Let’s be honest.
Comfort zone sucks.
It sucks because when we are in it we sort of feel safe. But also we feel like nothing outside where we are can be trusted. ‘It’s a dangerous world out there‘, we seem to suggest to ourselves as we settle down. A year later, nothing changes much. And because we call the perils of where we are the safety, then we automatically choose to do nothing to turn things around.
But with the little life experience I have so far, it seems to me that comfort zone is a beast. The beast that we shouldn’t invite or even entertain anyhow in our lives.
In this post I try to talk about the beast in thoughtful way. I also stretch the meaning of comfort zone and in the end try to come up with two steps that can help us walk away from this beast.
comfort zone is conformity with cheese on top
I like to compare comfort zone with conformity. And the reason is, after we have settled for a while, the only obvious choice we have is to do what others do.
So comfort zone, is like the door that takes you in to the world of conformity. And once you enter through this door, once you experience what is in this world, you realise that the same music plays day and night.
You also realise that people in this world talk the same talk, they walk the same sort of walk, they identify themselves with others more than they dig deep to know themselves better. In short, these people do the same stuff day after day.
And if you have time to stay a little longer, you soon realise that actually, no one in this part of the world is courageous enough to even be themselves, leave alone to identify and follow their dreams, to set and achieve better goals.
And if you listen to them careful, you realise that most people in this place do talk often
- of what can’t be instead of what can be,
- of what’s missing instead of what is already there
- of what’s gone wrong instead of what’s right
- of what’s going to be unpleasant in the near future instead of what’s good around the corner
They seem to be suffering from a severe lack of positive energy.
The world they complain about is the same world they choose to continue to live in – day after day.
So then the obvious question is, why? Why don’t they decide to walk away to a better world? Well, I think the answer is simple.
In other words, these people are stuck because they don’t have courage to act in any way that would favour them.
But then what’s courage?
Well, it’s a positive energy. The energy that helps us move the mountains of life. The energy that helps us get ahead in life, the way we are supposed to.
And obviously, that tells us that courage isn’t a skill. We don’t acquire it from college.
Courage, another person might say, is like a muscle.
The more you strengthen it, the better it serves you. And that’s the lack of courage that can leave us helpless. It’s the lack of courage, or let’s just say lack of awareness, that all the time suggests to us that it’s a dangerous world out there.
Lack of courage instils fear in us. The kind of fear that paralyses us by suggesting further that, the only safe place to be is where we are, where we already know about. Where we silently call our comfort zones.
But this path or choice leads nowhere.
It keeps us year after year where we are.
But if we develop our thinking, then there is hope.
If we improve our knowledge about the laws of nature, then there is tangible expectation.
So let’s now turn our attention to how comfort zone fares with the laws of nature.
comfort zone is definitely not the path of least resistance
You know, there is this thing some of us call the path of least resistance. Well, if you know something about the law of attraction then you will understand what I’m about to say next.
You see, in all the teachings of the law of attraction (which by the way are getting very popular these days), there are countless thoughts on why, in order to get what we want in life, we must follow the path of least resistance.
In other words, in order to create enough momentum towards what we want, the easy way is by doing what we already know and can, what we have no pressure about as we do them.
Please note the word pressure because that’s the key word when we talk about the path of least resistance.
In the world of the law of attraction, pressure means resistance and resistance means attracting into our lives more resistance.
So it seems like logic that if we are comfortable where we are, then we should stay here as that sounds like the place of the least resistance.
But what happens as we settle down is that as people, we quickly get used to our environment, and soon we tend to work almost on autopilot – no thinking needed.
And this is where comfort zone turns into an enemy for the attraction world.
You see, nature likes to support growth. The seasons of the year remind us of this fact all the time.
It’s obvious that in order to have a brilliant autumn or harvest, it’s obvious that there must be a sweet summer. But again summer is useless unless something good happened in spring. And spring is nothing if winter didn’t do its part.
It’s about change, about variety, and ultimately about growth.
