“Dad, can you please put the training wheels back?!!”

“Dad, can you please put the training wheels back?!!”

He was sobbing. Called me mean for taking off the training wheels. He just didn’t want to ride his bicycle again!

My 6 year old son loves to ride his bicycle. every single day, without fail, I have to take him down for his riding sessions.
For the last few days he has been less excited. why? his training wheels were coming off.

He had begun to realize that without his training wheels he would be vulnerable. No longer could he balance himself easily.
He wasn’t able to leave both his hands and proudly move around. The training wheels gave him such security. He felt safe.
Everything was so easy.

Dad, can you please put the training wheels back?”, he cried. I tried as best as I could, to make the six year old understand that if he really wanted to learn how to ride a bicycle, he had to do it without the support of those wheels. His little mind however, wasn’t able to comprehend.
All he wanted was his support back!

I found myself to be so much like my son. The comfort zone feels so good! I loved being there. A lot of us do!
And just like that we get stuck in that comfort zone for years, with no real growth. The only thing that keeps you there is the comfort. The safety net, the training wheels, that will protect u and me from a fall! The fear of getting out of our comfort is not something most of us enjoy. Its hard.It can be scary. For instance, our comfort zone could be that old job, where you know it’s not right for you. you haven’t seen any real progress in your career. But, it’s the same place where you are friends with everyone. You know the commute so well. You know the people who work close to your workplace. Everything is so familiar. No stress at all. What a scare to leave that job and join some new place! Where you don’t know what is going to happen. Will you be received well by the new staff, your new colleagues? Will you be able to enjoy that workplace like you do now?
How about the commute! It’s so much of a longer drive than your current workplace!
Your comfort zone could be, being quiet rather than speaking up in a class or business meetings. It could be avoiding social interactions and meeting new people or be in the audience, in the back row, rather than speaking in public and giving speeches. It could be traveling year after year to the same destination rather than traveling to new places. The list goes on.

A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows from there. Life is full of experiments and failures. If you don’t experiment
and get out of your comfort zone while learning from failures, you won’t understand how to achieve success.

My son would learn so much more without those wheels. He would have the occasional falls, discomfort, bruises and that feeling that he is never going to be able to ride like his friends. But being persistent will bring rewards. Once he has passed that feeling of discomfort, that is when  the magic will happen. It is when he will find freedom, growth, strength, joy!! The benefits are endless.

So as I continue to train him and as he keeps getting more confident, I am trying to push myself to learn new skills.
Do what I am afraid of the most. Take risks. Everything you desire in your life, but do not currently have is just outside your comfort zone and to get there you most certainly have to do something new or different.

Those training wheels will definitely have to go!