A friend asked me about my thoughts about being in and/or coming out of the Comfort zone (CZ). It inspired me to take a deeper look.
Many people, myself included, will nudge you to go out of your CZ, to embrace the unknown, to jump into the deep end.
You can’t leave your CZ
The CZ is not a bad place to hang out. CZ is a living memory of all your efforts, wins and fails, lessons learned to come to the place where you are now. A place where you feel You. A place where you are comfortable. Like nicely worn shoes. It’s a Comfort Zone, after all, duh?!
Just blindly leaving the CZ negates your past experiences, and it deprives you of a solid foundation.
On top of that, even if you wanted, it’s impossible to leave your CZ. Going out of the CZ is an oxymoron. It is alive in you, stored in every fiber of your body. All your past experiences are woven into you, and they drive your future decisions.
You are the CZ. You can’t go out of yourself.
For our purposes, let’s see the CZ as a mental construct – a map to chart the territory. Something to give you awareness of where you are.
CZ = your strengths
The CZ is where your strengths are. Go deep in your CZ, see clearly your strengths, what’s natural to you. What is so easy to you, that you take for granted and you don’t appreciate. Look at what your friends are telling you you’re good at, look at what you often get positive feedback on.
It won’t feel like you’re risking anything, it will be a good old comfort, sprinkled with excitement.
Clearly what’s beyond your CZ are your weaknesses or underdeveloped potential, otherwise, you wouldn’t feel resistance to them.
Instead of trying to conquer your weaknesses, why not craft your unique strengths, why not claim them? Why not work on your precious stones, so they shine to their fullest?
CZ = charging station
There’s nothing wrong to decide to keep your job and do your entrepreneurial/creative ventures on the side.
There’s nothing wrong to appreciate where you are (CZ), to enjoy, to charge yourself before you sail out in unfamiliar waters.
CZ is a place of rest, a charging station, you can always go back there.
It’s like visiting your parents or your old hood. The familiar old grounds you, you remind yourself of where you started and it gives you the confidence to go on.
It’s only natural that after a couple of days you will be happy to leave again into the wide world, rested and charged.
Out of CZ = fun picnic
Going out of your CZ doesn’t have to be a big expedition full of drama and a year-long preparation. You don’t have to take a definite one-way ticket out of CZ territory, quit your job, your relationships, sell all your possessions. It will only alert your defense mechanisms, it will only create unnecessary resistance.
Instead, feel good about it. Like consciously indulge in your CZ. Acknowledge how far you’ve come.
You can go every day to the out-of-CZ territory, just a little bit, explore, have a picnic, pick some flowers, put them in a vase and enjoy. Repeat the next day.
I guarantee you when you accept and embrace the CZ, there will be a natural impulse to go out of it. You won’t need (external) motivation or willpower.
Let your Curiosity be your Guide.