Are You In An Expanding And Comforting Zone?
Are you in your zone? What is meant by “your zone?” I think when someone asks you if you are in your zone, they are talking about your “comfort zone.” This is a state of being in which your anxiety is neutral; a place that you feel very comfortable to be in.
Considering your zone to be a comfort zone, is it growing or shrinking? I think we are all striving to be in some kind of comfort zone as much as possible. We, of course, would like for our comfort zone to be growing. We would like for the activities that we are comfortable doing, to be all of the activities we do. Wow, wouldn’t that be nice? Nice, but not realistic. Therefore, realistically, we should keep trying to have our comfort zone growing.
But, a comfort zone can also “exist” in the mind. We have concepts and ideas about where we belong, how we should behave, how we should live, what we need, when we should be happy, etc. This, in our mind, becomes a mental area that we consider to be part of our comfort zone. I think we should be very careful about this mental part of our comfort zone. You see, this zone is somewhat deceiving.
A comfort zone should feel safe and, for lack of a better word, comfortable. In our minds, the comfort zone can often be a barrier to our thinking. It can cause us to be closed-minded. Consider an example of a person who thinks he should live like his friend lives. Suppose his friend lives without saving for the future and doesn’t live up to his responsibilities. The person can have a comfort zone in his mind that allows her/him to justify a life without saving for the future and not living up to responsibilities. The comfort zone, in this case, is really more of an act of burying one’s head in the sand than being in a zone that gives real comfort.
This comfort zone that exists in the mind, has the potential of keeping us from getting what we want most. When we stay inside our safe and comfortable mental zone, we often limit ourselves to the status quo. If we go outside of the mental comfort zone on a somewhat regular basis, we can naturally overcome any fear we may have due to the unfamiliarity of being outside the “zone.” Usually, venturing outside the mental comfort zone has little negative effect. It’s more about making creative and positive use of our imagination. It’s similar to forming a hypothesis in scientific thinking or “what-ifing” in problem solving. I think it reflects why the human mind is so powerful.
Our mental comfort zone, ideally, will expand. It’s up to us to see that it does. The only way it can expand is for us to allow it to do so. It is easy for us to accept the status quo and not venture outside of our mental comfort zone. When we do that, the zone is not expanding and basically, we are not mentally growing. In other words, when our mental comfort zone is expanding, our mind is growing. Learning something new will usually require an expanding mental comfort zone and therefore, a growing mind. Wow!
Too many people reach a place in their lives where they continuously justify why it’s better for them to stay the way they are, instead of leaving their current comfort zones and allowing them to expand/grow. So, what should we do? Get out of our seats, move and do something (physically and mentally). Do what we need to do and leave the fear in the old “comfort zone.” Truly, F. D. Roosevelt’s quote of, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” can be applied directly to the act of expanding our comfort zones.
We simply, must do what we need to do in order to expand a part of our life that must always expand in order for us to have the best life possible.
Simple to state, yes! Simple to do, Probably not! But like living, we must do it in order to live the life worth living.
What is your comfort zone like?