To My Fellow Comfort Zone Lovers, I Dare You To Run Towards What Scares You
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To My Fellow Comfort Zone Lovers, I Dare You To Run Towards What Scares You

Don't listen to that voice in your head, and you'll break through your barriers.

To My Fellow Comfort Zone Lovers, I Dare You To Run Towards What Scares You

You read that right. Run towards what scares you — what makes you uncomfortable.

Now, I will admit, it's a pretty vague motto and you have probably heard the phrase repeated countless throughout your life. "Face your fears," people always say. But how many people actually put in the effort to do this?

Not many. I would make a guess and say that maybe only 10% of people around us actively try to face their fears, and embrace being uncomfortable. You might be wondering where in the world I came up with that statistic. I'll tell you how I know so few people can face their fears: I know because people tend to live their lives in constant whining and anxiety. Humans complain and worry because we are afraid of something out there, whether it's fear of falling behind in classes, or fear of not being accepted by society. And this shouldn't be surprising: there's a reason why fear exists.

The only thing preventing me from fully living the life I want is the enemy of Fear. What if I spoke up right now? What if I went down that steep-ass waterslide?

Cue the unexplainable, crushing, oppressive feeling of fear weighing down on you.

I'll be the first to admit that the repulsive force of fear has defeated me countless times before. And I know that I will inevitably be defeated many more times in the future. So what causes this terrible plague to manifest itself in each and every one of our heads?

It comes down to this: our brain wants to keep us safe. It tells us to avoid anything that jeopardizes the comfortable status quo. Your brain doesn't want you to do anything hard. Your brain is afraid that you will grow stronger.

"Run towards what scares you." Let's take the phrase in the most literal sense. The first word is "run." The first thing I think of is physical running, but I believe run could allude to any form of physical exercise. How many people around you right now (including yourself) are exercising routinely? Congrats if you are. But how many people are challenging and pushing themselves? Yeah, you could go for a 20-minute walk each day and brag about how you consistently take care of your body. You could do some yoga every day for a couple of hours, and technically you would be "exercising." But, come on. Deep down, we know we are capable of more. We know we can achieve greater things.

Before the yogis and evening-strollers click off this article, hear me out. There's nothing wrong with taking care of your health, and doing so in an enjoyable, pleasant manner. I go for walks multiple times a day. I do yoga too. But I also understand that this is not enough. You can't stop at what feels good, what feels easy to do. If you like to do yoga, then challenge yourself by learning challenging, out-of-the-box techniques. Better yet, keep doing yoga but incorporate something like physical training to push yourself to your limits. You get nowhere doing only what you want to do. To put it frankly, you gotta do some shit that gets you out of your comfort zone.

Do I love to wake up for early morning runs? Hell, no. But do I understand what needs to be done? Yes. Does it improve my perspective and feelings towards life? Yes. I can't explain the victorious wave of joy when you realize that facing your fears does not kill you.

And you'll learn the same thing, if you haven't already. I promise. If you decide to stray away from the well-worn path of comfort, and embark on the journey to bettering yourself, you will learn to appreciate discomfort. Have you ever heard of the saying "comfort kills creativity?" How many people who you look up to, who are truly accomplished and happy people, how many of them live their lives in absolute comfort? Hint: not one.

If you don't run half-marathons, that doesn't mean you're a failure. You also don't need to start doing torturous exercise routines to face your fears. The point is to include activities in your life that challenge you. As David Goggins once said, "the greater the suffering, the greater the peace."

Challenge yourself. For the yogis, it might be to start expanding your repertoire of poses, and possibly teach others about your passion. For the casual Monday-evening gym-goers, it might be to learn some new movements that make you just a little bit sorer. For the half-marathon runner, who trains on the trails for hours on end, she might challenge herself by picking up a new hobby she's never been brave enough to try, like painting or writing. Everyone has fears. It's okay. Just don't shy away from them. Never run away from your fears: that's the biggest mistake you can make.

Instead, run toward your fears. There is a truly enlightening book written by Steven Pressfield titled "The War of Art.'" He argues that fear acts as a compass: it points towards the direction of greatest self-growth. It's a beautiful argument, and every bit as beautiful as it is true.

In a world that seems to be on pause, for the time being, we can take advantage of this time to re-evaluate our balance of comfort and discomfort. I urge you to avoid the lull of comfort, that killer of creativity and life. I will be alongside you every step of the way, because we are all fighting the same enemy: fear. The fight is won one day, one battle at a time. If we don't let fear hold us back, imagine the lives we could live.

But, enough talk. Let's start running towards those fears.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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