Today in Mad English Lab we were talking about “the Comfort Zone.”
Ah, yes, that mental space we all operate in, that non-existent area we live in where we feel safe and secure, where we do not do anything that makes us feel uneasy, we do not do anything that makes us challenge ourselves.
We like our comfort zones, don’t we? Of course; because we are used to them. That’s the only reason. That’s why they feel so snuggly and warm. We are used to operating within a certain range, we are used to doing the same things every day, we are used to functioning within a set parameter and if we alter that pattern, if we break our routine–we feel awkward.
Humans often don’t like to try new things. We SAY we do; but a lot of the time, we’re only talking…we don’t actually DO new things.
If you never do anything different, if you never change anything in your life–then congratulations, you live in a bubble…and we call that the comfort zone. Nothing ever changes and everything stays the same. It’s nice and boring, and staying inside that safety bubble is the worst thing you can do to yourself.
It’s time to break out, baby. It’s time to Escape the Comfort Zone!
But how? Well, first you need a reason to. You aren’t going to just go out and do something random and crazy that makes you feel uncomfortable, just because I said so. So what’s your reason, then? Do you want to learn a new skill, but are too unmotivated to give it a real try? Do you want a new job, but are worried you won’t get hired, or that you are not qualified? Do you want to be a published writer, but you can’t ever finish writing that darn novel?
Whatever! Hey, to quote Ricky Roma from Glengarry Glen Ross, “Your excuses are your own!” Don’t make excuses not to do something. Make excuses TO do something.
Discover the change you wish to make and then go out and make it. You will probably have to escape your comfort zone to do that. You might have to work harder than you want, you might have to listen to people complain or criticize, you might have to go to the gym and get in shape, or learn to type, or practice playing an instrument every day. But if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. Everything we do to challenge ourselves makes us grow. Every new goal we set and achieve makes us stronger. That’s what it takes. If you want something, you must DO something!
I try to do something every year that scares the heck out of me, and so far I’ve done it every year for about two decades. I don’t just mean literally scary, like bungee jumping, but scary in the sense that it could potentially alter my entire life, my whole future in fact. That’s what I mean by leaving your comfort zone.
I mean you have to make a change to yourself, a deep change.
It isn’t easy; it is uncomfortable, and sometimes we need a push to help us get out of our zones. Sometimes we need somebody to drag us out! That’s okay; as long as we find a way to escape…and once you are out of your zone, guess what? You just entered a NEW zone. Stay there, get comfortable…but not too comfortable. Because pretty soon, you’ll need to escape that zone, too.