How would you define a “Comfort Zone”?
Online, the meaning is defined as,
A situation where one feels safe or at ease.
Which sounds about right. It’s our personal safe area where we don’t risk embarrassing ourselves doing something we’re not able to do well. We don’t have to worry about overworking ourselves or putting in a lot of effort for something we don’t want to do.
It’s safe, easy, peaceful and everything in between.
There’s another meaning to it though.
A settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.
That’s the thing with being safe. Not being safe requires a lot of effort and mental worry and gymnastics which we as people generally don’t want to deal with. We want to be happy, and the easiest way to that is staying in the dreaded “comfort zone”.
People’s idea of a comfort zone varies from person to person. For example, my comfort zone is basically as much as possible avoid going to parties or events where I have to mingle with a lot of people I don’t know. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable and nervous. Your comfort zone would vary of course, like possibly avoiding public speaking because of stage fright or putting in the effort to study a particular topic/subject because it’s too difficult and requires hours of sleepless nights.
But is it really worth it getting out of the comfort zone? Is it worth all the worry and pain we may face? What would we find there?
Pretty much anything we could ever want…
Why it’s worth pushing ourselves
There’s a popular quote by Dan Stevens:
The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.
The more you push yourself to do things you don’t normally want to do, your mind is forced to think more creatively or differently to deal with it. Which in turn helps us grow and advance. Then if we’re faced with the same problem again, we’re more equipped to handle it. Repeat this a hundred more times, and then: that thing which we thought was outside our comfort zone? It becomes our comfort zone!
Or to put it more eloquently by Robin Sharma,
As you move outside your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.
Each time we move out, we encounter challenges every time. But it’s those challenges and how we face them that help us grow. Mistakes will be made, and that’s expected. But like I said in a previous post, mistakes are our greatest teachers. Each time we make a mistake, we’re learning on what not to do the next time. Or how we can do it better.
And the more we keep challenging ourselves, the more were expanding what is “safe” or “normal” for us. As Derek Sivers from https://sivers.org/ said in one of his posts, if you’re afraid of public speaking but keep getting out there on stage hundreds of times, the stage becomes your comfort zone.
Our safe zone expands each time and we get to enjoy much more of life than we could ever thought we could. Honestly we might be capable of a lot of things and have talents that we never even knew we had.
Or as Neale Donald Walsch puts it,
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
How to get out of it
This can be summed up in a single word to be honest: Practice.
When we’re doing something which we’re not comfortable with, we’re bound to feel awkward or uncomfortable. And it’s totally fine. But when you keep doing it, the level of awkwardness we feel naturally goes down each time. So keep practicing and trying.
Keep pushing yourself more and more. And make it a habit to try it every day. The more you feel less and less uncomfortable, that’s when you know your comfort zone is getting bigger.
Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. Brian Tracy
Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting. Edward Whitacre, Jr.
Happy Weekend everyone! Hope the last week was great for all of you wonderful people.
Last week was bit of hectic with getting a new computer system and setting it up for the last few days but everything is almost good now.
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