But comfort zone is like having a summer all year round. Or having a smiling spring most part of the year. That’s not nature’s way.
It’s not how things work.
In fact, if that was the way then there wouldn’t be no life. Our world would have been just like Mars.
a blessed assurance
So if comfort zone isn’t in alignment with the laws of nature then there is some good news for you and I.
And that is, if we develop enough thinking that can help us walk away from this deadly beast, then we will surely get rewarded.
Personally, each time I took a step further ahead to the unknown, step to what I wasn’t used to, at first it felt like a chore. I seemed to crawl back to my shell (like a tortoise) as if to say, it’s cold and uncomfortable out there, so I’ll stay in.
But the thing is,every time I’m in such a situation, in the matter of days, my whole body chemistry improves and I seem to develop the kind of confidence I didn’t have before. And you know what that means to me?
Well, it builds momentum to more moves out of the new found comfort zone – because if you think about it, the sooner you find a new place that wasn’t so much of a comfort to you, the sooner you realise that that too has now become a comfort zone. That’s why the search, the move for more and better, must continue.
And that my friend, is what life is about – constantly moving to the next one.
the psychology of continuous growth
I’m sure you have heard them say, success begets success (and hey, did you know that success helps you live longer?).
But if not, at least you’ve heard that energy begets energy.
That’s, if you make it your aim to constantly move forward to the next one, to the unknown, you will gain enough momentum to carry you through all sorts of situations that to others might seem too big to deal with.
In fact, to embrace the path of continuous growth enlarges one of the important muscles that will always support you all the way. That muscle is courage.
Courage seems to feed on itself. That’s, the more you have it, the more you have it. (Not so straight thinking, huh?)
As you can already tell, comfort zone is doing what’s easy, what’s accessible, what’s of no bigger thought, of no effort. And that tells me something else.
That comfort zone is a sign of things not coming.
Most people living in this zone are hopeful.
They like to hope that things will change, someday.
That one morning, they will have this magic wand to change everything.
But you and I know for sure that, that hopped for morning is never going to come. You and I also know that unless we know clearly where we want to go and decide to take actions that set us in motion to that direction, that goal, then there’s no miracle that’s is going to happen – in any name.
Once we settle, we declare to ourselves that we are afraid to go for more, and that we don’t really like to live in line with the laws of nature. This stops us from growing, from getting better… and ultimately from experiencing joy.
But then how can we say goodbye to comfort zone – if at all we want to?
Well, we must first recognise that by settling into what we feel comfortable we give up most of the useful abilities we have as people.
- Our creativity shuts down and we succumb to the frail thoughts along the lines of competition. This is because we think what is is all that is there.
- But also we get boring. So boring that we lose the ability to live this precious life with enthusiasm.
- And most of all, we send ripples that do not serve others. The ripples that radiates depression, scarcity, bad habits and so on.
That’s why it’s important to walk away from this beast.
But then how do we do that?
Yes, we have spoken about courage and that the more we have it, the more we add to it. But that in itself isn’t something we can really turn it into a solid action. So how do we develop courage, in the first place?
Well, I have only two answers for that.
1. Interact as often as possible with people who seem to keep going from one level of growth to another.
People who seem to have no such phrase as I can’t do it.
There is power in associating with these people.
As the creatures of our environment, we can learn anything faster from those around us than we can learn it by ourselves.
In other words, be careful who you associate with.
If they aren’t heading to where you are heading, then you are stuck with where their destination – wherever that is.
2. Act like you are going some place.
I like this one.
And the reason is simple: it works.
Science has many times proved that a person pretending to be confident is the person who is going to be confident. And the person who acts like they have what it takes to achieve something worthwhile in life, is the person who actually achieve something worthwhile in life.
It’s like that Steve Jobs’ famous line,
‘It’s the people who are bold enough to think they can change the world, who do.’
Act like a fool and be one.
‘Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.’
‘To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Remember, your happiness depend not on staying where you call comfortable, but on moving forward, even moving forward to the unknown.