When we get comfortable we stop growing.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. In fact, there’s a very famous quote by Neale Donald Walsch, which states, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” And that couldn’t be truer. I know, from my own life experience, that my growth and expansion never came from a place of comfort and security. My success wasn’t achieved by staying within safe boundaries.
This was brought front and center for me, the realization that you have to get uncomfortable to reach success, this last year while I was attempting to complete a 100-mile ultra marathon. Back in March, I decided that I was going to run 100 miles by myself. So I signed up for the Wisconsin Kettle 100 in June, and I made it about 63 miles and got cut off. Ran out of time. Then, I went to Cleveland in July. I believe it was the Burning River 100 and made it about 75.6 miles. Well, last month I competed in and finally finished, my 3rd 100-mile ultra marathon. It was the Pony Express 100 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Let me tell you, this has been quite the journey.
It wasn’t easy, but I’m thankful for it because it has forced me to grow. Being committed to finishing a 100-mile race forced me to show up every day, whether I wanted to or not and train. It put me in a place to have to choose if I was going to be a man of my word, or give into the stories in my head and accept the excuses not to finish what I set out to do.
I could have quit after the first try, and I don’t think anyone would have blamed me. I tried, right? I made it over 60 miles! And I definitely could have been done after my second try. I ran over 75 miles. That’s a huge accomplishment! But it wasn’t what I’d said I was going to do, and even though I could have taken both of those races as “wins,” and no one would think less of me, I knew I would think less of myself.
Quitting after race #2 would have been the comfortable thing for me to do.
It would have been a notch on my belt to have competed and gotten as far as I did, and I could have walked away into that comfortable space. But I refused to do that. Keeping your word to the people around you is important, but keeping your word to YOURSELF can be the difference between reaching your goals, or staying stuck where you are right now.
Allow yourself to get uncomfortable. Make the choice to step out of your comfort zone and fight for and struggle for your goals. That’s where the growth and magic happen.