Comfort. Comfort is nice, it rhymes with rice, it is pleasant, it can be cozy, a warm fuzzy feeling. We like comfort, no matter if it’s in the form of “ultra comfort soft toilet paper” or in the form of a a caressing hug from a loved one. Comfort zone is a space which sounds pretty damn awesome, but when applied to life, it can be a war zone for your personal development.
“Life starts on the other side of your comfort zone”, “Face your fears”, “Place your bed in the snow to grow” – okay, not a real quote so please don’t do that! It can cause some serious problems, but you’ll definitely be way out of your comfort zone. If you do survive the night you’ll have built up a big dose of discipline.
All quotes aside, we know that we need to push ourselves and do scary things to become a better version of ourselves and to learn. But how do we actually do it!? It’s one thing to know what you need to do, but a totally different ball game to actually get down and do it. It’s even harder when it happens to be something that is completely foreign to you, even harder if it scares the poop out of you!
Biology – Comfort zone is straight up biology. As anything that has to do with us humans we can study it and trace it down to our biology. Why do we like comfort? Well obviously because it’s nice and comfy, but back in the survival days the comfort zone was a safe place to be where you were able to relax with no chance of getting killed.
Optimal anxiety – Optimal anxiety is like melted butter on toast for ourselves. It’s the stress level just beyond our comfort zone. In this zone, we go ham! We perform our best and are able to whip up greatness. Everything optimal can always be pushed a bit further, and this is when we reach complete anxiety and stress. This is not a place we want to be in! When we experience this kind of stress we turn right around to cuddle up in the comfort of our comfort zones.
Our zones are not the same size – Every person is different, and so is your level of comfort. You might be able to do things that somebody else have sweaty nightmares about, and the opposite. It’s important to always listen and stay true to yourself when embarking upon a new challenge. If you take on a too big of a challenge too fast, you’ll end up in the blown out anxiety zone and scare yourself to ever challenge yourself again.
Change up your daily routine – Baby steps are still steps. Small changes goes a long way! Change the route you take to work, order something else from your favorite restaurant, go to a new cafe or shop at a different grocery store, do your morning routine in a different order. Small adjustments like these makes you think differently, see new things, explore new things, and make you realize that there’s so many options outside of your little box.
Say YES – Say yes to more things. Don’t overthink a decision if it’s not a major one and simply go with it. You’ll either figure out that you hate it or you’ll, most likely realize that you love this new experience and get a new zest for life. The most spontaneous things in life are usually the ones we remember and value for a very longtime. Doing more spontaneous and trying out new things will also make your life feel more meaningful, and put a slight pause on the clock. When we get older, sucked into those routines, we all wish that time could slow down a bit. Am I right, or am I right?
Why should you challenge yourself to push your limits?
Reaching your optimal anxiety once in a while will give you confidence, increase you growth and knowledge, enhance productivity, increase your quality of life, and always make sure you are becoming a better version of yourself.
Leaving the comfort of our nests can be scary, but the gains will be as solid as a shiny, oiled up six-pack of abs! Learn to enjoy the unfamiliar, and remember that your comfort zone will always be there waiting for you with open arms.