Are Your Choices Preventing You From Growing?

Written by on March 28, 2014 in Accountability, Self-Awareness



We are each living the life we choose. Of course, I’m not talking about one epic all-encompassing choice, but rather the culmination of many choices made day after day.

What we sometimes fail to recognize is that those choices are based on an unwavering commitment to avoid the discomfort of change.

Think not? When was the last time you did something for the first time or challenged yourself to learn a new skill? How often do you do something spontaneously, even a little quirky just for the fun of it?

To be fair, more often than not we’re simply responding to the stress and noise of everyday living by taking comfort in the familiar.

The Problem with Comfortable Choices

At times, I wonder if the concept of “Comfort Zone” hasn’t become little more than a cliché.

Heaven knows volumes have been written about it, and yet time and again I see the notion dismissed with what I personally consider to be one of the most dreadful rationalizations of all times … “but change is difficult.”

Every time I see that sentence I want to say, “Yes it is, and so-o-o?” because there are only two ways to go with that declaration …

  • Change is difficult, but I choose to embrace discomfort to achieve my dreams.


  • Change is difficult so I’m staying right where I am, thank you very much!

The truth of life is that change will happen with or without our cooperation, but whether or not that process gives rise to growth is entirely up to us.

Regardless of the challenges and unexpected detours we may face along the way, the depth and quality of life is always our choice.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~Helen Keller

Reflections on Choosing to Embrace Change

While you think about that here are 10 insightful thoughts to inspire you to make the most of life by choosing to embrace change and growth.

  • The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself. ~C. JoyBell C.
  • Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be. ~Heath L. Buckmaster
  • I’ve learned enough from life’s experiences to understand that destiny’s interventions can sometimes be read as an invitation for us to address and even surmount our biggest fears. It doesn’t take a great genius to recognize that when you are pushed by circumstance to do the one thing you have always most specifically loathed and feared, this can be, at the very least, be an important growth opportunity. ~Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Sometimes we know in our bones what we really need to do, but we are afraid to do it. Taking a chance and stepping beyond the safety of the world we’ve always known is the only way to grow through and without risk, there is no reward. ~Wil Wheaton
  • Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end … because in the end, it shows you a whole new world! ~Manoj Arora
  • Even the smallest changes in our daily routine can create incredible ripple effects that expand our vision of what is possible. ~Charles F. Glassman
  • Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong. ~Mandy Hale
  • There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go. ~Richard Bach
  • Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now, and now is right on time. ~Asha Tyson
  • There is no growth without change. You’ve got to let go of some old stuff. And that can hurt. Often when I’m in the most pain, I realize it’s coming from my trying to control everything … or resisting the changes that come with the progress. But you see that light … that beautiful next level … and that’s what you have to focus on. ~Ali Brown

As you go about your day why not challenge yourself to become aware each time you choose to stick with the familiar rather than trying something new and see if there isn’t some way to begin challenging your routines with a few new experiences.

Are you the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living click here.

Thank you for sharing!

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23 Reader Comments

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  1. Allen

    You hit the nail on the head.
    Change is non – negotiable how you choose to change is the question you have to answer and in order to make that positive change you have to leave your comfort zone or get left behind.
    Allen recently posted…Facebook FriendMy Profile

  2. Leslie Denning, The Home Biz CEO

    Hi Marty. Thank you for supplying all those lovely quotes on embracing change. I think the last quirky thing I’ve done recently is join a spontaneous line dance on stage while in Dallas last week when we were waiting for the speaking to start. I haven’t danced in years because it’s too painful, but boy, did I have fun for the few minutes I was able to do it!

    I heard one time that life is like riding a bicycle. If you keep pedaling, you move forward. If you stop pedaling, you fall over. Thanks for a great post.

    All the best,

    P.S. I hardly recognize you without your Hawaiian wreath around your head!
    Leslie Denning, The Home Biz CEO recently posted…Up the Beanstalk, Part 3My Profile

  3. Charmie says:

    It is very well said that change is constant. The way you’ll create your life depends upon the beliefs you upload regarding your life.

  4. Chery Schmidt

    Hello Marty, What an inspiring post, It is important to get over that fear and do something that gets you out of your comfort zone. As the Nike saying states, “Just Do It”

    Loved all the quotes, Thanks for sharing .. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…The Truth About The Network Marketing ProfessionMy Profile

  5. Marty, Now whenever I feel challenged from some unwanted situation, I remind myself that this is happening for some reason, that there will be a lesson and learning experience here. And some of these really difficult situations have led to an expanded understanding and awareness on my part that aids me at some future date when a similar situation or dilemma presents itself. Sometimes that was so challenging back then becomes easy to handle later on – and then a new challenge appears.


    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…Accelerate the Love in Your RelationshipMy Profile

  6. Dave

    This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. More often than not, the truly valuable and memorable experiences in my life have been the unexpected ones, the unplanned occurrences that initially provide a certain level of discomfort, but ultimately led to an increase in self-confidence, self-esteem, and immense personal growth. Not all of these experiences have necessarily been “pleasant”, but they have all contributed to my growth as a human being, nonetheless.

