Let me show you my best painting secret!
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All fear based and limiting thoughts must be challenged or they will master you. Simple as that.
What is a comfort zone anyway? Roughly speaking you are in a comfort zone when you no longer have any desire to try something different. Your boundaries are self-created and you are safe within them. Everything else seems risky. Just a moment! Is comfort not what we all want? What we toil for all our lives? Well I have no problem with comfort. If my bed was not comfortable I would be grumpy the next day. You would not want to wear a hair-shirt just because it is uncomfortable I hope. No the real issue here is safety and fear. The eternal struggle within us all.
Why does a comfort zone do us more harm than good? Look if all humans were happy with comfort zones then what would have motivated prehistoric humans to get out of their caves. Once fire was discovered I imagine the cave was rather snug. Nasty animals could be scared away, people were warm and the steaks tasted better cooked. I like to imagine that at some point a trouble maker thought how nice it would be to sit in the cave and watch a box in the corner that had pictures of other people doing things. Maybe extreme bison hunting? So the television was invented. Someone pushed through a comfort zone and amazing things followed.
Seriously though the safety of a comfort zone is often an illusion. A mental sate. Some people get shaken out of this inertia when their safe job gets downsized. Others need a tragedy to get them thinking about new directions.
Now I am suggesting that materialism should motivate us to get out of the safety cage of life. What is true though is that without breaking these self-imposed limits now and then we start to die slowly but surely. First in motivation then we laugh less and the spirit begins to wither. One day we notice that more than half our lives have passed and there is still much to do, but is it too late? In short – no it is never too late!
The time for action is today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is a mystery, but we have today. By God I am not going to waste another precious day! Who cares what people think? Will this offend someone? What will my family think if I decide to write a book, paint professionally or get rid of my grey clothes and start a new look? Whatever it may be life demands that we take risks. It demands that we feel alive and do something the defies inertia. Do no harm to others of course and be kind to yourself, but get moving. This is not a call to retail therapy. This is to feed the soul. The child within that knows no limits.
The struggle with comfort zones is a constant one for artists. The writer who cannot follow a bestseller with another big hit may be facing an invisible wall of self-doubt. The painter who knows that his work is tight, but is fearful of making a fool of himself if he loosens up. All fear based and limiting thoughts must be challenged or they will master you. Simple as that.
So despite all out modern conveniences let us not strive to be limited by comfort. Let us strive to be excited by life. Who knows what is possible if we challenge ourselves. Starting now!