Snails and humans are vastly different from one another but there are a couple of key similarities. For starters both species have comfort zones. These are the places or situations that we feel the most at ease within the boundaries of. For snails their comfort zone is their exterior shell. Human comfort zones are more conceptual, but no less real or necessary. These are great places to find solace and shelter, as long as we recognize they are meant to grow. As a snail grows, so does its shell.
A snail leaving its shell is similar to people getting out of their comfort zones. Stepping outside of our comfort zones leaves us feeling just as vulnerable as the snail who temporarily leaves its shell. Snail’s sometimes have to exit their shells to find food in order to grow, to live. People have to get out of what is comfortable from time to time in order to grow too.
There are two ways to find ourselves outside our comfort zones, choice or force. Both means of stepping out result in personal growth. Pushing our boundaries of contentment does not means we have to abandon or reinvent what is comfortable to us. We just have to be willing to be uncomfortable for long enough to expand what is comfortable. The more we get out of our comfort zones the larger they can become. Trying new things, like foods, places, or experiences gives us the opportunity to choose what we want to do again. Our vulnerability is replaced by trust. Trust helps us grow.
Growth can be uncomfortable especially if it is happening to us without our consent. Having an open mind to change and growth increases the berth of our comfort zones. A snail may not choose change but they can’t fight growth, their existence depends on it. People won’t cease to exist by not getting outside our comfort zones, but our existence won’t be much more interesting than that of a snail.