December 22, 2022

Is your comfort zone keeping you safe or small?

Vulnerability by motivational speaker, Jacques de Villiers

“Alas, for those who never sing, but die with the music in them.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

As an author, I’m well versed in the Hero’s Journey storyline. It is the most used tool in stories, movies, television, books etc. Think Star Wars and Harry Potter.

As writers and marketers we use the Hero’s Journey in our text as well (to a lesser or greater degree). Our hero is ambling along in his/her normal life. An inciting incident disrupts normal life (geyser bursts, we get ill, relationships fuck out, our car licence expires and so on). We then accept the call to fix the problem and thus go on an adventure. We find a mentor (service provider). We go through trials. We go through the dark night of the soul. We get the prize. We take the elixir back to our tribe so that they benefit. We learn valuable lessons. We grow. We are better off.

You get the picture.

Most people prefer the status quo

Here’s the problem, though. Most people don’t really want to grow, become better and dent the universe. We’re quite happy to stay in our ordinary world … in our comfort zone. The zone where our dreams go to die.

This is understandable, of course.

I don’t know about you, but every time I venture over the wall of comfort, I run into a lot of pain. As a writer, the pain comes wrapped up in rejection and ridicule.

And, danger.

In my case, I also write copy for clients. If the stuff I write is too far out there for them, I could lose the job. I have to eat, so I take the coward’s (or realist’s) route and go back to writing banal and safe copy. I go back to both our comfort zones because it is safer and less painful there (for both of us).

But that’s the problem with a comfort zone. We go to it because it is supposed to keep us safe. But, actually, all it does is keep our lives small.

Let no one kid you. When you step out of your comfort zone, you are going to be massively uncomfortable and feel pain. That’s just the way it is. But if you accept the call to adventure, and can cut through the Gordian Knot of complexity, pain and discomfort, the whole of Asia will open up for you. A magical world full of endless possibilities awaits you.

There’s one thing that every Hero’s Journey has that will make the journey easier, and that’s a mentor.

Taking the first step of your journey towards endless possibilities is not the real thing that takes courage. It’s opening yourself up to possible (highly likely) failure and disappointment.

The superpower that will get you through this is vulnerability. Without being vulnerable, you can’t move forward. And, we all need help with moving forward, don’t we?

That’s why we have to become vulnerable, and open ourselves up to being helped. We have to ask for help. We need mentors.

I don’t know about you, but that’s where my courage is tested. I could ask for help, and get rejected. Just the thought of being rejected makes me want to throw up and cringe in fear. It makes me want to avoid asking for help so that I can scuttle back to my comfort zone … the place where my dreams go to die.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be like that, does it? Become vulnerable and ask for help so that you can move forward. What if you could enter a world of endless possibilities? How would that feel? How would that look?

I think it would feel fabulous.

Remember, you were created as a masterpiece whose job it is to craft a master-work.

Go. Go do this.

I can’t wait to see what mischief you’re going to get up to. Whatever it is, it will benefit you and, by extension, us.

3 Comments on “Is your comfort zone keeping you safe or small?

Peter Harley
March 7, 2023 at 8:12 pm

Hey Jacques, I genuinely love reading your work. I pray to God for your ship to sail into the harbour with good material fortune.

In my case, I hope you write the stuff that is far out for the audience the future outrages the better. You won’t lose the job with me.

God bless you man ♂️. I’m your biggest fan and I promise to promote your work and writing to my last breath.

Jeanné LeClair Stapelberg
March 8, 2023 at 7:21 pm

Jacques I can relate to that dreaded idea of being vulnerable. When it feels like you’re giving up on control or loosing your independence. I’m the captain of my ship and now I have to show the world that I don’t actually know the exact direction to take. But knocking on someone’s door for advice or support is so liberating. It opens your mind to new and exciting possibilities.

Thank you I enjoyed this piece. I love reading your work.

Jacques de Villiers
March 9, 2023 at 4:46 pm

Thank you Jeanné,

I appreciate you commenting. And, thanks for loving my work.


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