May 31, 2021
"It’s all happening perfectly. When I am ready to move forward, I will.” - Susan Jeffers
“Get out of your comfort zone”, has been said by speakers, managers, personal trainers, leaders, teachers, parents, friends. Well, most of us have heard this and say it to others.
Truth be said I have been guilty of this and then I learnt it is one of the most sabotaging B.S. (Belief System) that reeks of fear, anxiety, stress and is like being in a war zone. It is the worst recommendation, suggestion or advice you could give to yourself or anyone.
Being part of this planet, we call earth, every species loves comfort zones, that includes humans. Without our comfort zone, we will not feel safe and secure. We will be in stress and there is plenty of research out there that proves stress causes diseases, depression, unproductivity, separation of families and many more damaging consequences.
Let us look at some practical examples of comfort zones.
For those who go to the gym or carry out some form of physical exercise it so crucial that you build yourself in your routine. In the manner, with comfort, you are able to improve with your stamina, endurance or even your resilience.
The wonderful perks of modern-day life for the fortunate people out there is to have the convenience of uninterrupted supply of water and electricity. And when you take this further, many of us have convivence of having a great transport system. In other words, this all means having a great infrastructure for day to day living being much more comfortable.
Let us now take the human body. Normal body temperature varies by person, age, activity, and time of day. The average normal body temperature is generally accepted as 98.6°F (37°C) for a human to be considered in a pleasant or comfortable state.
Now let us take this B.S. notion of getting out of your comfort zone.
At the gym, your personal trainer tells you to pick up 200kg weight. You have never before trained yourself in this manner. With great enthusiasm, you go to pick the heavyweight and you hurt yourself. A sensible personal trainer over time would help you build yourself by starting with smaller weights. With time the trainer would increase the weights. In simple words, the sensible trainer expands your comfort zone (gets you into the stretch zone). Thus, making your comfort zone much bigger than before.
Over the past 30 years, I have travelled to many countries. A while back I was in Jakarta where I experienced going only a few kilometres down the road in a taxi took over two hours while in Dubai this would only take 10 to 15 minutes. Then in India, I have experienced water and electricity supply just being switched off. All of this causes frustration, delays and a lot of inconveniences. Many people in such countries daily lives are filled with such scenarios and they yearn the comfort zone of having great infrastructure (transportation, water, electricity).
To climb Mountain Everest, you cannot simply go and climb it. You have to climatize yourself physically (emotionally and mentally) to the environment before attempting to climb this magnificent beauty. This takes a lot of training and preparation. Still, due to unforeseen circumstances, not everyone gets to the top. Once again, you have to learn to expand your comfort zone, get to stretch your limitations to be fit enough to start the climb.
Simply put it is about EXPANDING your comfort zone.
Expand (stretch) your comfort zone on a regular basis. Do something every day that makes you slightly uncomfortable thus you can easily return to your comfort zone for safety and security. Take a small risk every day that is not physically, mentally or emotionally damaging you or anyone else. When you do this, your comfort zone will expand, and you will feel more powerful.
On a final note, next time you talk about “Get out of your comfort zone”, think about all those people who are living in a war-torn environment or individuals who are being abused (physically, mentally, sexually, emotionally). They are literally always living outside their comfort zone (the war zone). For them to get into the comfort zone (safety, security, joy, love and compassion) would be truly a blessing and fortunate.