The comfort zone is the space where many people recline because they feel safe and protected in this area. Stress and risks are reduced to a minimum and this provides us with a state of “mental peace”. The comfort zone creates invisible borders beyond which one does not dare go because anxiety would increase, the risks would become stronger and certainties would no longer exist.
What keeps us stuck in this area is “the fear”.
Fear of making mistakes, fear of what other people can think of us, fear of being alone, fear of changing, fear of unknown things, fear of novelty, fear of public speaking, fear of making a decision, fear of closing an important relationship, etc.
For example, the fear of being alone could block you in a relationship that is now over, the fear of failing to prevent you from being fired to try a new work experience, that of not making it impossible to prevent you from throwing yourself into learning a new language.
Almost everyone is afraid when they face something totally new in life. Nevertheless, there are people who act despite the fear, so we have to conclude that this is not the problem.
Why is it important to expand your comfort zones?
Because you can go from “pain” to “power”.
Being here means a state in which one has the ability to react to the various situations of life in a free and safe way, one has the power to create happiness, fulfillment and to act once the right thing to do is established.
By pain, on the other hand, is meant a blocking condition in which you feel unable to make the changes you want, an internal psychological condition characterized by the various “but” and “if” that can slow you down
- 1) Draw a pain-power chart.
Draw an enlarged pain-power chart and place it on your wall. Even the simple act of doing this magnification will make you feel more powerful. Remember that the trick to moving from pain to power lies in acting! Once the chart is on your wall it will serve as a constant reminder to show you where to go in life. In addition, having this graph clearly visible will help you motivate yourself to go in the right direction.
Put a pin in the place of the chart where you think you are in this moment of your life. Do you think you’re in the middle, where do you sometimes feel apathetic and paralyzed and other times more in control? Or do you think you are at the left end of the chart, where most of the time you feel stuck? Or you are already on the right side where most of the time you feel full of energy ready to go towards fear, and only a few areas of your life still need a little work. The latter condition is very rare because in life there are always new challenges to face.
- 2) Keep an eye on your progress.
Every day look at the graph and ask yourself: “am I in the same place or have I moved?” And once answered this question, move the pushpin. If you keep in mind the direction you want to go, it will help you make decisions about what you want to do in your life. Before taking any action, ask yourself: “With this action do I move to a power position?” If not, think twice before doing it.
- 3) Exercise: “Expand your comfort zone“.
This exercise is very simple and consists of taking a risk every day on something that scares you, thus widening your comfort zone.
Every risk you take, every time you move from the area where you feel safe and secure you will become stronger and more powerful. For example, if you are shy and do not know how to approach girls, the risk 1 could be to look girls in the eye when you walk, the second to smile and greet them, the third to invite them to have a coffee.
Important: Do not export immediately to the highest risk area. Always make slight shifts, otherwise you will only increase your fear and frustration.
Sitting comfortably in the comfort zone is pleasant, tempting and reassuring. I know it very well. But it involves a high price: It stops learning and growing.
Every little step forward that you take, (from reaching a goal to changing a habit), will be outside your comfort zone. If you gradually manage to make small changes, you will soon find yourself moving forward and changing big things without realizing it. Putting the advice you found in this article into practice will help you to “cross” the comfort zone at best. There is a different world out there waiting for you.