Lately I’ve been on a rant (I know, when am I not, right?) about those memes that go around… I know you’ve seen them… they all say something along the lines of “here’s you” (small dot on the page) and “here’s all the good stuff that happens way the hell over where you aren’t” (big circle on the other side of the page). They imply that you are in a comfort zone, and everything magical and good that could possibly happen is out of your loser reach because you’re too set in your ways to reach for the good stuff. That you can’t grow unless you leave your comfort zone. That all the good stuff happens outside of your comfort zone. That you can’t possibly grow and change and TRULY LIVE unless you are out of your comfort zone; great things never come from it; nothing ever grows there.
I call bullshit.
There is a big difference between a RUT and a COMFORT ZONE. Do you know how hard it is for some people to reach a comfort zone? Do you know how many uncomfortable, hard things some people have had to do to make themselves a comfort zone? People who have cut negative people – toxic friends and family – out of their lives, to have a comfort zone? People who have left bad jobs, painful relationships, moved to foreign countries… to be able to carve out a comfort zone for themselves? And yet here’s meme culture saying “that’s not enough”. Makes me want to punch meme culture in the throat.
Did you work hard for your comfort zone? Is your comfort zone something you fought for? Something you paid for in blood, sweat, and tears? Do you have the battle scars from cutting someone toxic out of your life? Did you have sleepless nights from a job that always wanted more from you, no matter how much you gave it? Do you have a past you don’t like to talk about, or a present you thought you’d never get? Then don’t give a second thought to people who tell you your comfort zone is a place of stagnation. You worked damn hard for that place of comfort. That place of comfort is a place to firmly plant your feet and stand tall. That comfort zone is the calm eye in the center of the storm of life. Your comfort zone is your retreat, your place to recharge your batteries and fortify yourself.
And you deserve that. You deserve a calm space in which you can firmly plant your feet, grow your roots and become strong enough to reach for things. Living life in an UN-comfortable zone is unfortunately common – how many of us are almost always uncomfortable where we are, in our own skin? We’re taught from an early age that the grass is always greener somewhere else and that we’re nobody if we’re not reaching for MORE. But what often makes us more brave? More able to face fears? More able to relax? Comfort. A place where we can spread out and not be judged and be ourselves. From that zone we can relax, recuperate, reconstruct ourselves, begin knowing and strengthening our selves.
Your comfort zone isn’t a rut, isn’t a chain holding you back. Your comfort zone is your place of power.