What is a comfort zone?
“A behavioural and/or psychological state where activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that minimises stress and risk.”
Within this state people generally feel at ease and in control of their environment, it is essentially a place of security and comfortability.
Most people avoid stepping outside of their comfort zone because of the above. They do not like the idea of being uncomfortable and most importantly many people tend to be risk-adverse, meaning that they are reluctant to take risks.
But stepping outside of your comfort zone is important because it leads to a tremendous amount of growth and personal development. When we step outside of our comfort zones, due to the unpredictable nature and lack of control that we may feel, we are generally forced to adopt new thinking and behavioural patterns which lead to growth and development.
When we enter a new zone we will initially be in a state of discomfort. Eventually we will begin to adapt and start to strategically think about how to manage and navigate ourselves accordingly, so that we can develop a new advantage within this state.
2017 was the year that I was forced outside of my comfort zone on many occasions. I was pushed so far outside of this zone that I began questioning and seriously doubting myself, which I absolutely hated. At first I did not know how to handle it and this made me feel 10x worse. But as the days went on I began to adapt and my perspective began to change. I realised that I had to use this as an opportunity to really learn about myself so that I could propel myself to the next level of growth.
When we are outside of our comfort zones we are forced to tap in to a store of untapped knowledge and resources, this allows us to expand upon our repertoire of life skills and self-knowledge. Life is about continuous learning but how many lessons can we really learn if we always find ourselves in a place of comfortability and security?
Bill Eckstrom said that “growth only occurs in a state of discomfort,” and I genuinely believe this. Stepping outside of our comfort zone tends to mean that we will face new and unpredictable challenges that will force us to take risks. Taking risks is an important part of growth because it means experimenting and exploring. We learn to rise to the occasion and perform at our peak. Even if things do not go to plan, remember that you did not fail you just had your ‘first attempt in learning.’
Sometimes we are forced outside of our comfort zones by situations that are outside of our control. But sometimes we need to make the conscious effort to put ourselves in those situations so that we can experience exponential amounts of growth.
So what comfort zones are you taking yourself out of this year?