I have a confession to make. I’m scared. I don’t like putting myself in situations where I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t want you to figure out that I don’t have it all figured out. I’m afraid of failing, sometimes enough that it makes me wanna stop before I even start.

I want to be comfortable.

If you feel the same way, congratulations – you’re breathing.  And you’re likely attempting something that matters.

Like you, I’ve spent my life searching for my purpose and building a career. I’ve accomplished many of my dreams, and have experienced some things I never even dared dream for myself. But I’ll admit that there have also been times when I’ve found myself paralyzed by the question, “What now?”

We know the seemingly “right” answer… Dream a big dream, and get to tackling it. But can we admit that that’s easier said than done? Sometimes it’s exhausting to even think about. Can’t we just eat some cake and watch tv, instead of creating a master plan for the future? Can’t we coast on the past and enjoy being a big fish in a small pond for a few minutes (or a few years)?

Who says we’ve gotta launch into the deep, seeking uncharted territory? Why not settle for something simpler on an easier path? A comfortable life can be built, even locked behind a fence. Sure it might be predictable and maybe even a little boring – but it’s safe, it’s known, it’s understood. No need for struggle or questions. You can still be loved, needed, fed and clothed, even if you’re settling for less than you were meant to have and become. And for many people, maybe even most, that’s enough. But somewhere inside, you hear the truth – even if you’ve tried to crowd it out or ignore it at times.

You were made for more.

Finding our purpose, reaching our potential and experiencing fulfillment will look different for each of us, of course. But for all of us, it will require deeper discipline and faith, action in spite of fear, new thinking, better questions and a willingness to travel beyond our comfort zone. Along the way, we’ll have to lay aside our ego and reputation – becoming the student instead of the teacher. And though we pay these and other costs, we may still find ourselves at the back of the line, waiting our turn.

Ugh – I want to delete that paragraph. It hurts to read because I know it’s true for me too.

Wanna hear some comforting news? You and I are not alone. Anyone daring to do something important feels the same insecurity, faces a similar fear, pays a price, does the work. The difference between the masses and the few is found in our answers to two questions.

1 – What will it cost me to live the life I was meant to live?

2 – Am I willing to pay it?

There’s more out there for you and me. Yes, more is required of us than we’ve given in the past, but if we embrace what’s uncomfortable and do the work… If we put down the fork and the remote, and face the unknown and unseen with boldness and courage, imagine what’s waiting out there for us… to become, to accomplish, to have and to give.

Nervous? Check.

Uncomfortable? Check.

Out of your comfort zone? Um, yeah.

Feel like a newbie with something to prove?

Eyes on you, some waiting for you to fail?

Great… You’re doing it right. Remember, “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were made for”.

It’s not what you and I were made for either.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Benjamin Swicegood

    Great post Chance. I can totally relate. I feel deep in me that I have a purpose here. The hard part is how to get started and where and possibly who can I hook up with to help me get there. Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Chance

      Yes. That’s the rub. It’s a solitary journey and we alone are responsible…But anyone who’s trying is also achingly aware of their need for others. Team is a huge deal – bigger than we make it. Your comment reminds me of that African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

      Here’s to you finding your team…no…Here’s to you creating your team.

  2. Alexandra Shaw

    As teenagers attending secondary school, we experience not only lots of academic pressures, but social ones, too, and we can really start to doubt ourselves as to whether we should be doing something, whether we’re acting the ‘right’ way. This post defies that. It certainly showed me that even though you could have things around you making you feel a little uncomfortable, uneasy, doubtful of your dreams and your ideas and your ambitions, you have to go out and make them happen anyway, because, as you wrote ‘You were made for more.’ Thank you for this.

    1. Chance

      I like your perspective and the way you word it. I’m gonna check out your blog. :)

  3. Yasmin

    So inspirational, such amazing writing! Thank you Chance!

  4. skipprichard1

    Go Chance! Fire us all up. We are all too comfortable and regularly must be pushed out to the harbor. All the best to you.

