Costa Rica and Comfort Zones
This post was published about 8 hours before my family and I boarded a plane bound for Central America. Our intention? A month long stay in Costa Rica.
“When was the last time you did something that scared you?” was one of the first questions he asked!
Why in the world was he asking this? I hired him to help me with marketing and branding…not to be a life coach.
I attempted to change the subject, but he pressed further, “when was the last time you forced yourself outside of your comfort zone? I mean really outside of your comfort zone!”
“Umm, well, I did, umm….I’m not really sure. WHY?!”
It doesn’t matter if you’re a full time employee or if you’re an entrepreneur. Every day a battle is taking place between the future that you desire and the present space you have built to make yourself comfortable.
Some would argue the strong desire to stay within our comfort zone is a result of our instinctive Flight or Fight Mechanism. Some would say it’s just out of complacency or plain laziness. It doesn’t matter why it occurs. No, what matters is that you acknowledge its existence and act despite the latent fear the comfort zone causes you.
Somehow he knew that I was comfortable. He knew that it was costing me in all areas of my life. So he kept pushing the issue…and finally asked,
“What’s something you have always wanted to do, but haven’t done?”
My response was simply two words, “Costa Rica”.
Since reading The Four Hour Work Week over four years ago I’ve wanted to spend at least a whole month living and working in Costa Rica.
What about you? Is there something you have always wanted to do, but haven’t done for whatever reason?
What is that thing? That action? That dream?
His next question was, “What is preventing you from doing it?”
- Cost too much
- It would hurt my business
- Wouldn’t be able to run my business remotely
- Too much going on to leave
- Never a good time to go
- What if…
“Excuses are tools designed to keep you in your comfort zone, and steal your future – nothing more!”
You see, all of those excuses existed four years ago when I first decided I wanted to spend a month in Costa Rica. The best time to step out of your comfort zone is as soon as you realize it is there. The longer you wait the bigger your list of excuses grows, and the more difficult it becomes to break out of your comfort zone.
He advised me to no longer talk about the trip and all the reasons we couldn’t go. He told me I had to do two things: book our flights and tell others about the trip. I did both. If I hadn’t done it then, we wouldn’t be in Costa Rica right now.
Booking the flights caused me to make a financial commitment, and telling others about the trip ultimately forced me to stay committed to the trip. After all, if we didn’t go, people would have asked why we didn’t go; and I would have had to bring out that list of excuses again and again.
Our trip to Costa Rica ultimately happened because of this uncomfortable conversation. I’m thankful that he was willing to have an uncomfortable conversation with me.
Right now you may not have anyone willing to have an uncomfortable conversation with you. If that is the case, I would recommend you find a coach. If a coach isn’t an option right now, I hope this post helps you have an uncomfortable conversation with yourself. Maybe that conversation will enable you to do something you’ve never done before.
Comfort Zones Kill!
They destroy dreams. Smother aspirations. Stifle businesses. Keep lives from being fulfilled. Happiness from being pursued. Hopes from being realized. Comfort Zones are the hunter pursuing the wild beasts (all of the above) inside you. Eventually they’ll hunt them to extinction. Don’t let Comfort Zones kill your future!
Questions for you:
When was the last time you did something outside of your comfort zone?
When was the last time you did something that scared you?
What is something that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?
Why haven’t you done it?
What are all the reasons you haven’t done it?
What is one thing you can do today to help force yourself to do it?
Who are five people you can tell about this thing you are going to do?
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