    This reminds me of another quote by Lewis Carroll that goes hand in hand with welcoming the unexpected and expanding our levels of discomfort:

    “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” ~Lewis Carroll

    There is a fine balance between knowing what you want and allowing the unexpected occurrences to guide you with faith on the path presented to you. Sometimes, it is that unexpected path that helps you to define exactly what it is that you want 😉

    Wonderful article, as always, thank you Marty!
    Dave recently posted…Connect the dotsMy Profile

  7. Nile

    Change is difficult for some… not so much for me unless it seems way too risky. It does play on that fear of the unknown.

    Sitting down and thinking logically about the pros and cons of a decision are the best thing because what if that change did turn out to be the best thing, or maybe the worst.

    At least going in eyes wide open and thoroughly informed will make the fear fade away. 😀
    Nile recently posted…Does Spelling and Grammar Matter In SEO?My Profile

  8. Sarah Arrow

    A really thought provoking post Marty, and one that I need to digest. Like you I think comfort zone is over done. When something is so over-used like that phrase people start to tune it out, and then they don’t act upon the advice and it becomes very hackneyed.
    I love the growth is painful quote, it feels the most accurate to me 🙂
    Sarah Arrow recently posted…How to optimize a post using the WordPress SEO PluginMy Profile

  9. martyherald says:

    Welcome Heather! I’m so pleased that you found the article inspirational – can’t think of a better compliment. Hope to see you here again soon. 🙂
    martyherald recently posted…The Choices You Make Everyday Are Creating Your FutureMy Profile

  10. martyherald says:

    Ah thanks so much Suzie for your kind words and for taking the time to share your thoughts. Always appreciated!
    martyherald recently posted…The Choices You Make Everyday Are Creating Your FutureMy Profile

  11. Kyle Nelson says:

    I gotta say that this was a very inspirational post. I think i agree most with Ali Browns quote you added at the end. I tend to try to control too much at one time. I need to begin to let go a bit to allow myself to grow! This was a bit of a reminder thanks!
    Kyle Nelson recently posted…The Good And Bad Habits Of Smart PeopleMy Profile

  12. Heather

    I had to pin this article because it spoke so deeply to me. I have a hard time leaving my comfort zone. I know that it is holding me back in many areas. I might just have to read this blog every couple days until I am comfortable with making a spontaneous choice because my gut tells me to.
    Heather recently posted…Our Nerf PartyMy Profile

  13. This is all coming down to perception. We have to change our mindset and accept to either adapt with change or be faced with confusion. The choice is always with us.

    Thank you for allowing us to have clarity with our choices and understanding growth is going to happen.
    William Amis recently posted…We Must Begin Somewhere!My Profile

  14. As a person with a very high incidence of mutable planets in my astrological chart I am someone addicted to change. I just can’t imagine staying in my ‘comfort zone’ – I get very bored. That doesn’t mean that change isn’;t painful at times, however. I know I am unusual as most of my clients find change very difficult.
    Louise Edington recently posted…Healers Boundaries!My Profile

  15. Allen

    Hello Marquita,
    I enjoyed your post and it should open a lot of eyes ,because with everything you do later on down the line there is going to be some type of change.
    Allen recently posted…You Never KnowMy Profile

  16. Hello Marquita,
    “The truth of life is change will happen with or without our cooperation”. I absolutely agree. And how we respond is truly a choice. Thank you for such a wonderful post. -Peace & Blessings!, Phyllis
    Phyllis M Alston recently posted…Just BreatheMy Profile

  17. Rachel Lavern

    Hi Marty,
    So many people forget that right now, in this present moment with your current thoughts, you are creating your future. We decide what it will look like. Success is the sum of small actions repeated every day. What we practice we embody, what we embody we become.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…Simple Exercise for Challenging TimesMy Profile

  18. Hi Marquita – Thanks for such a great post on change and choices. Looking back, I’ve stayed in jobs that I knew were not healthy because it seemed better than risking the big, dark, unknown. That’s poppycock, of course. But you don’t know it until you make the leap.
    Susan Wright-Boucher recently posted…The Trusted AdvisorMy Profile

  19. Terry

    Wow .. we are on the same page this week. This helped me to see what is going on in my life and also to focus on some great quotes to keep me moving – towards my best life !! Thanks for this.. it hit me exactly with what I needed

  20. Sue Kearney says:

    This is great, thanks! And you found some awesome quotes too. I especially love the quote by Manoj Arora.

    Love and light,
    Sue Kearney recently posted…Branding and personal branding — living your best lifeMy Profile

  21. You are right Marquita, change is the law of Nature…growth too is natural, it will happen whether we step out of our comfort zone or stay tucked in there! But sometimes change brings us comfort. Some blessings just befall and they bring comfort! Emotional resilience, to my mind is embracing all the emotions and changes in life calmly.

    Thanks for the inspiration and a thought provoking post.
    Balroop Singh recently posted…How Influencers throw their Nets!My Profile

  22. Dana

    Stepping outside that comfort zone keeps me in forward motion. Thanks for this post very important to keep us all reminded about getting too comfortable in the settling. D♥

  23. Suzie Cheel

    your post touched my soul, and yes: Change is difficult, but I choose to embrace discomfort to achieve my dreams. Easy to do easy not to do- next ? is are our dreams big enough and are we passionate about them. Then the choice is easy. Love the quote collection too xxoo
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…Do You Find It Easy To Forgive Yourself?My Profile

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