I’ve heard it said that the calmest place to be during a tornado is actually right in the eye of the storm. It possesses an almost eerie calmness, where chaos is replaced by peace.
But how many of you reading this know that actually, in the eye of the storm is where we all feel the most uncomfortable? Because sometimes we can’t see the other side, and the fact that we’re not in control is beyond daunting.
I’ve recently found myself in the middle of a storm, but it is a storm that I have helped facilitate. By that, I mean that I’ve played a helping hand in placing myself in an uncomfortable situation. Which might sound odd, but actually I’ve learnt that in order to move forwards in life we need to be causing friction in our comfort zones.
If we’re living in a place of utmost comfort, where exactly is the room for growth? Where exactly is the space for refining ourselves?
Change is daunting.
As humans we often find that we acclimatise to rhythm quite easily, because it gives a sense of order to our lives. I know that in my life, if I don’t have a sense of rhythm or order then everything else immediately feels more chaotic, and my stress levels skyrocket. Some people are capable of living the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants lifestyle, but I am not one of them.
So when the chess pieces are moved without me knowing the first, second third following moves then I begin to find myself wandering towards worry.
However, worrying solves nothing. If I were to total up all the hours in my life that I’ve spent embracing uncertainty and combatting it with worry and anxiety, then it becomes glaringly obvious that this accomplishes little.
How many hours a day do we spend fretting over something small and meaningless? But because it consumes our energy and thought in that one moment it then decides it can dictate the rest of our day. And the reason it worry and anxiety is given the space and influence to do that is because we let it.
Taking the first step into something new can be equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. But the important thing to focus on in that sentence is the ability change has to be exhilarating. That should be the driving force behind change: The thrill of trying something new. When that excitement is put in place, it quiets the other voices trying to stop you from making a decision in the first place.
When we take risks, there are usually two possible outcomes. The first is that we take the step in faith, and are rewarded with the next step right in front of us because we took the first one. And the second is that we fall down, sometimes flat on our face.
However, in either of those outcomes there is one commonality: movement.
We either move one foot in front of the other and continue walking forwards, or we fall down and get back up. Either way, we’re still progressing from whence we had originated. Whether our steps in front of us are obvious, or whether they require a little falling down and getting back up, there’s still movement.
We aren’t standing still in our comfort zone anymore. And because of that, we’re growing.
So whatever the challenge is that you’re facing, be encouraged that even if you fall at first, you’re still moving forward. And every time you get back up, you’ll be further on than if you’d just stood still in your comfort.
Author: Ed White