Comfort Zone

When was the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone?  I’m not talking about your physical comfort zone.  Going outside of that for me would be whitewater rafting, winter camping and mountain biking.  I’m talking about a mental comfort zone.  Children naturally take more risks than adults.  I score low on risk for adults, and had the lowest risk taking score ever seen in a risk tasking test given at work.

Since it is reported the vast majority of us feel under stress, why would we want to deliberately go outside of outside of our comfort zone?  A comfort zone is often described as the place where we feel safe or at ease and without stress – and we are after all creatures of comfort.  One reason is the world is always changing. Things are moving at a faster pace every year, so we often have to leave our comfort zone to just keep up.  New technology can make us go outside the zone.

Some times we go outside our comfort zone to leave something that we feel is no longer good for us.  I left a full time corporate manager position in 2008.  I had money saved but no other job lined up.  I did not take a financial risk, but many of my coworkers still thought I was insane.  I also moved out of my parents apartment into my own apartment by myself when I was 19 years old.  That was outside my comfort zone but I knew I had to do it.

We may need to leave our comfort zone to live out our dreams.  I had a friend who was an engineer with security and high pay.  He really wanted to be a comedian or musician.  He always said his lifelong dream was to perform for a convention of dentists in St. Cloud (that was a  joke).  I lost track of him but hope he made it into comedy, he was pretty funny.

I have found just taking small steps to move outside your comfort zone can help with the larger moves.  After many years of swing type dancing, I wanted to move into ballroom dance.  This was not viewed by anyone as a hugely risky move.  However, the style of dance was uncomfortable to me at first.  I was frustrated and stepped on some feet and got stepped on myself by other other beginners.  My brain hurt from everything new I had to learn and old I had to unlearn.  I expected to learn ballroom quickly as swing had been so easy for me and I did not learn it quickly.  I am still learning, part of what I love about dance.  It was outside of my comfort zone but brought me more happiness.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch.  Read more at this  article
(Photo by Andhika Soreng on