I was reading an article today about all of the times America has attempted to bring democracy to war-torn areas, only to fail in its efforts. Only after the fact— and after some collective introspection— have we been able to see that the people in these areas do not always want what we have.

The question I have been asking myself is: Why? Why don’t they want what we have? I do not want to harp on the discussion of whether America is, or was right or wrong— let’s leave that topic for a political debate.

However, I do want to focus on why people would willfully choose to live under dictatorship, down-and-out, and under oppression, rather than take the risk of having a better life and potentially experiencing a more favorable outcome.

Throughout my life, I have often found that many people would rather be comfortable in the discomfort they know, rather than take a chance on the potential beauty that is unbeknownst to them.

How often in my own life have I not taken the next step forward out of my fear of the unknown? Surely, there have been times when I have elected to not take certain steps forward, even when I could see the potential for the proverbial pot-of-gold on the other side.

Truth be told, I have found that I tend to go for the familiar, even when the familiar is not something I am totally satisfied with.

It is only through hard work that I have learned that God has not taken me this far only to drop me in my place. Life is all about taking risks to achieve a better, greater outcome; inevitably at times we will fail. The only question is: How quickly will we get back up and start again? The winners get up, quickly bounce back, and try again and again until they make it. The less fortunate— or dare I say, the losers— choose to stay down, and consciously make the decision not to continue fighting the better fight.

As we all know, life will throw you curveballs here and there, and there will be times that are incredibly tough to navigate and push through. With all that being said, if you are willing to move beyond your own comfort zone and walk into the unknown, life can be incredible; the changes beautiful. The worst thing is, if you do not at least try, you will never even know what could have been.

Every hero, every leader, and every successful person reached beyond their comfort zone to get to where they wanted to be. They were not okay with living in the familiar discomfort that they knew. These people were willing to talk back to their negative self and say “I’m going to do it anyway— I’m going to jump—the worst thing that could happen is I fall, and if I do, I will get right back up”.

How do you get out of your comfort zone? What tools do you employ to combat your negative self talk? How do you change your story?

This week, let’s all investigate and reflect on the areas where we are stuck, stagnant, and complacent. Pick something small at first if you wish, and make the decision to overcome it. Most importantly, be consistent, and keep reminding yourself that worst case scenario, you can always go back to the way things were.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love