Your Comfort Zones Could be Killing You!
Our approach to nearly every daily activity is shaped and influenced by some sort of “comfort zone.” Just think about that for a moment…we are wired from birth to reject anxiety and discomfort. It is our tendency to behave in ways that will allow us to stay within our comfort zones. Our comfort zones are like gravity — considerable energy must be expended in order to stay outside of our comfort zones or they will draw us back in.
Invisible “Zones” Everywhere
Who we associate with as friends…
Where we shop…
How we dress…
How we think about ourselves…
And nearly everything else…
The discomfort we feel when making new friends, meeting new people, or doing things has little or no value in making us safe from any real threat to our well-being.
Comfort zones are almost entirely illusion. They do not provide us with a reliable means to assess actual danger. They are based upon unexamined, uncritical, and — most often — unconscious perceptions of the limits of safety.
One of the most common comfort zone boundaries is marked by the discomfort of phoning someone we do not know. This is true even when the call was expected. Yet, making new associations and connections is the key to a wide variety of life-enriching experiences.
All Success Is Found Outside Of Your Zone
The irony of comfort zones is that fulfilled people — people most content with their lives — are those who regularly step outside their comfort zones. The ability to challenge comfort zones is a learned behavior. It is also one of the most universal traits of all successful people. Successful, fulfilled people — people who are living their dreams — have disciplined themselves to step outside their comfort zones on a regular basis. All growth, progress, and positive change depend on pushing the current boundaries of comfort and doing things better, differently, or more. No personal growth can take place from within your comfort zone.
Comfort Zones Generate Regret Later In Life
Dr. Anthony Campolo cites a study done in the 1970s that surveyed fifty people who were ninety-five years old or older. The subjects of the survey were asked a simple question: “If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently?” The clearest theme that emerged from their responses was this: they would “risk more.” In other words, they would defy their comfort zones more often.
Our comfort zones create resistance to the changes that are necessary to be truly safe, secure, and fulfilled. Comfort zones may cause businessmen to resist confronting the careless or illegal behavior of a partner or employee until it is too late to avoid disastrous financial or legal fallout. Comfort zones may cause us to delay changing physicians in the face of persistent, ominous symptoms that our current physician cannot resolve or won’t take seriously. Comfort zones can create the context in which new, innovative business practices or competitive standards are rejected as the rest of the industry leaves us behind. In short, our comfort zones rarely serve us and usually diminish us.
If you really want to know just how great you can be, plan and do something every day that makes you uncomfortable!
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