In life, we constantly face situations when it is necessary to change something or even just to do something unusual and new, but the fear of the unknown often prevents us from acting.
Our inner voice begins to convince us that everything is not so bad, but who knows if it will be good if we begin to change our lives.
There are internal boundaries within which we feel safe only because everything is familiar and we used to it.
It is these internal frameworks that compel us to hold on to relationships that have become obsolete, for work that does not bring us satisfaction and even for the habitual way of thinking.
These inner frames form our comfort zone.
A zone of comfort is an area of living space that gives a feeling of comfort and safety. As a rule, the zone of comfort is determined by the usual patterns of behavior, to which one is accustomed, it is comfortable.
A settled world where everything is familiar, stable and predictable.
Simply put, this, a comfort zone, is the state in which you feel “at ease”
_ Well-established habits.
A person does not develop at all, being in a accustomed and familiar environment, rooted in a comfortable zone.
_ Stereotypes of behavior.
A person starts acting as a machine, performing the same actions day after day, ceasing to feel and perceive the surrounding reality with his own mind.
_ Thinking patterns.
A person becomes the consumer of everything ready. He becomes too lazy to think or to do something new.
Behind the zone of comfort is an entirely different “side of the coin” – a zone of uncomfortable and unusual behavior.
Exiting one zone and getting into an unfamiliar atmosphere, a person learns to live anew, re-feel, make vitally important decisions.
Therefore, he have to look for new life guides (points of support), so that the new world becomes much clearer and easier.
The condition in the opposite zone can be compared with the process of growing up a child!
What is bad in comfort and safety?
Nothing, except that they greatly impede the development of a new one.
Any teaching and learning are connected with going beyond the boundaries of the comfort zone.
Outside the comfort zone is the risk area. A reasonable way out of the comfort zone into the risk zone is a necessary condition for the development of the individual.
As a rule, the younger a person, the easier and more willingly he expands the comfort zone.
When a mature person lingers for a long time in the comfort zone and does not make any efforts to leave this zone and expand its borders, its development stops, turning into a degradation of the individual.
How exactly we can understand that we are stuck in the comfort zone.
You can understand this by your reaction to any new situation that we have encountered or even just thought about it.
The first reaction is likely to be fear.
It have to be to emphasize that the reaction to the new can be completely different (agiotage, curiosity, interest, anxiety), but it is fear that is a destructive feeling and an indicator that one does not want to leave the comfort zone.
Further, based on this fear, the one that is stuck in the comfort zone can choose several behaviors: run and hide, ignore, protest, resist and try to prevent change, etc.
Whereas the path leading to the expansion of the comfort zone implies acceptance and adaptation … Awareness.
The most important condition for leaving the comfort zone can be considered the realization that we are hanging in it. Without admitting to ourselves that we are hanging in the comfort zone, we cannot get off.
It is very important to assume for ourselves the idea that we are stuck here and that we need to break beyond the existing situation by defining the area of the comfort zone.
This is our work, our business, established but not happy with; our relations, the city, the apartment where we live – all this can be our comfort zone, which does not suit us at all, but we are afraid of change and do nothing to change our life.
How to get out of the comfort zone? Methods of output:
To leave from a comfortable stay it is necessary to any. The thing is when and how he can get out.
- Prepared or thrown out of a comfortable shelter to the mercy of fate. The second way out of the ordinary existence of a more traumatic soul: stress, neurosis, depression.
Life circumstances or changed conditions make a person dramatically change the course of his routine life, which entails a considerable threat to health.
To prevent such sudden changes in life, it is better to make an informed decision to choose the first option for getting out of the “gray” consumer’s existence.
Then all the changes in life will proceed in a milder form with sparing influence on the psyche.
Mastering new things is always a test. If it were not so, there would not be such a thing as a “comfort zone”.
But it exists, and the actual exit from the comfort zone helps us understand how our habits are formed and what we can do to change them, how to survive ourselves from a safe cozy box of serenity, doing concrete things.
But do not forget about the box. We cannot live outside our comfort zone all the time. We need to return here periodically to reflect on the new experience.
On the one hand, leaving the comfort zone forces us to move forward, but on the other hand, does not allow us to more subtly feel and appreciate what we already have.
Alternating life in the comfort zone and beyond is a way to avoid this entropy of interest and remembering that everything new and fresh, in time, becomes a habit and routine.
The exit point from the comfort zone is any situation that brings new impressions and new images. You can start small: just order an unusual dish in the restaurant where you order always the same, buy a new book, go to a park that you’ve never been in …
Quietly and slowly go out of your comfort zone, then return to it with a new experience, again go out and gradually make the expansion of the borders of your habits. Try something new once a week or at least once a month.
Do not limit yourself to only extremely dynamic and acute experiences (such as a jump with a parachute, a sharp change of work, residence, etc.). It does not matter.
Perhaps meditation will take you much further from the comfort zone than bungee jumping. The point is not to become an adrenaline addict, but to learn what you really are capable of, and to maximize your potential.
The main thing is that when you return to the comfort zone, do not forget to take with you as much inspiration and creativity as you can take from places where miracles happen all the time.
***In one small zoo, a bear was kept in a tight cage for a long time, so that he could only make 4 steps in one direction, turn around and make 4 steps back.
So he walked all day in a cage back and forth.
Visitors regretted the bear and said: “How, probably, he would be happy if he managed to be free.”
Time passed, the zoo began to be repaired, and for all big animals were made large aviaries. There was a lot of greenery and in the aviary of the bear, even a pool. Workers of the zoo looked forward to how a huge beast would be delighted when it was transferred from a closed cage to a spacious aviary.
And now the long-awaited day has come. The bear was sent to a tiny cage for transportation and taken to a new place.
Even being in a transport cage, the bear managed to make his obligatory 4 steps back and forth.
Finally, he was released into a new spacious aviary. The bear looked around, took a cautious step, another, a third, a fourth … And then turned and again took 4 steps back.
He still could not understand that now the bars of the cage that limited his freedom exists only in his imagination. But these twigs in the memory of the beast proved to be stronger than the real ones. So the bear is still walking in a huge enclosure: 4 steps back and 4 steps back.***
That is why the stage of realizing that borders exist is so important.
Realizing that we are stuck in the comfort zone, we need to act.
There is no need to demonize the comfort zone, accusing it of holding back a person.
No, only the person who chooses stability and security is able to restrain himself.
But anyone who has grandiose plans, who wants something more than “stability,” who cherishes his goals and knows that the path to them will not be easy, must challenge himself and learn to leave the comfort zone in order to achieve what he wants.
“If you always set yourself limits in what you can do physically or mentally, you can just as well be a dead man. This will spread to work, morality, for life. There are no boundaries, only horizontal areas of stabilization. But you cannot stay on them, you need to go beyond them. If it kills, then it kills. ”