As humans, we love our comfort zones, those situations or activities where we feel secure and in control. But equally, we are hot-wired to grow and evolve which means expanding beyond the confines of our comfort zones.
In our comfort zones, we feel psychologically safe, but sometimes comfort zones will calcify and we become ‘stuck in a rut.’ Outside our comfort zones, we will feel self-conscious, but this is also where we learn, grow and reach for our potential.
When you are operating within your comfort zone, everything is relatively easy and habitual. You are certain about what you are doing. You know you are moving to the edge and beyond your comfort zone when you feel worried, nervous, even fearful.
These emotions are the border guards of your comfort zone. They prompt us to be cautious, but they also represent the path to your expansion.
“Nothing great was ever achieved by people staying within their comfort zones.”
I use the phrase ‘stepping over the line,’ to describe moving beyond my comfort zone. To step beyond the border of your comfort zone you have to associate more benefit with taking a new action than in maintaining the status quo.
Remember the motto for comfort zone is better the devil you know!
Putting it another way, sometimes you simply have to acknowledge that you cannot continue the way you are. The consequences of inaction are more uncomfortable than the uncertainty of trying something new.
When we are stretching beyond comfort zone into the learning zone we will always have to battle against the habits we’ve formed over the years. Some habits serve us, but some are beyond their sell-by date. All behavioural habits are preceded by thinking habits and sometimes they need an upgrade just like the software on our phones.
When you are trying something new and pushing comfort zone you will feel self-conscious, worried, even scared. This is just part of the deal. But we can also view these feelings as growing pains.
And what’s the quality we reach for when standing at the edge of our comfort zone and facing those border guards? Courage.
If you need a boost of positivity to find this inner courage to move out of your comfort zones then do check out this post I wrote on this topic.
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