Monday, January 28, 2008

Comfort Zone

Being successful is about challenging yourself. It often involves risk taking, preferably calculated risk taking, and can sometimes lead to disappointment. But who ever fulfilled their dreams by staying in their comfort zone.

As musicians, how many times do we pick the same songs to play/sing at church/weddings/gigs/recitals/etc.? I've often heard the quote, "Don't fix it if its not broken." That's true in some areas, but when you have a responsibility to art, you cannot let yourself get into a comfort zone and then decide to stay put. I am sure we are all guilty because we play what feels most natural and there is unquestionably a fear of the unknown and stepping out of the box. Uncharted waters are terrifying. What is most natural often times is the piece/song we've performed countless times. However, to continually be a creator and be a skillful musician, we must constantly expand our repertoire and styles. The comfort zone is a stale, stagnant, and dead place to be. It does not foster growth and beauty. It does not inspire as the art of music should. Often times it discontinues communicating to the listener - as it has already to you.

Someone once said: "You'll never know what you can do unless you push yourself. Get out of your comfort zone - tiptoe slowly if necessary, jump like your life depended on it if possible."

Learn country, learn jazz, learn Gospel, learn contemporary, learn them all. Learn as many chord progression alternatives as possible... and make yourself use them. If you are not a musician, this still applies to you too... Get out of your comfort zone!

I came across this poem this morning and thought it applied to my thoughts precisely... enjoy.

The Comfort Zone.By: Unknown
I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn't fail.

The same four walls and busy work were really more like jail.

I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,

But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.

I said I didn't care for things like commission checks and such.

I claimed to be so busy with things inside my zone,

But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.
I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.

I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.

I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,

I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.
If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,

Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.

A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.

Reach for your future with a smile;

Success is there for you!


Jana Allard said...

Awesome post. Comfort zone turns into a complacent spirit.

Jolene Mendoza said...

Fantastic Post! I could not agree more. Reminds me of a post I did back in November titled "Propelled By Our Discomforts". Your post once again stirred my heart.

iluv2prshim said...

Von de Leigh, I love the picture of you and Jeremy. Beautiful.
Blessings to you and your family.

Music Eloquence said...

Sis.Allard, Thanks. I usually write about something I'm dealing with. I hope to never get "stuck" in a comfort zone. Its so easy as a keyboardist to stay there because its familiar to me and to others (I don't have to deal with others' dislikes if I don't step out of my box... kind of goes back to my previous post "How do you serve the world?"). I want to constantly be bettering myself for His glory and I feel like I get stuck in a rut so many times as a musician. But He deserves soooo much more that I am capable of giving and/or producing.

Jolene, thanks for stopping by to post. I will read your post from November. I'm glad this one stirred your heart again.

Sis.Hurst, Thank you. Its good to hear from you. God bless you and your family too.

Vonney said...

Great post.. So weird, I have been thinking along those same lines lately. Thanks for the inspirational words!

Kristy Alexander said...

These are some very good thoughts Von (I hope you don't mind me calling you that :))! Sometimes I don't realize how much I stay in my comfort zone...I really need to get out!