"I really dislike my job!"

"You have been saying that for a long time. You can find a different job, you know!"

"Yes, but... the money's pretty good here."

Have you ever had a conversation like that before? Are you the one who doesn't like your job? And, are you the one who has lots of "yes, buts" to explain why you're still in work that doesn't fit you? Yes, but...I have a good salary and benefits... I like my co-workers... this is the only work I've ever done... it's close to home... it's familiar... I don't know what else I could do.

If you are currently job hunting, you probably also have a "comfort zone" for doing job search work. Often, people just choose passive job search activities such as responding to Internet job board postings and sending out resumes. They may resist more pro-active strategies such as those needed for getting into the hidden job market, using newer techniques involving social networkingrevamping their resume or learning how to showcase their strengths when interviewing. Their "yes, but... this is how I've always done job search work" typically leads to discouragement and blaming themselves and/or the current job market for their inability to get interviews or a job. "Yes, buts" are powerful tools for keeping us stuck!

Your Comfort Zone Can Be a Danger Zone

If you have a ready list of "yes, buts," you are likely entrenched in your "comfort zone," which is a place most of us find ourselves at one time or another. Each of us creates a "comfort zone" for ourselves that is made up of familiar people, places, things, activities, and habits. We feel at home there. While it's an understandable place to find yourself, it can also be a dangerous place. Being mired in your comfort zone can cause you to lose out on getting the most out of life.

Staying stuck in your comfort zone can lead to missing out on becoming the person God created you to be; never doing the things God designed you to do; and feeling a deep sense of regret at the end of your life. That's a high price to pay for being "comfortable." The good news is that it isn't hard to stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone so that you can respond to God's calling on your life.

Getting Comfortable with Change

Many of us tend to resist anything that threatens the status quo of our comfort zone. Even thinking about making changes in your life may make you feel anxious. Is your natural response to steer clear of change? Do you tend to choose the known over the less familiar? Do you think that "risk" is a four-letter word that should be avoided at all costs? If so, consider taking a fresh look at inviting changes into your life.

Jesus never hesitated calling people to leave the comfort zone of their familiar lives for the unfamiliar path of following Him. Why? Because He knew He was calling them to something much, much better. Jesus extends the same summons to you. Even if your physical address may stay the same, God inevitably will require you to change and expand the boundaries of your comfort zone if you are going to live as His disciple.

Little Steps Lead to Big Results

Fear, of course, is the main reason we resist change. Fear is a powerful "calling blocker," keeping us from living into our God-given potential. Fear can range from a mild anxiety to an incapacitating paralysis. God knows that we are fearful creatures, which is why the single command occurring most often in Scripture is "Fear not!" As John Ortberg says, "fear is the number one reason human beings are tempted to avoid doing what God asks them to do."