Updated: September 19, 2019 7:35:30 am
“We are having the wrong conversation about our comfort zone,” begins Lexie Alford, the youngest person to travel to every country in the world, in her Tedx talk. “The phrase, ‘getting out of your comfort zone’ is thrown around so much today, online and in motivational quotes, that it’s begun to lose its meaning,” she says.
She goes on to say that we don’t clearly understand what our comfort zone is, and it seems counter-intuitive to leave it. “It’s where we feel the most safe. It also sounds like we are sugar-coating fear,” she says.
Alford shares stories from her childhood, while explaining how fear has played a role in it. She had travelled to around 70 countries when she was 18, and decided to break the previously-held record by deciding to act on the one thing she was most passionate about: travelling.
“In retrospect, I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she laughs. Speaking about the numerous challenges she faced while on her journeys, Alford says they are some of her most treasured memories and most defining moments of her life.
“If you know that you have fears in general, knowing exactly where those fears are stemming from, is the first step towards overcoming them,” she says.
Speaking about her own fears, she says, “I am afraid of heights, which stems from my physical comfort zone. I had a fear of being alone, which was completely controlled by my mind. And I also am terrified of regret, which comes straight from my soul.”
“We are afraid to leave the safety of our routine to pursue something greater, because of our fear of failure,” says Alford.
She concludes her 14-minute long talk by saying that being in a state of comfort itself, is freedom from pain. But, when we subject ourselves to genuine discomfort, and plunge into the unknown, that’s when we learn to transcend the layers of our comfort zone, manage our fears, and become empowered by them.
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