Our most important rule for life. Of all the rules I try to live by, this is by far what I consider the most important. I believe that nothing of true significance is accomplished while we remain in our comfort zones.
The meaning of comfort zone is different for all of us.
I think the definition of comfort zone varies for each one of us. To me, ďcomfort zoneĒ means exactly what it says. Itís a place where Iím comfortable. Itís a place where I feel the safest in most every way; itís where Iím not at risk of embarrassment or humiliation, and where I am pretty sure of the consequences or results of my actions,a place where I am secure and very much in control of whatís going to happen next.
For me to step outside of my comfort zone, means to be doing an activity that places something that is significant to me at risk. This could be something as dramatic as my life, or my entire financial well being, or something as intangible as my emotions and feelings. It means I have to face a fear of not knowing the consequences.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
By Tom Venuto
Take a moment and think about the sum total of everything youíre currently doing to improve your mental health.
Now grab a pen or pencil and draw a small circle - about the size of a golf ball - in the center of a sheet of paper. Imagine that all the work youíre doing is contained in that small circle. Inside your circle, write the words, "Where I am now: My comfort zone."
Next, take your pen and draw another circle outside the first one so you have two concentric circles. (If you didnít draw the first one yet, go ahead and do it now so you have a visual).
The larger circle represents personal growth and positive change.
If youíre not seeing the changes you want - a frustration so many people are experiencing today - it means youíre staying completely inside that circle of comfort most of the time. In order to make a positive change in your life, you have to expand your boundaries by climbing outside your comfort zone.
If thatís all there is to it - if a little step outside your comfort zone is all it takes to grow and improve - then why donít more people do it? What makes that little step so difficult?
The answer is simple: In the space between your two circles, write the words, "pain and fear" a few times, all the way around the circumference.
You see, the second you leave your comfort zone, you experience pain, DIS-comfort and awkwardness. Since all positive changes take place outside the comfort zone, change is painful. The very moment most people feel the pain, they pull back inside the comfort zone. This is the reason why most people fail to improve themselves or create lasting changes in their lives: They are unwilling to face their fears and put up with the pain of change.
Something almost magical happens when we face our fears.
Whenever I first step out of my comfort zone and struggle with the initial anxieties that accompany all those fears of failure, something that I would describe as spiritual then happens. I become empowered and energized. I believe that each time we leave our comfort zone, it becomes easier to step out of it the next time and we are able to take larger chances and put ourselves at risk more and more.
With this also comes the amazing feeling of excitement. I can tell you that for me, there is nothing that quite compares to this incredible feeling. It is, indeed, a extraordinary thing. It makes me feel invigorated, and in the moment. It makes me feel a sense of specialness. And it is this specialness that has made possible and empowered me to accomplish everything that Iíve accomplished during my life.
I would have accomplished nothing had I not left my comfort zone. You have to step out of your comfort zone. The important thing to remember here is that if youíre going to accomplish anything of true significance, you absolutely have to take a risk. That means that youíve got to get out of your comfort zone. The first step is to get it through your head that you absolutely, positively can do it.
Also, before you take this leap of faith out of your comfort zone, know that being armed with information and knowledge of what you are about to embark on will make it easier for you to keep going. Fear is what holds you to your comfort zone, but courage, determination and conviction are what is going to get you through it.
Once you have achieved this, your self-confidence and self-esteem will rise dramatically. You will pat yourself on the back and say, I have done it. That was easier than I thought, and this will make you venture more and more outside your comfort zone. Go on, tell yourself that "I CAN DO THIS" and just do it. Baby steps at first and build up to the big ones. Each time you test the water and dive in, you will grow and it will excite you no end as to how proud of yourself you will become.
We would love to have some of your stories and experiences with what you did to venture outside your comfort zone.
SM and I have done it and it didn't hurt to much. We learnt how to face our fears and step outside our comfort zones. We would like to have you share your stories to.