Why you need to love AND leave your comfort zone
You have to push yourself. You have to do something that makes you uncomfortable everyday. You’re lazy if you stay in the safe and slow lane.
People are always telling us that we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. That we need to force our way to somewhere better, whether we want to or not.
And this might work for some people. But it also might not work for you.
In times of uncertainty, a Pandemic for example, our comfort zone has been essential. It’s been our safe place that we can retreat into and find a little peace and calm. And that’s exactly what a comfort zone is for.
Until recently, I was one of those people who was quite forceful with my clients (sorry guys!) and myself (sorry me!) that we had to constantly be pushing and actively stretching our comfort zones. The more we try, the more we stretch and the more we grow. Right?
I’ve learnt over the last few months that our comfort zone is sometimes very necessary. I’ve learnt to appreciate that our comfort zone helps to;
Save time and energy. You know what you are doing in your comfort zone. This is where your auto-pilot can really kick in and help you. Expending less energy here allows you to use your energy for those challenges that really require it.
Take stock. If you constantly stay in that stretch or growth zone not only are you going to burn out, but you also aren’t giving yourselves the opportunity to reflect. By coming back into the comfort zone you can evaluate what worked and what didn’t during those challenges. You have the perspective to see what you learnt and to celebrate that you grew. Which can further motivate you to go back out into that stretch/growth zone and learn even more.
Build on what you know. Being in your comfort zone allows you to use your experience and what you already know. I like to think of it as going back to your favourite restaurant. You know from experience where the best place to sit is, your favourite things to order and if you’re like me, what you’re dessert you’re not prepared to share.
But….and you knew there was going to be a but.
To really appreciate and utilize the comfort zone you do need to leave it and grow it. And you know why. Because in stepping out of the safety, in the uncomfort there is learning, growth, progression and reward.
You know that from experience when you step out of your comfort zone you can find;
New experiences. Let’s return to the metaphor of the favourite restaurant. Another amazing restaurant might be just round the corner, and you’ll never find it if you keep going to the same one. Alternatively, exploring new restaurants might re-confirm that your favourite restaurant is indeed the best restaurant. But now you know this out of knowledge rather than fear of trying different places.
Reward. That feeling when you do step out of your comfort zone, knowing that you tried, regardless of the result is a reward in itself. Being able to give yourself that pat on the back because you did something challenging is extremely empowering.
Expand your comfort zone. The more you become comfortable with the uncomfortable, the bigger the comfort zone. This is a win win. As not only will you be more experienced and confident in more areas. But you’ll also be closer to bigger and more exciting challenges that will further the expansion of your comfort zone.
So the next time you feel that you want to go back into the safety of your comfort zone, remember that it’s OK for you to do that. It’s useful and necessary to benefit from that safety and use the time to regroup our thoughts and energies. But not forever.
Step out of the comfort zone from time to time. Facilitate your growth and progress, but with the knowledge that whenever you feel too uncomfortable there is a very comfortable space not too far away to support you.
Want help with stepping out of your comfort zone. Working with me could be a way for you to look at things from a fresh perspective, make new goals and take real action towards the future that you want and deserve. Book a free Discovery Call with me and we can explore if Coaching could work for you. Or for more information on my 1:1 GROW and ARRIVE Packages, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "I want to know more".