Sunday, 23 February 2014

Why Your Comfort Zone Isn't Necessarily Your Friend

I wanted to wait until after I'd had my second ever driving lesson this morning before talking about this issue.

For a lot of people, their comfort zone is there comfort blanket- they don't want to step away from it and are more than happy to clink to it and feel secure. It's natural, it's expected and, sometimes, it's OK.

But, and it's a big but, when that comfort zone starts to hold you back you've got a problem. Suddenly the comfort zone goes from a feeling of safety to a barrier holding you back. You find yourself clinging to the comfort blanket, unwilling to let it go.

But there's something important that you need to know about the comfort zone: You can't progress as a person unless you try new things- you can't expand your comfort zone unless you push the boundaries.

Image from Google

This morning, as I mentioned before, I had my second ever driving lesson. I had a sample lesson week but I was still really unsure- I was anxious, I was scared and I was unbelievably out of my comfort zone. I was still unsure at the end of the session and part of me wanted to run back to that comfort zone and hide there but I was determined to try it again, just one more time, so that I could decide what I wanted to do.

So, there I was this morning- admittedly, having metaphorical kittens but there- and I gave it another go. I did it and now it doesn't seem so scary. It doesn't seem so scary- so out of reach. It's becoming a part of my comfort zone.

Think of your comfort zone as a muscle. For that muscle to become stronger and to become more sturdy, you have to exercise it. You have to push yourself.

While I'm not completely writing off the comfort zone- as it can be really important to not be forced into situations that you are really not comfortable with and have some sense of self-awareness for your emotional and mental well-being- it is also important to recognise that it can hold you back if you rely on it too heavily.

So, here is my challenge to you: Do one thing this week that is out of your comfort zone. Whether that be going out and trying something new or having a long awaited conversation. Whatever it is, just go for it- expand your comfort zone.

Besides you don't know unless you try, right?