Many of us want change in our lives in some way.
Maybe we want more confidence, less anxiety, higher self-esteem, less overthinking, or more success—it’s in our nature to want to grow. We’re built to expand ourselves and our lives.
But many of us also stay in the “wanting” of change. Our experience of it stays out of grasp as our actions don’t match up to our words, or our patience doesn’t last, or we don’t even know where to begin. Uncomfortable comfort zones (aka stuck zones) are a very real thing, and I totally get what it’s like to have all these beautiful ideas and a vision for how things could be without the change ever coming to fruition.
Until that got too frustrating for me and something had to give.
As Tony Robbins says:
“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”
From my own experience, and from what I see in my clients, results happen when we have these three essential c’s:
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~ Anais Nin
Of course, it can be scary stepping out of the comfort zone. We’re wired to like the familiar; it makes us feel safer and feeling safe is nice. But coming from someone with a business called Dare to Live, there’s no way I’m about to start advocating for living a life that always plays it safe.
Especially not when you have a desire for more—when you want to feel differently, when you know life could be better, more exciting, or more fulfilling. Staying tucked away safe in your stuck zone isn’t going to get you what you want.
This isn’t about rampant risk-taking, this is simply about living. Life begins outside our comfort zone. If we want to have a different experience, we’ve got to do something different. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
So recognise, yes, fear will probably arise when you choose to step outside of the familiar—and that’s okay. Because courage is fear walking. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway, and the more you flex that courage muscle, the stronger it gets.
Of course, I was scared the first time I admitted I wasn’t okay. I was afraid to ask for help. It was scary to try different therapists. It was scary to keep going. I was afraid when I had setbacks; I was even afraid when I was doing well sometimes, wondering when it was going to end. But each scary step and each commitment to courage got me to my freedom.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell
Change is not a tick-the-box process of showing up once, having a realisation, and then going back to how we were living before. When we’re seeking real significant change like learning to truly love ourselves, overcoming fear, or building strong self-trust, it’s going to take time. And why wouldn’t it? The life we’re living right now is a culmination of years of experiences, conditioning, repeated thought patterns, emotions, societal influences, fears, and heaps more.
This isn’t about being nice to ourselves once; it’s an everyday thing. It’s getting ongoing support. It’s doing self-care daily. It’s continuing even when it’s challenging.
For me, it was showing up to sessions weekly, going to group therapy regularly, consistently working on my mindset, persistent awareness of my reactions, triggers, and unhelpful patterns, and putting in the ongoing effort to become who I wanted to be. Every single bit compounds—it all matters and it works. But if we’re half-hearted or hit-and-miss with how we approach this, that’s the kind of result we’re going to get.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.” ~ Jim Rohn
Change doesn’t happen when we’re just interested in the idea of it; it happens when we are committed. When I was in recovery, I didn’t always want to go to sessions. I didn’t always want to do the work, but I did very much want the result. I wanted freedom. So I (stubbornly) knew I was not stopping till I got what I wanted. Even when there were setbacks, when it felt like I was going one step forward and two steps back, when it was confronting and hard—I was committed to my vision of freedom.
And so, bit by bit, my vision of freedom became the reality I live in.
We’ve got to be committed to make anything different happen in our lives. Otherwise, we’re choosing to stay committed to how things are now. We’re committing to half-living an uncomfortably comfortable life.
Change is possible for any of us, regardless where we’re coming from, how low we might feel, or what’s happened in our lives. It’s available—if we are.