Well, the title of this article would certainly seem to be correct. Being comfortable is a good thing. I mean, if you sit down it’s sure nice if your chair is comfortable. When you lay down to sleep, a comfortable bed is a big plus. How could it not be a good thing to be comfortable?
However, I am not talking about your body being comfortable when you sit or lay down. What I am talking about is more of an inner feeling of comfortable which is related to staying within your “comfort zone,” and not venturing outside the comfort zone. Believe me, that is not a good thing. So, yes, there are times when being comfortable is a bad thing indeed.
If you don’t venture outside your comfort zone, you cannot grow. You cannot learn about things that are foreign to you. Doing things that make you nervous brings understanding and learning. If you do things that are uncomfortable enough, they become part of your comfort zone.
Back in 2000, I decided to move to the Philippines. I am an American, but my wife is Filipino. Starting in the late 90′s, I had a desire to move to the Philippines and experience life here, which was something that would be totally foreign to me. When I had finally put everything in place for the move, though, and was getting close to the time when I’d get on that airplane and fly to my new home, I got quite nervous. Was I doing the right thing. Was a move to a foreigner country the right thing for myself, my wife and my kids? Frankly, it suddenly scared me to death. But, because I had the desire to move, and I had worked hard to put everything in place for such a move, I went ahead with my dream. Yes, things were scary, and it took time for myself and my family to adjust to our new home, but we came to love living in the Philippines, and we are still in the Philippines after all of these years. My feeling of being uncomfortable worked out great for me.
Just last year, I took another leap into the discomfort and it worked out well. What did I do? I decided to start riding jeepneys. A jeepney is basically the most widely used public transportation vehicle in the Philippines, where I live. When I moved here, I bought a car, we Americans are so used to having our cars, so that is what I wanted. All these years, I drive around wherever I want to go. But, I have always been somewhat curious and also enamored with jeepneys, so last year I decided to give it a try. I was very nervous about doing it, because it was something so unfamiliar to me, and so far outside my comfort zone. But, that was about 6 months ago when I tried it, and to this day I still ride jeepneys almost daily! I drive too, but I take the jeepney much more often than driving, and I enjoy my time riding jeepneys.
So, I would say, based on my experience, that going outside your comfort zone is almost always a good thing. It almost always works out for the best, and is productive. Even if you try something and don’t like it, you have still learned and grown from the experience. Learning is always a good thing to do, and one great way to do that is by making yourself a bit uncomfortable from time to time!