Dissecting the “Comfort Zone”
Getting out of a routine takes a lot of work - finding a new challenge and the means to achieve it can be both rewarding and fear-inducing. Hence, we choose to remain where we are - the comfort zone. Put simply, the comfort zone is a ‘behavioral space’ in which your activities follow a set pattern, enabling you to minimize stress and risk while maximizing productivity. It isn’t bad to be comfortable - but if you’re looking to maximize your potential, knowing which comfort zone you belong to is vital.
Through my experiences as a life coach, I’ve discovered that the comfort zone stems from two primary sources:
1. Peace of mind
This is the ‘safe’ zone. In this zone, all your experiences enable you to draw out the positivity in situations. Peace of mind comes from gratitude; this is a very healthy means of achieving comfort because it ensures long-term physical, mental and emotional wellness. For instance, instead of yelling at your little one tipping the food off their plate, you’re thankful that you have the means to feed your family and keep them healthy. Because the smallest disturbance keeps you calm, thus equipping you to face bigger challenges with equal composure.
2. Avoiding fear
This is the ‘danger’ zone. In here, you hold back on achieving what you’re capable of because you’re scared of the consequences, in addition to doubting your potential. Self-doubt can alter how you perceive yourself and impact your life negatively. An example of this is avoiding a job interview because you lack self-confidence and are afraid of rejection. Once you let fear overcome you, you’re setting yourself up for negativity, and that is not okay. Being fearful to a reasonable extent is good, but it shouldn’t stagnate you. Living a full life means being happy, positively stimulated, pursuing growth and above all, keeping your dreams and passions alive.
In order to maintain happiness while achieving growth, it is important to identify what comfort zone you are currently in. If it is fear-induced, here are some ways to push your comfort zone:
- Question its source: Is gratitude leading you forward or is fear holding you back? If it’s the latter, take steps to challenge the boundaries of your comfort zone slowly and steadily.
- Express your fears: Write down what scares you and why. This will help you determine the size of your fear, which may be much smaller than you think.
- Start with small challenges: Give yourself one challenge to overcome everyday. By doing so, you’re reprogramming your fear triggers, thus pushing the limits of your comfort zone and moving towards your passion.
- Find your source of encouragement: Speak to someone about your goals and fears. Your friends and family can be the sources of encouragement, enabling you to overcome your fears and pushing you towards gratitude and joy.
- Seek a life coach: If you’re in a tight spot and really need someone to help, speak to a mentor or a life coach. A life coach or mentor will work with you and enable you to get to that ‘sweet spot’ through means of exercises and advice.