveniently ignores the thousands of people who have got up of the sofa and begun going out for a run every evening, read the self-help books, taken the courses and workshops and made the decisions to change their lives and achieve great things. All those hundreds of thousands of people who have watched Jim Rohn talks, been to Tony Robbins’s Unleash the Power Within events and read Zig Ziglar’s books. People, just like you and me, who have changed their lives and created a success because that desire to be better than the person they were was just too strong to ignore and they walked out of their comfort zones. They ignored the naysayers and their so-called friends who criticised them because of their own inability to step outside their comfort zones.
I learnt at a very early age that we all have the power to change our lives at any time we choose. When I was twelve years old, I got myself in with the wrong crowd. I began smoking, I didn’t study in school and I was heading for a disastrous life. As a twelve-year-old, I didn’t know I was heading for disaster. At that time, I thought I was cool. But one day, I had to run a cross-country run during a school games lesson and I came first! This was on the back of no training and a lot of smoked cigarettes. My teacher pulled me to one side after that run and told me I had talent and I should develop it. He told me to turn up for cross-country practice later that week and he would help me become a runner.
I started running, I joined the cross-country team and then in the summer I started running 800 and 1,500 metres on the track. Within two years I was the Bradford and West Yorkshire schools 1,500-metre champion. By sixteen I had become my school’s cross-country and athletics team captain, my school work improved dramatically, I gave up smoking and hanging out with the wrong crowd and I became a school prefect. This all happened because I made a decision when I was twelve years old to change my life, to get out of my comfort zone and do something different and that decision began a transformation that helped me to have a successful school life and introduced me to something I still love doing — running.
Every day, we all have the opportunity to change our lives. We always have a choice to end the destructive habits and routines we have developed and start doing more positive, life-improving activities. If, over the years, because of your addiction to fast food you have piled on the weight, you can choose to stop eating junk food. You can choose to eat healthily. You can choose to get up off the sofa and go out for a walk for an hour every day. If you hate your job you can always choose to enrol at your local college and learn new skills and find another job you enjoy doing. If you find you are struggling to pay your mortgage and are sinking further into debt, you can always choose to get a part-time job and earn some extra money. Instead of sitting around at home complaining about how little money you have, you could choose to sit down and plan out an online course and sell that through Skillshare or Udemy. There are so many ways you can change and improve your life, all you have to do is accept your current habits and routines are not doing you any favours and you can choose to change them.
None of this is easy, I accept that. But what is the alternative? If you continue with your self-destructive, unhappy lifestyle what will the end game be? One thing for sure is it won’t be very pleasant.
It is easy to stay inside our comfort zones and blame external forces for the way our life has turned out. Those external forces don’t care. The government doesn’t care you choose to sit on the sofa every night eating fast food and killing yourself. In fact, the government is probably very happy you are doing it. It means less money to pay for your retirement. No matter where you are today, you have the power to change the direction your life is going in. All it takes is one decision to move away from what is holding you back and start taking action towards a life you deserve and a life you can build for yourself. It really is your choice.
Every day, thousands of people, just like you and I, make decisions to move outside their comfort zones and make improvements to their lives. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail. That’s just the way life is. But this move away from their comfort zones makes them a little stronger, a little more determined to get better and slowly their lives improve. They become more positive, less accepting of life as it is and continue making improvements. The great thing about deciding to walk out of your comfort zone is it shows you that anything is possible and you gain momentum to becoming a better, stronger, happier you.
Your comfort zone is a dangerous place. It prevents you from improving, it stops you from achieving all the things you are capable of achieving and it makes you miserable. So, make a decision today to change something in your life that you are unhappy with and start experiencing positive changes.
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