Have you ever owned a favorite pair of slippers? You know, that beat-up pair in the corner of your bedroom that are so worn out yet perfectly imperfect in their ugly state, that they are your absolute favorite thing to slip on after a long day?

Or maybe for you it’s that one tattered sweatshirt that’s torn and frayed with a few holes. You would never dream of parting with it because it’s your go-to piece of clothing—ridiculously soft and spectacularly cozy.

Many of us have items like these. We hold a lot of sentiment for old pieces of clothing that make us feel comfortable in our surroundings.

It’s a lot like our lives, really. We fall into our comfortable routines and patterns. We get content with how things are. We drive the same route to the office each morning. We place our usual order from our favorite coffee spot. We park in the same area and simply go about our day the same way, as always. It’s generally more of the same. We eat dinner, we help the kids with homework and get them ready for bedtime followed by unwinding with a favorite TV show, and falling asleep while reading the same few pages of the newest novel. Familiar habits, right?

Whatever those patterns and behaviors are for you, they’re your comfort zone. They’re the typical activities that bring consistency and normalcy into your busy day. The friends and people you spend the most time with, and the activities you enjoy in your free time tend to be the same. And they’re repeated over and over. Perhaps for you, it’s watching your favorite sporting event or going to the same place for dinner and drinks. These familiar habits and routines keep you cozy and in your comfort zone.

So what’s the problem with staying inside your comfort zone? Everything you want and deserve in your life lies just outside your comfort zone. Think about those dreams you have about the type of business you want to run. Well, those dreams cannot happen inside that comfort zone. How about that vacation you have always fantasized about taking, but haven’t planned yet? It’s right outside your comfort zone. And what about the relationship you’ve always imagined sharing with someone else? You guessed it … it’s just outside of that same old comfort zone.

Success and massive achievement come with a price tag, and it’s called clarity of vision. It’s also known as hard work, determination, drive, passion and the willingness to do—every single day—the things that 97 percent of the population simply just won’t do.

When you force yourself to do something uncomfortable or to do the things that aren’t easy, that’s when growth occurs. When you dedicate yourself to your vision—whether it’s to build the business you desire, finally lose that extra weight once and for all, or create the passionate and dynamic relationship you have always wished for—that’s when the magic in life happens.

People who have great things in their lives don’t just easily get them. They work for them. In fact, they work very hard for them. And they don’t just work to get those things, they work to keep them. They make deposits into those bank accounts each and every day because they know that to have those comforts, they must push themselves into an oftentimes uncomfortable place.

Being fit and healthy, having open and honest relationships, and building a successful and prosperous business all require constant and continuous hard work and dedication. It’s about getting up early, staying up late, starting over, rebuilding and discovering who you are and what makes you truly and genuinely happy. It’s the tough stuff that’s so easy to “not do” because it takes so much work … and those favorite pair of slippers and sweatshirts in life are just so much easier to slip on.

So ask yourself this question: when was the last time you did something for the first time? I mean really stretched and pushed yourself to fight for something that you wanted so badly you could taste it? That’s the hunger. That’s the fire in your belly that drives you each and every day to keep going for it—no matter how hard it is or how long it takes.

I’ve been privileged to watch so many people push themselves out of their comfort zones to go after their goals and dreams, creating them once and for all. There’s no more wishing, hoping or praying. It’s all about action, and making the conscious choices and decisions that align with getting you there.

It’s all about what we do at U & Improved. We help people build the businesses, relationships and lives they at one time only dreamed about. The stories are endless and the testimonials are countless. But what I know is this: we are merely the catalyst. We are the framework for allowing it to happen. No member of our team can do this for someone without their conscious decision to do it for themselves. It only comes from the commitment to making that “thing” so important that you need it and want it as much as you need air to breathe.

There’s nothing wrong with the fuzzy slippers or the worn-out and tattered sweatshirt. They serve as the mental respite we all need and deserve. But your soul deserves so much more. It deserves that feeling of having your wishes fulfilled. So go find your comfort zone, and then leave it. Because what your heart truly wants and deserves is just outside of it.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? What was that like for U? Share your experience in the comments section below!

This article originally appeared in Scottsdale Airpark News.

Jodi Low

Jodi Low

Jodi Low is Founder and CEO of U & Improved and an accomplished corporate trainer and inspirational speaker. Driven by her passion to continually inspire others, Jodi has trained thousands of entrepreneurs and executives on how to build booming businesses, master a mindset for success and achieve the professional and personal lives they desire through heart-based leadership.
Jodi Low