  5. Freeasamonster

    This post is such a wonderful reminder that despite the feeling of safety and staying in your comfort zone, it really shows courage to venture beyond. Thank you.

  6. Lisamarie

    Your writing is incredible and your vulnerability is inspiring and challenging.

    Thank you,

  7. April Poynter

    I am so grateful for your gift, Chance. You are such a creative writer who totally listens to the voice of the Lord as you write! I can tell! As I was feeling “stuck” in the mundane today, I felt a nudge that I should come read one of your blogs – and here it is… perfect. Thank you for the accountability!

    1. Chance

      :) Smiling. :)

  8. Donna Cobb

    Your writings come at a pivotal time in my life when i needed to hear these lessons the most. God Bless You & Yours Chance.

  9. Donna Cobb

    Once again you’ve given me much to ponder and put to good use in my life. Cherish Ur Writings.

  10. Doug Mayhew

    I am forever amazed at the quality and truths you express in your blogs. They speak to me like you’re a younger brother I never knew and far wiser! Keep up your inspirational work.

    1. Chance

      I don’t know how to adequately respond… Thank you seems too small. Thanks so much for reading.

  11. Stephenie Bernard

    Wow, seems like I have had this conversation with Scott and my sister a thousand times in the past 18 years. A lot of things have happened in those 18 years both good and bad but nevertheless life changing and wouldn’t change them for the world. Again, although we are far from where we’ve come from it seems we have new places to go and explore and never get a moment to be comfortable. Thanks so much for sharing and I just have to pass this along. Good stuff!!

    1. Chance

      Thanks, Stephenie. :) I identify with your words… although we are far from where we’ve come from it seems we have new places to go and explore and never get a moment to be comfortable.

      I’m less and less sure we’re here to be comfortable.

  12. Anna-Emily

    It’s so easy to get comfortable with the feeling of being safe in what you got used to. I know a lot of people who don’t even try to figure out what their life would be like if they took courage to go for something bigger. I have moments like that too when I have doubts about if whatever is waiting for me is worth losing that feeling of safety. Then I look at those who have settled for less and I think to myself ‘That’s not what I want’. What’s more, I’ve experienced leaving a safe place and stepping out into the unknown. It’s all been for the better and I have no regrets. It felt fantastic to know I turned out to be brave enough to make such an important change. Hope more people could experience this special feeling.

    1. Chance

      Beautifully felt and beautifully written. Thank you!

  13. Eric Copeland

    This idea reminds me of the story of Ordinary in Bruce Wilkinson’s “The Dream Giver”. The dream is a journey, and sometimes in very rough seas. I think the answer besides bravery is also passion. Going after what you know God has made you to do because you can’t NOT do it. And baby steps are fine. Just aim for it, steer the ship there, and passionately pursue your course. Good stuff as always Chance!


    1. Chance

      I don’t know this story, but I’m gonna order it from Amazon. Thanks for the tip! :) And thanks so much for reading.

  14. Beth

    I was just reading this quote on Sunday, and reading the response I gave to it in Ms. D. Lee’s AP English class-yes, I still keep my writings from when I was a senior in high school! At the time I stated that I had been content to sit in the harbor, afraid to fail, afraid to succeed. But I can safely say now that I have traveled the seas, and am still venturing into new waters. I suppose if I’m honest about it, I still have an anchor hanging off the end, though, and need to pull that up so I can truly sail. Thanks for reconfirming my position and pushing me farther out to sea!

    1. Chance

      Pull up that anchor and head for the deep! :) You and me both.

  15. Yvette Torres

    Thank you sooo much for your blogs Chance. I am a mother of 4 who home schools all four children with a lot of help from my husband. We both work full time and are looking for exit strategies from corporate America. Your blogs are truly a rich source of encouragement, and inspiration. In time, we will be away from the “safe” harbor. Thank you again for your wonderful words. Mahalo nui loa!

