You’re in your comfort zone, aren’t you? But is it where you want to be, or are you stuck? Can you see how to get to where you want to be? Are all your goals and ambitions, your aspirations, the things that will make you happy, ‘out there’, just outside the comfort zone, just out of reach? Is it too risky to step out and grab them? What will happen if you do?
For most of us, there is no room for growth inside our comfort zone. And sadly many of us choose never to step outside to truly flourish. We might occasionally ratchet up and down through different similar comfort zones, or hop from one to another with no plan. So, we need a plan. A plan to migrate into a zone which can afford us the comfort and the future we aspire to.
But what stops us? What limits us? Fear? Past experiences? Limiting decisions we have made about ourselves or our ability? Our self-worth? Fear of what others might say? Whatever it is for you, change comes as a result of choosing to overcome those limitations.
Our expectations in life change as a result of our ‘peak experiences’. Something happens to us which leads us to change our perspective, to believe that something we previously thought impossible, might just be possible. If we are lucky, our comfort zone shifts to accommodate these new possibilities. Leveraging that change, or a series of small changes, we ratchet into a new comfort zone, where newer, perhaps even greater possibilities exist.
By learning to step outside our comfort zone, and being able to take chances and have the courage and skill to do it, we can open a lot of new possibilities and discover things about ourselves that we would not have otherwise discovered. For example, we might learn that we are capable and that what we feared so much could bring us benefits that we would not have anticipated.
Strangely, we might also have several comfort zones, with areas of overlap. A zone for work, where we need to fulfil a particular role, perhaps a leader or someone strong or perhaps even someone who is revered. A zone for home, as a wife, husband, mother, daughter. Perhaps that zone endows you with very different characteristics to the ones you portray at work. How many zones do you have? How many of them are comfortable?
Stepping outside our comfort zone requires effort. We first have to recognise that we are unhappy with the status quo, and then identify where we want to be instead. So, we need self-awareness. And to ensure we emerge into a new comfort zone that suits us well, that fits comfortably even though it may be new, we need to be authentic in our desires, and in the steps we take. We can always jump into a fake zone when it suits our needs, but to maintain that for longer than necessary requires too much energy and, in the end, it will bite us on the derriere.
If you need help making a change, if where you are right now doesn’t suit you and you don’t know how to make the transition, or something is holding you back, NLP can help. Contact me.