“There is no growth in a comfort zone and there’s no comfort in a growth zone.” – Unknown
Believing that life is a journey requires us also to believe that in living we are in the process of moving from one place to another. You can’t journey by staying in the same place and yet often we find ourselves sitting on the sidelines and observing as time moves by because it seems ‘safer’ and more comfortable to watch than to move into something new and unknown. This is especially true when it comes to finances. Whether this is because we feel unsure about our money management abilities or uncomfortable associating with people who have more wealth than we do, one thing is certain: we all have beliefs associated with wealth and rich people that can limit us from achieving our full financial potential unless we make a conscious effort to overcome them.
I wrote a post a few months ago about how our limiting beliefs can be an obstacle in our path to financial success and recently I’ve been thinking about how sometimes even the most discomfiting situation can be more pleasant that the anticipated pain of moving into something unfamiliar. Whether these beliefs are rooted in the messages that we heard as children or in the messages we’re currently absorbing via our peers, if they don’t serve to help us reach our goals then perhaps it’s worth taking some time to see if they should be replaced with new beliefs; ones that will help us get back into the journey and back on track towards achieving our goals?
Sometimes we get comfortable because life throws a financial curve ball that knocks us so far off track we forget how things used to be. We get so comfortable in the discomfort of our situation, so used to being constantly in panic mode, that any period of calm is haunted by the shadowing suspicion that something terrible is just around the corner and so we avoid the calm. Sometimes it’s simply that we worked hard to get comfortable, eliminated the debt, established the contingency fund and built wealth and now we’ve hit a plateau because we’re not comfortable moving to the “next level”. Wherever we are in our financial journey, it’s worth taking a step back and asking if we’ve become too content. Are we still pushing to achieve our financial goals and achieve our full potential or are we sitting back and coasting along; enjoying the view but not driving the ride?
If you’re coasting then you need to ask yourself why? Is it a much needed respite after a hard push to achieve a goal or is it simply that you’re comfortable with the familiarity of your situation and moving beyond it is just too scary a proposition? If it’s the former then take the time to enjoy the victory, to define and visualize the next step in your journey. If it’s the latter then maybe you need to ask yourself if your current situation has the potential to allow you to achieve your goals. If the answer is no then the next logical question is “what am I afraid of?” Whether it’s a fear of change, a fear of loss, a fear of failure or success, chances are there is something scary about the unknown consequences of your next step that has your brain madly trying to protect you from possible pain by discouraging you from moving forward.
Once you’ve established where this fear of the unknown is rooted then you can do your best to overcome it, replacing it with a new belief that serves you better and supports your moving forward in your financial journey. Remind yourself of your motivator and allow that to drive you out of your comfort zone and back into the growth zone that will allow you to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. In the words of Mark Twain; “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where all the fruit is.” Take the leap this week and make it your mission to get uncomfortable in the name of building fruitful, financial success.