“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

dead fishCulture simultaneously challenges us to break free from comfort zones while also providing for their longevity. With the constant offering of pleasures anew, along with the comfort found in instant gratification, we live in a confusing and uncomfortable culture.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Does it really? This quote by Neale Donald Walsch made me question whether or not I needed to totally discard comfort in order to truly live life. Or maybe, I wonder, does comfort allow for the uncomfortable to flourish?

Perhaps living too much in one or the other – comfort or discomfort – actually stifles real living. Maybe having the structure created by some level of safe, secure and familiar provides much-needed security. Then, that security allows for the regular experience of discomfort in a successful way.

Comfort that Supports Discomfort

An organized, comfortable home gives my kids the security they need to go on adventures and meet new people. It gives them promise of a comfortable sanctuary for rest and recuperation waiting for them when they get at home.

Knowing I can produce a lot of volume pretty quickly as a writer gives me the confidence to venture into the scary and challenging world of book writing. I find comfort knowing that the act of writing (specifically, quantity) comes easily. This inspires me to try new styles and genres that might not come naturally.

Dressing comfortably helps me be more social, which is uncomfortable for my shy and introverted self, I’m just braver mentally when I’m comfortable physically.

The God of Comfort

Being comfortable with God, knowing He goes before me and with me (Deuteronomy 31:8) creates an deep comfort. That comfort makes me want to be brave and to tell others about Him. Having this comfort zone with God compels me to make my life a transparent example of His grace and mercy.

So yes, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” But, your comfort zone can also provide a structure for bravely venturing into the uncomfortable areas of life.

14 thoughts on ““Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

  1. Sure there is some value in having comfortable areas. But even those can become like an albatross if we become so tied to "what Is" that we become stale. Does that make sense? Even in my relationship with Jesus I want to be comfortable but always expanding.

    • Yes, it make perfect sense, and I agree. I also feel that there's tremendous value in having comfort areas that allow us to be uncomfortable more often. Maybe safe areas is a better way to say it.

  2. I think to be "comfortable" is to be stagnate. Growth can't happen when we are too comfortable to break out and try new things. But I like what you said, our confidence and comfort in knowing who we are in Christ can make us bold in walking into the unknown.

    • Either extreme, really, can be unhealthy. Being uncomfortable in every area can feel overwhelming and like life is in constant upheaval. But having complete comfort is to be totally stagnate. There needs to be a balance, and that balance depends on the individual. Some need more of one or the other, but we can't live totally in either. I'm learning that I need areas of comfort in order to venture into the unknown.

  3. There is joy found in both. The uncomfortable is one we resist at times to enter into. Venture into the unknown and uncomfortable takes trust. We have to trust that it will not beat us up and destroy our spirit, and trust that if it is worthwhile that God will provide comfort in the uncomfortable or the reward of the venture will salve over the resistance.

    • Trust in Him truly is the key, Mark. Trust that He will balance the comfort and discomfort in our lives. After all, we need comfort in order to know that we need to venture into discomfort. Kind of life faith and doubt; can't have one without the other. Right?

  4. When I think of comfort I think of a place I can refresh, focus, relax, feel good. I think we all need that in this crazy world. Yes, there is a time to take on the uncomfortable, to challenge ourselves, to grow, but even Jesus went apart to rest, and to me that is comforting. I totally agree with you Kari, that we need that in order to be able to take the risk of stepping out into the uncomfortable.
    Proverbs 3:5-6 come to mind. Trust His direction. Also Psalm 23, a place to relax and rest by still waters, comfort. His presence always there, comfort. So comfort is important in our lives.

    • Great scripture for this topic, and of course Jesus' example is really all we need to know something is right for us. His time with the Father gave Him the comfort and strength He needed to do what was uncomfortable, and it will do no less for us too.

  5. When we enter into the uncomfortable zone, we will aim at making it to suit to our comforts and thereby we will achieve new areas, and we will attain inner strengths that was not in us when we were in our comfort zone. So it is true that life begins at the end of the comfort zone.
    My recent post Patents

    • I apologize for the delay in your comment appearing here. It was in my junk mail for some reason. You're so right, entering into discomfort stretches us and creates a new, bigger comfort zone. Thank you for adding to the discussion!

  6. I think comfort is a great and wonderful thing – it just can't become an idol. I would say the same for food, art, sex, family, leisure, sports, and every good gift from God (except the gift of himself which can't become an idol!). So there's nothing wrong with valuing and enjoying comfort from God's hand. We just don't want to stay there when he calls us elsewhere, and we don't want to derive comfort from the wrong things.
    My recent post Numbering Your Days While Kneeling by a Deathbed

    • Well said, Loren. If comfort doesn't draw us to Him and allow us to be in communion with Him, then it has to go. It's all about relationship with our Creator & where he wants us to be and grow.

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