COLLEGE PARK, MD –
Recently, we discussed the discomfort of pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones.
That discussion entailed a few words on pushing the right amount – getting the sweet spot between overextending ourselves and resting on our laurels.
Continuing along the subject of appropriate discomfort, is the reality that we will also feel scared and anxious at the very points of growth we’re hoping to reach.
This presents a quagmire of sorts for the one who is a slave to his or her comfort.
(Please note that I am not simply referring to physical comfort. Emotional and spiritual discomfort can be just as, if not more, taxing on us.)
Generally, I believe we all have aspirations and hope for growth and healing. The two are inextricably linked.
If we’re attached to our comfort (there is nothing wrong with appropriate comfort; being attached indicates that it isn’t appropriate, though) we will inevitably be trapped in the quicksand of our plights.
Growth and healing take place at the frontiers of discomfort.
This can create an anxiety-inducing scenario for us. On the one hand, we realize we cannot live indifferently. We must push for improvement.
On the other hand, we can be scared of the discomfort that we recognize is a prerequisite to improvement.
There’s no escape from this dilemma. There is only a choice: comfortably stagnate or uncomfortably grow. In other words, give up or keep pushing.
Stay the course
In our quest to improve ourselves, our circles of influence and beyond through responsibly challenging the limits of our current comfort zones, there will be times of doubt – especially as we near an opening.
It is ok to be scared. It is a natural part of the process of growth. Without it, growth wouldn’t really be possible.
Taking a deep breath and going for it when we have given all we can in intention and preparation, realizing we have no one and nothing to rely on other than God is where the real change happens.
It is easy to say that, but most people won’t keep pushing forward empowered by Faith and Reliance when the anxiety strikes.
Strong people aren’t fearless, they just keep pushing when they’re scared.
Most of our fear is probably rooted in our apprehension of an uncomfortable, uncertain future.
So comfort for many of us is not actually comfortable at all. It is simply a known commodity. A famous anecdote to relay this point is that of a poorly-treated slave who is scared of freedom.
His or her slavery is not actually comfortable, but the uncertainty of freedom can be even more daunting to imagine for one in that scenario, God forfend.
We can also refer to a widely-sited quotation that states, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
My opinion is the way to be open to the light is reliance on God.
If we don’t keep pushing, it will be all but impossible to rely on Him. If we don’t rely on Him, it will be all but impossible to keep pushing.
I hope to explore how we can responsibly keep pushing in a future post, God willing. One of the most destructive deceptions is to be deluded into thinking we’re pushing for growth when we’re really serving our lower selves.
God protect us and allow us to understand properly. Amen.
Pushing for growth,