The comfort zone.
What is it?
What does it look like?
Where does it come from?
According to Merriam Webster, the definition of the comfort zone is “the level at which one functions with ease and familiarity.”
The comfort zone is around us at all times of the day in various forms. Our phones, Netflix, the couch, hitting snooze on your alarm, our job, the list can literally go on forever.
Everyone has a comfort zone and each person has a different level of comfort.
The comfort zone is nice, easy, and well, obviously comfortable. Getting outside of your comfort zone is when true growth appears.
A good example of this is the gym. To lose 10 pounds of fat, it takes some discomfort and it might be out of your normal comfort zone because you’ve never lost that weight before.
To get to the next level and lose the next 10-20 pounds, you will have to get our of your comfort zone even more. That means saying no to McDonald’s, going harder in the gym, no cheat day, etc.
There is nothing wrong with being comfortable. I like being comfortable as much as the next person.
The one problem with the comfort zone is that nothing grows there. Constant comfort is the problem.
In your comfort zone, you know what you’re doing, how everything works, there’s no stress. Everything in this comfort zone you’ve already been through and it’s all under control.
Outside of your comfort zone is stress, being uncertain, more challenges, mistakes you’ve never made before. Your mind starts racing trying to think of what to do.
Being outside of your comfort zone can be kind of like when a new pilot is in a plane and the engine stops working. Complete chaos for some people.
Here’s a picture to show the process of growth in an area of your life:
To get better at anything, we need to go through this process of going from the comfort zone to the growth zone. The only problem is that most people stop and give up in the fear zone.
Fear is when people become paralyzed and the discomfort really sets in.
The challenge is to push through the fear and discomfort to get what’s on the other side, growth.
Getting outside of your own comfort zone, no matter how big yours is, should be challenged on a daily basis.
Making mistakes and sometimes making a fool of yourself is part of the process, but that is why it’s called the learning zone. You make a mistake and you learn from it.
The only we can improve at something is to push ourselves and stop going through the motions.
In the gym, at work, wherever it might be, I look for ways to step into the fear zone to get to the learning zone and eventually arrive in the growth zone.
I’ll end with one last note, take another look in the growth zone area.
It’s two words and ten letters. “Live dreams.”
Notice how it’s in the growth part and not in the comfort zone.
If you want to achieve your biggest dreams you’ve ever imagined, you need to get uncomfortable.
There’s a saying I like and it’s “Comfort kills.”
It kills our dreams, goals, ambition, drive, and so much more.
So get uncomfortable. That’s where the magic happens and your dreams come true.
Thanks and Be Great,