Most of us know where our comfort zone is in all aspects of our life, so we tend to hang out in the comfort zone as much as possible because it is literally comfortable.
It might be a great place to be for a short while but if we stay there too long then it becomes more likely that a time will eventually come when we feel we’ve wasted a large portion of our life just lounging in the comfort zone and not really dipping our toe into the cautious zone or even stretching further into the crisis zone where we can learn to face and overcome challenges.
We’ve all heard examples of people who have had near death experiences or similar extreme circumstances that has given them a new perspective on life, so they vow to live each day as if it’s their last. Even without those extreme experiences the theory of carpe diem (Seize the day) is often touted amongst inspirational quotes in those words or something similar like YOLO (You Only Live Once).
The biggest problem with the comfort zone is that it can creep up on us so that we often don’t even realise where in it, as we’re just going through our daily routine with no particular long standing major problems. We occasionally treat ourselves to holidays and other experiences we feel enrich our life, however never really testing the boundaries of our capabilities that would really make us feel alive.
When I talk about feeling alive, I’m not referring to extreme experiences like bungee jumping or parachuting, I’m talking about the wider human experience. The common phrase that comes to mind to sum up where I’m coming from is “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” which is all about self development and pushing yourself to experience and overcome some relatively negative events and emotions to come out the other end victorious.
I have done this a few times myself already by quitting well paid jobs to start from scratch with a whole new objective and each time I learned not only a huge amount about myself but also gained other skills and experiences in the process.
The amazing thing about human nature is how resourceful, flexible and creative we can be when we have limited options to take the easy and well worn path.
So if you feel like you’re stuck in your comfort zone and fancy testing yourself, start dipping your toe into either the cautious or crisis zone to overcome a challenge or two and reap the benefits that go along with it. Do something different today.