Whenever we avoid new stuff we feel very relieved, much lighter and we might smirk as well thinking that we are totally out of danger.What happens at the same time though is that we stop learning and growing. As defined, the comfort zone is a psychological state of mind that we reach while we control our entourage: can be having contact with our family, a childhood friend, a specific brand of biscuits, a favourite pair of shoes, a dog, our home, a book, grandma’s pie recipe, the small village by the sea where we go every summer since 1997. There is actually no limit to what can be called comfort zone. Everything that makes us certainly feel good, safe. It’s really good to have many but it’s as important being able to get out from time to time.
Is there a way of getting out of our comfort zone without being in danger? And mostly harmlessly?
Three reflections might help us knowing and exploring both ourselves and the external world a little bit more and therefore help us get out of our comfort zone.
What would the end of your world be?
What is the worst case scenario we could possibly think of?What is the ugliest situation you could find find yourself in (and that you really want to avoid)?
We all have our worst nightmares, our embarrassment moments and most intimate fears. I can think of a theatre stage and a joke my public hasn’t understood, silence, me standing and them waiting for my next move, expecting something from me.
It’s important to always be able to scale our biggest fears: How many possibilities are there for these terrific situations to happen? This is the starting point.
2) Opposite thought: Best case scenario!
The idyllic and perfect situation, the moments that make us feel safe, happy, calm and confident.
Receiving ten job offers at the same time (of course the ones we aspire to), living on a wonderful white sandy beach, being able to silence our worst enemy in front of everybody.. Yes, these are amazing scenarios, but how can they be real?
These reflections keep us with our feet on the ground whenever we have huge expectations regarding a specific situation. This shouldn’t keep us cozy in our comfy zone but simply make us think about the real possibilities we do or don’t have.
3)Finally the realist scenario. Life, the real one, the hic et nunc. What is a realist scenario? simply the most possible one, nor positive or negative. It might look skeptic, but it is proven to be..safe. I might not find myself on a theatre stage having a monologue in front of hundreds of people. Might be giving a speech in front of my four colleagues, for me it would still be challenging. It’s important not to exploit reality in our favour in order to feel safer or justified if worried.It’s not how we obtain what we desire.
“Life is a rollercoaster”, isn’t it? We can’t control that much, we can just embrace what happens to us, be curious, explore. Our comfort zone is always waiting on us: we know where and how to find it. But, wouldn’t it be nice to enlarge its borders?