Our comfort zone is our status quo or set point. It’s where we stick to doing things that we consider are within our abilities and skills. We are in a familiar territory. It feels ‘safe.’ So, why would we want to expand it? Well, do you find yourself getting bored, stuck in a rut or asking yourself, ‘isn’t there more to life than this?’ Or do you feel full, whole and complete? Are you living your dreams? Expanding our comfort zones enriches our experience of life and before we know it we can find ourselves living our dreams.
How big is your personal comfort zone?
Check out how big your current personal comfort zone is. What do you feel confident doing? What are you afraid of? This will be different for all of us. We may, for instance, be comfortable with extreme sports, and yet scream if we see a spider. Or maybe we are brilliant at public speaking and yet afraid of lifts. It is the challenges at the edge that we want to identify.
Life begins at the edge of our comfort zones. Neal Donald Walsch
What is in the way, is the way.
Take one thing that you have identified as on the edge of your comfort zone and that you would like to work with. It is good to begin with a smaller fear, and then later move onto bigger ones. Now imagine yourself on the other side of it. What would you be doing? Where would you be? In particular, how would you be feeling? Make ‘being there’ as real as you can in your mind. Now, decide on what small step you can take today in this direction?
When we imagine ‘being there,’ it might also be that we notice a fear of ‘being there’ or of succeeding emerges. Check, is this actually to do with ‘being there’ or does it have more to do with fears around your ‘current’ world changing? Be clear about this as they are two very different things. Remind yourself of the ‘more’ that is there for you beyond the edge of your comfort zone. Yes, our world does change when we change. When we expand our comfort zones it changes for the better.
A new Status Quo
How about making stepping outside your comfort zone your new status quo? Imagine feeling comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Here are some ways we can re-set our comfort zone.
- Choose to do something new, different or that feels a little scary every day. It doesn’t have to be something big. It can be eating something different, smiling at someone, getting up earlier, throwing out a pile of unread magazines, reading a book you wouldn’t usually pick-up or saying ‘good morning’ to a neighbour. Day by day we can re-train ourselves to feel more and more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
- Start becoming more aware of your habits and beliefs, and start challenging and verifying them.
- Make a fool of yourself. Most of us have a fear of being laughed at. Begin to feel comfortable not having to be right or perfect all the time, you may even find yourself becoming more popular.
- Get to know yourself better. As we begin to understand ourselves better we develop faith in ourselves, our potential and our ability to handle situations. Reflect on: Who am I? Delve into and expand your own inner tranquillity and happiness.