Rebuilding Series: Thou Shalt Go Out Of Your Comfort Zone. By Marshall Lestz
Good Morning Everybody, Shavua Tov,
What typically prevents us from going out of our comfort zones?
Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of how people will look at us or not approve of us, fear of feeling unloved or not “good enough,” and simply just being immobilized by doubt. All these reasons can be summed up in 2 words: “yetzer hara”, our negative inclination. All these self-limiting mental blocks are the result of our yetzer hara trying to keep us from growing… stifling us from becoming who we can become and doing the right thing.
The beginning of the Torah portion we just read on Shabbos starts with the words Ki Seitzei– “when you go out,” and speaks about the Jewish people going out to war. Our rabbis teach us another layer of meaning to this verse, and tell us that it also applies to our going out to war against our yetzer hara. That’s the biggest war of all. Commentaries, like the Chasam Sofer, point out that the words “Ki Seitzei”, when you go out, advise us to go on the offensive against the yetzer hara. We must “Go out” against it.
What a powerful message when we think of the yetzer hara as being that force that tries to keep us in our comfort zones! The Torah is encouraging us to GO OUT– Go out of our comfort zones! Don’t let the yetzer hara keep you stuck in place. Take action. Go for it. Take charge of your life. Don’t take life sitting down.
When we hear our yetzer hara telling us not to introduce ourselves to that new person (at shul), or to not admit to someone that we were wrong, or to not give someone a compliment, or to not stand up for someone who’s being spoken negatively about, or to not take the first step towards smoothing out a frayed relationship– when any of these yetzer hara self-defeating thoughts kick in, hear your higher self immediately say in a louder more confident voice, “GO OUT. Ki Seitzei! Enough! I refuse to give into fear. It’s an illusion. I’m better than this. I’m bigger than my comfort zone. Ki Seitzei- GO OUT. Go for it.”
As we go into a new year, let us remember to GO OUT of the old year. Of course, it’s not all or nothing, and it’s not about being perfect. But it is up to us. Interestingly, the words Ki Seitzei in last week’s Torah portion that were talking about going out to war, were talking about an OPTIONAL war. Similarly, going out of our comfort zones is always optional— it’s a choice we get to make. We can either opt to stay in, or opt to go out. May Hashem give us a boost of courage and enthusiasm to joyfully go out more times than not this coming year, so that we bring our remarkable potential to even greater fruition.
Have an invigorating day everybody,
Now GO OUT there and Keep on Building!