Does the idea of trying something new fill you with fear?
Do you prefer to stick with what you know - even if you don't really like it?
You may be stuck in your comfort zone….
Which is comfy by design:
Our brains sole purpose is to keep us safe - not happy! And a good way to do this is by creating fear any time we try something it doesn't know, because it MIGHT be unsafe
When we're in our comfort zone we know what we're doing. Things are generally pretty predictable. It doesn't take much energy. There is very little risk.
All very safe.
Trying something new is going into the unknown.
There are so many risks: actual safety (less common). Risk of judgement. Risk of failure. Risk of looking stupid. Risk of rejection
All potentially very unsafe to our brain (but rarely in reality).
So make it as uncomfortable as possible and we won't take those risks.
But there are a few real problems with staying in our comfort zone 🤔
❌ We miss out on amazing opportunities.
❌ We stop learning and growing
❌ We stick with things that make us unhappy - better the devil you know
❌ We get complacent
❌ Our comfort zone may actually shrink
So what can we do about it?
I think the first thing to do is to accept having a comfort zone is normal and there for a reason - but we get to overrule it now we know better!
The second thing to accept is that everyone's comfort zones are different shapes and sizes - so there is absolutely no point in comparison!
But the true gold, is that we can all expand and change our comfort zones whenever we want - and the more we do it the easier it gets!
Just by trying something new.
So go for it:
Start small, anything that makes you cringe a little, maybe
- Calling someone instead of sending a text or email…
- Or going to the gym on your own…
- Or arranging a cuppa with a friend instead of leaving it to them…
- Or messaging a friend you've not heard from for a while
You know what you avoid - do that.
And it may feel awkward, definitely scary, but you'll get through it - it won't be anywhere near as bad as you expected it to be.
Then you get to do it again and again, until it feels normal - your comfort zone has stretched.
And as you get used to growing your comfort zone, you'll start to see more options for yourself, especially in areas where things are not as you want them to be.
You get to change those too, because stepping outside your comfort zone is less uncomfortable than it used to be.
And don't forget to look back and see how far you've come, the old you would barely recognise you...!
No excuses now, no holding back, just going out and doing things!
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” -John D. Rockefeller
Let me know, what are you going to try now?
PS. The picture is of me flinging myself out of my comfort zone: barefoot walk over 20 feet of red hot embers at 1236 degrees Fahrenheit - scary, exhilarating and so empowering I did it again straight after!