Anyone who has been to one of my cycle classes has heard me say this before because physically, it is spot on. Our comfort zone is exactly what it sounds like – a place in which we are comfortable. Our bodies like routines and will naturally take the path that is most familiar unless we tell it to do otherwise. So, if we are wanting to change any part of our bodies, getting out of that comfort zone is really the only option. For some, going a walk is challenging your body beyond its comfort and for others it’s giving your spin bike an extra turn of resistance. The beauty of it is, everyone’s body is different and your job is just to know your own.
Don’t we all wish every area of change were that simple? Unfortunately, our comfort zones go beyond our physical bodies. Change is not always fun. It’s actually very tough and sticky more times than not. It can come in all kinds of shapes from getting married and combining two imperfect families to receiving a new boss with a new set of expectations to moving into a brand-new city and everything in between. In this world, we can count on two things: Jesus and change. Change pulls us out of our comfort zone all over again and many times, we fight it with all our might. As uncomfortable as it is, I have never known someone who did not come out on the other end better than when they began. There is always a lesson to be learned even in the worst possible situation.
I love the analogy of the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson. He paints the picture of these two little mice in a maze with a beautiful buffet of cheese. Until one day, the cheese is all gone. One of the mice thinks about it for a second and then just takes off in the maze to search for the cheese in another place. The other one however, throws a big pity party for himself, complaining about someone else moving “his cheese.” (Anyone guilty of being the second mouse, besides me)? This happens a few different times, but the point is, our plans in life will always being turned upside down at some point or another. In these cases, we have two choices: mope around and blame someone else or take off and find another way. It’s much easier said than done, but the author speaks the truth when he says, “It is safer to search in the maze than to remain in a cheeseless situation.”
What if we all had this attitude towards change? How would it affect the world we live in? Instead of being afraid and digging our heels into the ground, let’s take the effort to face it and embrace it head on. The cheese that you’re missing might just be found outside of your comfort zone.