The growing pains of leaving your comfort zone

Crossing the bridge not knowing where you are goingEarlier I have already written about The Secret, a spiritual guide that states that it is our mentality and our personal motivations that help you get what you want from The universe. I’ve also written how I believe that you cannot go and ask the universe what you want as it’s not a car dealer or a bank.  See, I do believe that these motivations are more materialistic. They say that, as long als you act as if you already own that thing that you want, you will get it eventually. In a way, I would have to say again: That’s. Not. How. It. Works.

In the other hand though, I’ve also experienced  things similar to what is being preached in The Secret. See, two years ago I set myself a goal, an ambition where I wanted to work for. I said very clearly to myself:

“In 2017 I will have this position in my career, with these benefits and this status.”.

And I started to work towards this ambition. I ventured out into the world to develop myself. I enrolled in a school which would help me grow in specific parts which would be necessary for this position but which I recognised as being lacking at that time. And I made sure that the people would eventually would have to help me grow into that new position were aware of my ambition.

But, I was clearly in a comfort zone. I started stretching the borders of that comfort zone. I started acting as if I was already in that new position whilst being in a different position. In other words: I forced my environment to bend in a way that was not natural to them. I forced them to move with me, completely forgetting that this environment was already in a certain flow that would not easily change. And they were not supposed to change! The result was that my environment, my comfort zone, did not feel comfortable at all anymore. Oh, the tears that I’ve cried and the pains that I’ve  felt. I have been called out and judged upon. And I did not even recognize myself anymore. My ambition, my acting to the things that I wanted, had resulted in me becoming a person who I did not want to be at all. And the worst part: I blamed my environment. During that time I did not have the power to look inside me. To see where the painpoint actually was. All I did was point to the others. They were the bad guys, not me.

I was completely scared. Terrified. I wanted that change but it had to be inside my safe environment. Writing this down I can almost hear the universe laughing: “Haha, you are too funny, thinking that that’s the way how I roll.”
See, the universe  had not intended that I would change to that new position and that my environment would easily change with me. The change was meant for me and me alone. It took me really a long time to realize that. Now that the dust is setteling, now I come to slowly understand this.

See, after another disappointment I finally hit a level. I said to myself: ok, I think that I should maybe consider leaving this environment. Man, I was so scared. I did not believe at all in myself anymore. I believed that I would never succeed, that any possible new environments would only laugh at me and say: “What are you doing here? You are not good enough to be in our environment. Please stay where you are, that’s the only thing that you can achieve.”.  My negative spiral of thoughts pulled me down, down, down.

However, in early 2017 things started to look up. I don’t why it happened. I don’t know where it came from, but when I ventured out into the world, knees trembling, palms sweating, thinking very little of myself, I was met with pure trust and beliefs. From new people.  People who had never even met me before. And they said: “I think you can do cool stuff. I think there is a match here.”. I did not have to change their environment to match to what I wanted. They had the perfect environment for me all ready and all I had to do was take the big leap and jump into it. Where my old environment was unable to match my needs (which, again, is not their fault!), a new environment was able to match completely to what I need.

All I had to do was look beyond what was in my safe zone. Step over that border. Release the fear.

And the funny thing is, when I finally went to say my goodbyes to my old comfort zone, I was met with love, care, trust. People who told me what for an positive impact I have had on them over the years, people who complimented me on my growth, my development. I realized how big of an influence my fight has had on my own view of that environment. And most importantly; how wrong I was.

I suppose this is all part of the growing pains that the universe puts you through. People have the tendency to only develop themselves when they are uncomfortable to stage that it’s causing them actual physical problems. For me, it also showed me a deeper layer of fear, one that I believed to have overcome already years ago: the feeling of not being good enough. See, the universe put me in a position where exactly this belief was challenged. It went and said to me: “It’s still there, maybe it’s time that you pick up and start working on it again.”

Now I can start acting how I decided to act two years ago. In an environment that is actually expecting that from me. I got what I set out to get this year. I reached that ambition. But I only realized early this week that this goal that I set two years ago has been reached. It took me two years to get there, two years of ups and downs and fighting and laughing. But now I am here. And now it’s time to take on the next step.

Change takes time. There’s no use in being inpatient (as always my biggest challenge). To grow is to take one step at the time, keep faith and sometimes also completely lose faith. But when you emerge and take that first gulp of clean, fresh, new air, it is the best feeling in the world.

I’d like to end this post with a excerpt from a poem that I have in my office. It’s from William Ernest Henley and quite fitting:

It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul.

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