Our lives are full of opportunities to either take a tiny step or a giant leap outside the comfort zone but grabbing hold of them can be somewhat difficult and challenging.
However, sometimes the problem is not being aware of reasons to do so. After all, if the feeling of comfort feeds our most basic needs, why would / should we seek to abandon it?
What holds people back most of the time is their mindset rather than any distinct lack of knowledge or skills. What I am going to share in this blog looks at the shifts in thinking that are needed to step outside of our comfort zones and into personal growth. Hopefully by the end you will be inspired to leave your comfort zone and seek to become the person you were born to be.
Before you continue, I have a FREE GOAL SETTING GUIDE that you can request via email (details at bottom of blog). When we change our habits, we can change our lives one day at a time. So, how can we describe our comfort zone. I found this definition which I think describes it perfectly.
“The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.”
Within the comfort zone, there isn’t much incentive for us to reach new heights of performance. It’s here that people go about routines devoid of risk, causing any progress to plateau and any growth stops.
From Comfort Zone to the Growth Zone
When leaving the comfort zone, fear doesn’t always equate to being in the panic zone. Fear can be a necessary step en route to the learning and growth zones so embrace it.
It takes courage to step from the comfort zone into the fear zone. Without a clear roadmap / plan, there’s no way to build on previous experiences. This can lead to mass anxiety and the desire to run back to the comfort zone and give up. Yet if you persevere long enough, and you enter the learning zone, where you gain new skills and deal with the challenges you face resourcefully your anxiety levels will come down.
After a learning period, a new comfort zone is created, expanding your ability to reach even greater heights. This is what it means to be in the growth zone.
It’s important to note that like most behavioural change when you attempt to move into the growth zone it becomes harder without some level of self-awareness. Thus, it can be beneficial for clients to consider the following:
- How big are your zones?
Across every life domain, everyone’s zones vary in size. To leave your comfort zone, you must appreciate its outer limits. Similarly, you must develop an intuitive sense of where your panic zone lies. Taking on challenges that lie somewhere in between will stretch you, leading to growth and learning.
- What are your strengths?
Understanding your personal strengths can be of great use. Most people have experienced leaving their comfort zone in at least one area of their life, and there are usually plenty of insights and learning to be uncovered from this experience.
In reality, the process of moving from the comfort zone to our growth zone may not be linear. Peaks, troughs, and plateaus can often complicate the journey. Sometimes, we even need to retreat back to the comfort zone periodically before mustering the strength and courage to leave it again and that’s ok.
While in your comfort zone, it feels safe, and you feel in control. It’s smooth sailing, right?
The best cruises don’t always have smooth waters.
Look out for Part II when I will talk about the Benefits of Leaving the Comfort Zone.
Until next time look after yourself be kind to yourself and others. If you found this useful please share it as you never know who might need it right now. To grab your FREE Goal Setting Guide drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like more details on my full day Feel The Fear Workshop taking place on Sunday 27th June 2021 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Coventry. LIMITED PLACES available. Early Bird Prices saving up to 35% off the normal price until 30th April 2021 https://feelthefeartraining.com/jenniharris/#events .
From my house to yours