"What is the comfort zone?" Everyone kind of knows what it is. They certainly know how it feels to be in one. And, perhaps more so, what it feels like to be outside their comfort zone. Fear and trepidation.
The comfort zone is everything we are use to. That includes the environment we live in, the habits we have formed, and our friends and family. Everything and anything that gives us that warm and fuzzy felling. If only we could stay in the comfort zone our whole life. Wouldn't that be great? Maybe yes, probably not.
Many times we are given no choice. Change happens. Sometimes rapidly, sometimes slowly. We are forced to adjust; we have no choice.
The only thing we can be absolutely sure of is that change will happen unexpectedly. At that moment, we are shoved out of our comfort zone into uncertainty. Ouch!
It is also at that moment absolute clarity is required. And, in that moment, we need to figure out the best way to leave our comfort zone behind. In fact, It is the lack of clarity that explains why people fight so hard to stay put and to procrastinate putting forth as little effort as possible. It is here we find ourselves killing off our chances for a better life. That can be so sad and so unnecessary.
Let's dive in and explore just what it is we are talking about when someone asks "What is the comfort zone and why are there times I should leave it."
The comfort zone is not something you can see or touch. It is simply a state of consciousness. A state where you feel safe and everything is familiar. Great, right? No, not always.
As we age, things around us change and just as important...we change. And not just physically. What we value changes. What we valued in our twenties, we don't value now that we're in our fifties or seventies. What you thought was so important years ago is just not that important anymore.
Now, instead of feeling safe and familiar, our comfort zone feels dull and unproductive. For a better life, we need to leave it. That means we are putting ourselves in a state of uncertainty and unpredictability. And that means were going to have moments when we feel less confident. But to succeed, we will do it anyway.
So let's say you reached that point where your comfort zone has become dull and is not as productive as you need it to be. What do you do? You don't really want to leave. Even though it has lost it's luster, it still calls to you to stay. Out "there" is dangerous. So it beckons you to stay. Doing so, however, will leave you with a life of regrets.
What everyone doesn't want to do is face up to the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure. The first thing to do is see failure for what it really is. It is an opportunity. Consider what Henry Ford said about failure, "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." Isn't that a great way to look at it. It is a chance to gain experience.
And the worst part of fear is the contemplation. What is going to happen? Is it going to be worse than what you have now? Well, when you go through it, in the great majority of experiences, it's not as bad as you thought it was. In fact, most of the things we worry about never come true. And in so many cases, fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real.
It's always best to do some planning before we try something that is a little scary. Right? Well, yes, unless that is, you plan and plan and plan. That is called paralysis of analysis. It is so easy to kid ourselves thinking we are accomplishing something.
Of course at some point you know what you are doing. You know you're just procrastinating.
How does one stop? Probably one of the best, and easiest ways is to use The 5 Second Rule and just do it. 5,4,3,2, 1 move. Do it. Don't think...act.
Think like Dale Carnegie who said, "The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore." The fact is, as we all know, nothing is a sure-thing. Life is a gamble. Be strategic, but do something to further your aims in life.
So here is an affirmation that can help your thinking and influence your subconscious. Every morning and every night, say to yourself, "I am willing to do and dare to achieve my desires." Say it consistently and out loud until you can say it with real meaning and sincerity.
Staying in your comfort zone will not get you to your dreams. Dare to move forward. Use The 5 Second Rule, use affirmations, use whatever you need to so you can move forward. At a certain point, it is time for analysis to end and action to begin.
Don't back down; take the chance. Stepping outside your comfort zone is where your growth in life is located. Then, when you ask yourself, "What is the comfort zone?" you are reminded it something that feels great for awhile, but in the end, has to be conquered. And that you are able to do it. Over and over again.
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