Everyone has comfort zones; in of themselves, comfort zones are not bad but never pushing your comfort zones and staying comfortably within them is a sure sign you lack self-confidence and aren’t likely to go very far in life. It takes self-confidence to step out of your comfort zones and it takes both self-confidence and stepping out of your comfort zones for you to reach your potential.
A comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.
Let’s break that definition into layman terms…
Comfort zones are created within your every day environments; where you live, work, socialize and with the people you interact with on a daily basis and the things that you do in which you operate easily, mostly on auto-pilot, without undue stress, and/or risks. Comfort zones exist because of the familiar, the comfortable and the routine. Your expenditure of energy and effort within your comfort zones are very stable and so are the requirements on your intellect and skills.
Comfort zones are called COMFORT zones because they are comfortable and considered safe. Comfort zones are where you exist without having to exert yourself, without having to be challenged, without feeling threaten by anything or anyone. Unfortunately, comfort zones are also where you stop growing and where you run the risk of becoming stagnant.
Establishing Comfort Zones
It has long been noted that human beings are creatures of habit. We all tend to gravitate towards establishing routines to make our lives easier and to make order out of our daily existence. Routines allow us to “operate on auto-pilot” and to know what to expect. Along with creating routines to make our lives easier; we also create boundaries (even a lack of boundaries is a boundary in itself). There are social and financial boundaries that we are raised to recognize and then the boundaries we create through our interactions with the people in our lives. As we define the rules for our lives and establish how we want to live; we start creating our comfort zones.
Types of Comfort Zones
In the Western Society, we end up creating comfort zone in four major areas: professional life, relationships (romantic, friendship and family), social environment/status and personal growth (education/knowledge, personal accomplishment and behaviors). Some of our comfort zones overlap, while some others clearly stand alone. For some people, their professional and personal comfort zones almost appear to be two worlds apart but that doesn’t take away from fact that they have selected to create and keep their worlds separated for ease of “it’s what they know”.
The expression “stepping into the unknown” is very similar to “stepping out of your comfort zones”. Life outside of your comfort zones is an unknown and can be very scary. Individuals with self-confidence are more apt to step out of their comfort zones because they believe in self-growth and they believe that they will be able to strive outside of their comfort zones – we’ll talk more about this in the next post.
Ready to step outside of your comfort zone?
Have you found these tips helpful? If so contact Ann Bernard, Confidence Builder here. You can also sign up for Ann’s Loop of Confidence course. This course will teach you everything you need to know to have the confidence to thrive in life and all your future adventures! Contact Ann Bernard today.
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