“If you’re too comfortable, you’re not productive. And if you’re too uncomfortable, you’re not productive. Like Goldilocks, we can’t be too hot or too cold.”
It’s OK to be uncomfortable.
I believe in the changeability of the individual. You can rise above your childhood or your genetic make-up.
No matter what the circumstances we can be free.
If you haven’t yet read the book- Man’s search for meaning by Victor Frankl I encourage you to do so.
Even in the worst imaginable circumstances, Frankl holds firm to the belief that man’s spirit can rise above his surroundings. Why do we have to wait to be so uncomfortable that we then decide to change ourselves ? Why do we stay in our comfort zones so often and for so long?
So what is a “comfort zone” exactly?
Basically, your comfort zone is a behavioural space where your activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. It provides a state of mental security. You benefit in obvious ways: regular happiness, low anxiety, and reduced stress.
Yes, it takes work but getting out of your comfort zone can be a positive and rewarding experience, as long as you don’t take it too far. Remember there’s a difference between the kind of controlled anxiety we’re talking about and the very real anxiety that many people experience every day. Achieving the right balance is different for everyone and what may increase your perspectives may disable someone else. Remember, optimal anxiety can bring out your best, but too much is a bad thing.
I once read a quote from a source I cannot remember which suggested that once expanded, our comfort zones never shrink to their previous size.
When you expand your comfort zone and try new things, it makes other day-to-day challenges seem less significant.
By expanding your comfort zone:
You will be more comfortable around tasks that other people are too afraid to do;
You will feel a sense of calm around issues as you would have developed a bigger perspective;
It can make you feel more alive.
Here are some opportunities to explore according to the Mayo Clinic:
Learn a new skill.
Challenge your mind. Learn a new language or take a free online course on a topic that interests you but is completely new.
Connect with others. What groups are active in your community? Join in.
Start a bucket list. Make a to-do list and start doing the activities on it.
Break your routine. Change an aspect of your daily routine — the food you choose, your exercise or how you spend your free time. Try something new!
Push the boundaries of your comfort zone
It will help you grow. Although pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can induce anxiety and unease but when completed, it gives us a huge feeling of accomplishment and increases our base levels of confidence.
Your comfort zone will grow. Leaving your comfort zone often, will eventually increase the number of things you’re comfortable with.
What will your life be like in five years if you stay within your comfort zone? As an alternative, what would happen if you continually expanded the boundaries of your comfort zone?
Take a look at your life goals. Do they involve taking you outside your comfort zone? Or have you limited your goal setting to things that you can do comfortably and safely?
Today, do something outside your comfort zone. Face a fear that you have, make a step towards a goal you want to achieve, or practice believing in yourself.
Once I go and achieve outside of my comfort zone, I know that I have within myself the ability to make big change. I did it once. I can do it again.
Grow your comfort zone today.