I was listening to a friend preach and he was talking about when Peter walked on water in the middle of the storm after Jesus said come. My friend said something that blew my mind. He said: The miracle happened in the middle of the storm, in the middle of what was uncomfortable. That same weekend, I had another friend preach about having peace in the middle of what is uncomfortable.
At that moment, I was like OK GOD! I HEAR YOU!
Sometimes, we are called to step out of what is familiar, comfortable, and easy. And when we do, it can cause us to question ourselves. We can find ourselves like Peter, doing the uncomfortable thing but the moment we take sight off of the most important thing, we lose focus and we sink. We feel like we are suffocating. Drowning. Losing hope. Not able to keep going.
We question our effectiveness. We question who we are quite honestly. And if this hasn’t been you, let me speak for myself. When the main thing wasn’t the main thing and I put it on the back burner, my vision and sight shifted. I focused on my doubt. I focused on what I didn’t have. I focused on what wasn’t going right.
So how do you grow when you are out of your comfort zone?
1. Recognize that this is for your growth.
Being outside of our comfort zone is going to cause an internal disturbance. We enter what is called cognitive or emotional dissonance. Our comfort zone is our familiar place. The place where we know how to engage, operate, and function. When we step out of it, we feel an internal struggle. That is the space where we question ourselves. That is the space where we begin to question everything that we know. It is in that space that we can receive revelation. My Pastor said it like this: Revelation is given for advancement. You can’t expect to grow and not be uncomfortable. We have to acknowledge our feelings and thoughts during this time. Simply investigate them and keep moving forward. I want to pose a question for you. Isn’t this the same Peter who Jesus said that “this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). The same Peter who had faith to step out on the water and walk with Jesus, is the same Peter who received revelation from God about who Jesus is. The church was built on revelation. Not the personhood of Peter. So understand that stepping out of your comfort zone positions you for growth through revelation about yourself and God.
2. Understand that getting uncomfortable interrupts stagnation.
In that same sermon my friend preached about peace in the middle of a storm, he said something very profound. He talked about the still water that looks peaceful but on the bottom of it lies bacteria and other things that can cause an odor. I thought about this some more when I got home. Drinking this kind of water can potentially make you sick. But when the water moves, it has the potential to move the water through rocks which serve as a filter to remove bacteria. The movement interrupts the effects of stagnation. When we choose to move beyond our comfort zone, it interrupts that place of feeling stuck, hopeless, and defeated. Think about it like this, in order to even move out of your comfort zone, something inside of you had to make a mental shift and adjustment to try something new. Something inside of you had to tap into a level of resiliency because you “got sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. But remember the miracle didn’t happen until Peter got out of the boat. He could have sat there in the storm and slept and did nothing. He got up and walked on water instead of dying as he feared. You don’t have time to let your dreams die in stagnation.
3. Stepping out means you are stepping into.
Listen, this is the one for me. It blessed my life when God revealed this to me. The moment you step out of something, you are stepping into something. Think about changing your clothes. You step out of what you wore for that day into pajamas. Something different. When you step out of your car, you step into whatever new environment you are in. When you step out of your house, you step into the outside. You get the picture right? Whenever you step out of your comfort zone, the uncomfortable place is just a holding space. But you are really stepping into your next million-dollar idea. You are stepping into a place of revelation. That’s where we learn about ourselves- that uncomfortable place. That’s where we become innovative and are challenged to think differently. When Peter stepped out of the boat, his thinking had to literally shift to start walking on water. It was something that had never been done before until he saw Jesus doing it. There was an aha moment when something clicked in his brain that said, I trust Jesus and if he said to come, I can do it to! And as long as he kept focus on Jesus he did. When you step out of your comfort zone, you are stepping into a new mindset and revelation that has to potential to set you up for greatness.
All of this requires us to stay focused. Stay focused on your why. Stay focused on God. Stay focused on realizing that the more you know, the more you grow. The more you grow, the more you come into alignment with your vision and purpose. It’s all relative. We must really understand that getting out of our comfort zone is required if you want to be your authentic self. Even with clients, I tell them that the therapeutic process will challenge everything they’ve known about themselves. But in the end, it will be so worth it. Put in the work because you deserve you!