In my opinion, the very famous “comfort zone” should be called danger zone. We should never stay in our comfort zone, ever. It’s the very best place high achievers avoid at all cost. It’s also where you make your worst choices.
I want to speak about this subject now because back to school is on its way, and a new year is beginning. For those who have kids, and even for others, September is a time for planning and scheduling.
If the “comfort zone” issue remains evergreen, September is the time of the year when its temptation level is at its highest.
I will first tell you why comfort should be avoided, and then give you some easy tips to overcome the temptation of staying in a place that doesn’t serve you right.
You cannot grow in your comfort zone
First of all, and maybe the most important reason for not indulging in a land of stillness, is that you can definitely not improve if you stay in your comfort zone. Improvement is the very reason humans made it over the animal kingdom.
“Don’t bother just to be better than your
contemporaries or predecessors
Try to be better than yourself.”
We intellectually need to grow all our lives. Actually, the very moment when we lose this ability to grow is a synonym of old age. If we find it normal to watch our kids grow in size and knowledge, we should keep in mind that the fact that adults merely change in size doesn’t stop our brains from needing more excitement. Challenges, new situations, new learnings and new places are as many reasons to get out of our comfort zone and grow.
Adapting, learning, discovering are all part of what our brains need to grow!
By staying in your comfort zone, the only thing that will grow is your boredom
What happens when you find yourself safe in your comfort zone? Well at one point you get bored. You can’t help it. You won’t help it. The problem is, the biggest your boredom has grown, the more violent, and sometimes stupid your reaction will be to prevent that boredom from growing even more.
About the painful boredom, let me tell you a short story. I was once working for a big transportation company in France. The team was nice, the mission was interesting, and I was making good money from it. From the very beginning, I knew my mission wouldn’t last very long. I knew it even better because my husband and I wanted another child at that time. I was ready to go at the beginning of the summer. It was a perfect time for me, and I was content with this choice and it was ok with my client too.
However, at the time I was an entrepreneur, but like any entrepreneur working with big clients, I needed a company to make the link between me and my client regarding contracts and invoices. The man in charge of my contract contacted me mid-June, to tell me a “great news”. He managed to convince my client to keep me through the summer!
A little story of mine…
My client was surprised by the request, as we previously agreed that I would leave the beginning of July. But he was so happy to keep me for two more months that he jumped on the occasion. The problem is, everybody on the team was leaving in July and August. This big company had many advantages for its employees, and one of them was the numerous vacations.
I spent five weeks in my office completely alone. The situation was so boring that was I was literally envisioning myself running out of the building several times a day. It was painful and a living nightmare. The worst thing was that I had absolutely NOTHING to do! My mission was over. I was in there because everyone else was on vacation. What I really wanted was to be with my son, I wanted to rest because I was crazy sick with the beginning of my pregnancy, most of all, I wanted to do something!
I stayed because I didn’t want to let anybody down, but it was so difficult for me that I can still feel the tension in my body today! Extreme boredom is a nightmare to me because I am used to getting out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. I know what it feels to stay in there, and I don’t like it. Neither should you!
Staying in your comfort zone brings to boredom, boredom brings to negativity. If you don’t want to fall into a negative mindset, you know what you have to do. Of course, I don’t say that you won’t have a negative mindset anyway, as it sometimes takes more than taking a challenge. But you will certainly not be a positive person if your life is not fulfilling.
The problem with that negative mindset is that you don’t enjoy the bliss surrounding you. You are enough, and there are chances that you already have many achievements in your life that are acknowledgeable. Don’t ignore them, don’t fall into the trap of the spoiled child. I don’t say that life is easy and perfect. It’s not. It’s hard, but I’m convinced that everyone is achieving things they can be proud of.
“Whatever makes you uncomfortable
is your biggest opportunity for
When you are in a negative mindset, one day you wake up and want to get out of it. If you have fallen too deep into negativity, chances are you are going to make the wrong move, the wrong choice to change your life and get it exciting.
The decisions taken when you are in the bad mindset can only lead to a poor result. Don’t fall into that trap and make a conscious move out of your comfort zone to make something productive. Create something that makes you proud instead of spoiling the chances to move your life to the next level, a higher level!
Few tips and tricks for the beginners
If you feel that you need to make the move and go for a better more exciting life, but don’t know what to do for a start, I’ve got your back.
Few easy things to start with are your daily habits. Change them!
- try new food
- change your commute route
- wake up earlier to start a morning routine
- try a new sport
- don’t watch TV at night and use your available time to be more productive
For the bolder ones, plan a trip! There’s no better way to get out of your comfort than travelling. I know what I’m talking about. Even after all these years of travelling, I’m still very excited about leaving my comfortable life, but I’m also always a bit worried, unsafe, lazy sometimes when the time to leave gets closer.
Travelling certainly has told us to want for more, plan for new. Our moves abroad are far beyond the point of leaving our comfort zone. But there’s no way these fears kept us from making the move, enjoying the ride, and be proud of our accomplishment.
It doesn’t take that much to reach that point of contentment. Find your grove and plan for your dreams. You want to be fit: exercise daily, you want your own business: work for it every night, you want to learn a new language: register for a class. It’s easy, nothing will come to you if you wait in your comfort zone. The big magic is not here, it’s out there, not that far, so go and reach for it!
If you want some simple challenges idea, sign up to get my “One Week Healthy Challenge” booklet.
If you want to read more about how to be more focused:
Mind health is also important to consider as long as you want to be more efficient and clearer on your goals: