Like many people, I tried to understand what this famous comfort zone was all about, and once I did, I wanted to leave it too.
The comfort zone is primarily a representation of the mind; it is a mental state in which the individual is in a familiar environment where we feel comfortable.
It is a familiar world where we already have all the habits that bring us calm and security.
In the world of personal growth, we often find the general idea that the comfort zone is a pleasant space. However, it is much more nuanced than that. I’ll dedicate a more detailed paragraph later. For now, let’s stick to a basic definition, but keep this notion in mind.
The principle of the comfort zone is in direct adequacy with the functioning of our brain. Our brain does not want to change, it wants our needs to be satisfied, and this is precisely what the Comfort Zone offers us because leaving the zone requires more energy and an additional dose of stress.
I want to make one important thing clear. You don’t have to live outside your comfort zone all the time because it is fundamental to our well-being and emotional balance.
To fully understand and assimilate new skills, it is essential to give yourself time, and the comfort zone is perfect for this.
It reminds me of the importance of rest sessions when we practice a sport. It is between two exercise sessions that we develop our muscles. The same goes for our personal growth. Rest is essential.
Here’s an illustration that perfectly illustrates the comfort zone:
We have just explained what the comfort zone itself was. As you can see from the diagram above, there are three other unknown zones: the fear zone, the learning zone, and the growth zone.
Breaking the wall of the fear zone
This is the first and often the most delicate step; you know the famous proverb, “the first step is always the hardest.” This is the moment when one consciously decides to explore new horizons.
This goes against our brain’s very functioning, which wants to keep its initial state and not make any effort.
This zone of fear reminds me of a kind of wall that can seem impassable because it immediately sends us back to face our insecurities, doubts, and fears. It becomes a mirror of our shadowy zones and our lack of self-confidence.
Unfortunately, at this stage, many people give up, and to be completely transparent with you, it is also at this stage that I encounter the most difficulty.
Yet, beyond the fear, there is something greater than awaits us if we find the strength to cross.
Explore Learning Zone
Welcome to the unknown!
At this stage, it is all about exploring a new universe and new possibilities. It is a turbulent zone where one has to face problems never encountered before. The appearance of new issues also means the discovery of new solutions to be experimented with and discovered.
As we solve problems, we gain new mastery, our vision of the world grows, and new perspectives emerge.
We enter a phase of expanding our initial comfort zone. The more we learn, the more we do new things, the more we develop ourselves.
This second stage implicitly leads us to the third zone.
On the way to blossoming in the growth zone
If there is one goal often put forward in the world of personal development, it is the one that leads us to our fulfillment as a person.
The growth zone is like a positive energy that boosts us daily. Detached from others’ opinions, from our fears, we pursue our dreams following ourselves.
It is the moment when we choose new goals and get involved in making them come true.
The Comfort zone is not so comfortable: The Golden Cage Syndrom
By way of introduction, I explained the goods made and the importance of the comfort zone. Paradoxically it is also one of the main causes of our discomfort.
I’m afraid I have to disagree with what I often read on the internet about The Comfort Zone, which explains that it is the place where we feel good, where there is a low level of anxiety.
This is a correct but incomplete view of things. The comfort zone is everything we know, everything we are familiar with, our beliefs, routines, and habits. However, just because we are in a familiar situation doesn’t mean that it is pleasant.
Millions of people in the world experience the wrong side of the comfort zone, for example, all people who live in a toxic relationship with their partners or simply in a relationship in which they are not fulfilled. So why do they choose to stay in that relationship?
Because it is more “comfortable” than getting divorced than being single again and living alone, or having to meet new people and sometimes having to risk being in a worse relationship than the previous one.
For my part, I have also experienced this feeling of a golden cage. I worked for ten years in a job that I didn’t like, and that bored me.
The reason was simple, even though I was unhappy and unsatisfied with my situation, it was much easier to stay in this relative comfort instead of changing my life and facing my fears, the unexpected difficulties, and the unknown that awaited me.
In other words, sometimes, our comfort zone is not uncomfortable enough to push us out of it voluntarily.
It is unique for everyone.
It is important to note that the comfort zone is unique for each individual. It is determined by all the parameters of our life, our place of birth, our family, our education, our character, and all our experiences and learning.
All these factors will gradually build this famous comfort zone.
Please don’t waste your time discovering the ideal zone. There is no one zone better than another; it is merely your feelings that count and your degree of personal fulfillment.
The ideal comfort zone is the one you consciously choose.
I hope I have been able to help you better understand what the comfort zone was, its advantages and disadvantages, and make you want to explore and expand your own comfort zone.
Feel free to consult my other articles on the subject to accompany you on this journey.
Happy Changing my friends.