People talk a lot about stepping out of their comfort zone, but what does it really mean? Sometimes it means getting up and doing something that makes you afraid, but sometimes it means staying in a marriage or staying in a job when things aren’t going your way simply because it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it means balancing your checkbook, organizing the house or doing the mundane everyday things that need to be done so we are prepared to do the bigger things when they come our way. Stepping out of our comfort zone doesn’t have to be something that is what most of us think of as courageous like skydiving or going to some foreign land to “find your purpose”. It can be staying somewhere that is uncomfortable for us, because the truth is that we are only growing when we are uncomfortable.
For example, I like to start new things, but struggle to see them through to the end at times. When you’re starting something new the adrenaline’s pumping, it’s exciting and feels good jumping into the unknown, especially for an adrenaline junkie like me.
This has been my pattern for most of my life; in fact, it is something that I continue to struggle with from time to time. The idea comes and I get very excited and plan out what I’m going to do and I start out strong with determination and then comes the boring detail and the follow up part. Many times if I get off task for even a short period of time it seems impossible to get back into the groove and it’s easy to get distracted by thinking about the next thing I want to do. Here’s where maturity comes in and we have to determine not to be distracted from the task at hand. Maturity is about seeing things through to the end, even when it comes to the boring, not so glamorous parts. Maturity means you keep your commitment to finish what you start even if you think you’ll be moving on to something different when you’re done. Maturity means you finish as strong as you started.
Many people have said that standing up and giving my testimony is being brave, but I look at people that have stuck it out in marriages that seemed hopeless or jobs where they have been mistreated with a gracious attitude as the ones who are brave. Bravery to me is when someone maintains an attitude of gratitude while living in overwhelming circumstances. We need to maintain a balance between stepping out in faith and finishing what we committed ourselves to even when it doesn’t feel good. Staying put and keeping our commitments can be outside our comfort zone more than leaping into the next thing for many of us. There are things that we need to let go of because they are harming us. Sometimes we need to get out of toxic relationships or things that are not serving the purpose we’ve been given; however, if it becomes a pattern in our lives that’s when we need to look more closely at ourselves and our motives. If we spend our lives starting things but never finishing them we won’t be able to have much of an impact on the world around us. There are times when we need to let go of something and then there are times when we have to continue to push ourselves farther than we ever thought we could. The challenge comes in knowing when to press in and when to let go.
I challenge you today to examine yourself and your motives before making a change.
Is there something you need to let go of today or do you need to push through?