    1. Chance

      THIS is exactly why I write these blogs – for people like you. I don’t even know you, but I’m proud of you. I know it’s tough – we are experiencing similar challenges. For whatever it’s worth, I’ll remind you of something you already know. Don’t wait for the big, grand moment – make small changes. Short of winning the lottery, it’s the only way people with such looming responsibilities make big moves. Small, consistent steps in the direction we belong. Otherwise, we shut down… especially when we have young families.

      THANK YOU for reading and for commenting!

  16. Keith Branson

    My ship has left the harbor. It is now in the open seas. My shipmate, wife Rona has joined me in the journey. Leaving her security of a salaried teaching position, we set sail in the uncharted waters of helping people become “Conflict Competent” in their relationships. Everything you said in the above post rings completely true. His call to be in a ministry of reconciliation is not a safe place for us. It may cost us everything, yet we are willing.
    I thought of a strange paradox when thinking of the safe harbor and leaving port. I wear an anchor that looks somewhat like a cross around my neck to remind me of Hebrews 6:19 “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” NLT. The anchor (hope), not the sail (energy & desire), leads us onward into that which God has for us.

    1. Chance

      I love every word of your comment. Thanks so much for taking the time to share that. You’ve given me much to think on.

      Sounds like we are on similar roads. Good for you both. I sense your courage and boldness, and it looks GOOD on you.

  17. Julie Dumond

    Thank you Chance…I have always wanted a farm with animals and do to something creative- pottery -looming..but I never have gotten there and I am 53. Well, I went to a Llama Farm and since God didn’t sell our house and 82 acres..we are now staying her and refinances our place. I am always outside on the tractor and doing something to help the place develop. But we have no usable barn or animals besides our 3 dogs and cats. The goal this year is chickens and a barn…or maybe into next year. This really gave me encouraging words. I would like a delta trained Llama to take to children’s hospitals and schools…or just have kids come out to the farm to see..even just kids from Grace Chapel. My dream and just getting started…

    1. Chance

      Sounds like a dreeeaam!! I love it. :)

  18. Deeob

    WOW Chance….again!! This made me cry, because it is SO true!! I HAVE from time to time in my life stepped out of my comfort zone…but I tend to want that safe harbor, not to stretch to that place out side the box of home and safety!! Thank you for your thoughts…they are inspirational!! Love you!!

    1. Chance

      Thank you for always reading, and always encouraging.

  19. dellane

    one of my favorite all time quotes: ‘a ship in the harbor is safe, but…..’
    thanks, chance!

    1. Chance

      Thank YOU.

  20. Noel

    So, once again….you have nailed it Chance. I sit here in tears….still asking God: “What now?” But, God…I’ve been here before…why can’t YOU just do the hard work…..and let me catch a break? :) yes…..I know…can’t be what I’m meant to be then can I?” Thank you for this….

    1. Chance

      I feel ya – I think we’ve probably all been there. The thing I’m learning is that even when I’m asking ‘what now?’. I usually can name a dozen small things I know I could do to help my situation.

  21. Barry Westman

    I was just contemplating doing something about this yesterday. Thanks, Chance!

    1. Chance

      Thank YOU, Barry. Appreciate you reading.

  22. Candy

    Sitting here in tears as I read this. Sometimes it is s so hard to see you were made for greater things when you struggle with multiple physical challenges.

  23. Brooke Lackey

    Um, exactly what I needed to read this morning. Thank you!!

    1. Chance

      So glad to hear it, Brooke. Thanks for letting me know.

  24. Rebecca Vine

    Seriously?! I mean, I was literally just sitting here for the past hour mulling over thoughts of safety and introversion… finding reasons it’s ok to just stay comfortable and how it’s probably kept me out of harm’s way. I thought about how I used to always want to go parasailing and skydiving and now I’m content to just watch. Ha! Well written, as always… but holy crap, well timed. I think I’ll go parasailing this week. Literally and metaphorically :)

    1. Chance

      Woo hooo!! I’m smiling ear to ear.

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