Whether we realize it or not, most of us live within a prison of our own making. This prison doesn’t have metal bars, nor can its walls be seen with our physical eyes. However, it is every bit as powerful in keeping us from our freedom as a real life prison cell.
And what is this spiritual prison? It’s called our comfort zone.
Comfort zones have the ability to metamorphosis into a variety of different forms — from the geographical area in which you live to the circle of people with whom you interact, to the amount of money you earn.
The primary energy that keeps you living within the confines of your comfort zone is your belief about what will happen if you move outside it. This belief is based in fear, and we all have them.
Regardless of how irrational or unrealistic that belief may be, you will accept it as truth depending on the level of certainty you need.
Your comfort zone is not actually comfortable at all, but in reality is a virtual prison that keeps you from growing and transforming as a human being.
The bars to that prison are made up of your fears. They may be fears about what may possibly happen if you move beyond them or fear of the unknown… Subsequently, the key to your freedom lies in the removal of the underlying beliefs that cause those fears to remain alive.
Just for a moment, think about a goal or dream you have that seems out of reach somehow. Now check to see if achieving it requires that you move out of your comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory, which is located in the land of the unknown and the uncertain.
It could be a dream job, a new relationship, starting your own business, losing weight, or living in a completely different part of the world.
As you practice this exercise, notice how a subtle feeling of fear, anxiety, or nervousness begins to emerge in your head, chest, or stomach area.
This is your unconscious mind springing into action, whose intention is to dissuade you from doing anything it perceives may put you in danger. This comes from the amygdala, the part of the brain that experiences emotion and wants to keep you safe.
More often than not, you won’t notice the constant influence your comfort zone plays in your life, and you may find yourself placing the blame for your lack of progress towards your goals, or laziness or procrastination.
However, if you stop to consider why you aren’t able to get that item crossed off your to-do list, make that phone call, or fill out that application, you may begin to recognize the true cause: What you want to do is outside your comfort zone.
It is your subconscious beliefs that direct your mind to do this; therefore, in order to break through your self-imposed limitations and achieve the success you deserve, you will need to remove them.
And the best way to remove an unproductive belief is to replace it with a productive one. This doesn’t occur over night, but like replacing an unconstructive habit with a constructive habit, it takes time, practice, and patience.
Shan White, a certified life coach, helps women heals themselves from the trauma of divorce by putting their lives back together piece by piece.
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