What is your Comfort Zone and why don’t we spend more time outside it?

Comfort Zone

I was thinking about comfort zones today, and realized that the more time we spend outside our comfort zones, the more we achieve. When we achieve, it spurs us on to push our comfort zones further and achieve more.

I also realized that after spending time outside your comfort zone, it feels so much better when you do go back to life inside your comfort zone. It feels as though you have really earned it and the small things you took for granted previously, such as spending a night at home relaxing and watching movies, provide you with much more pleasure.

I then asked myself the question: “If all this is true and I do achieve more when outside of my comfort zone, why don’t I spend more time there?”

Before I attempted to answer this question, I had to understand what being inside and outside of my comfort zone mean to me.

In my mind there are two levels of comfort zone – daily and overall (bigger) goals. Your zone can be pushed by mental and physical challenges.

On a daily basis, pushing my comfort zone could mean waking up at 6am and exercising before work in the dark January mornings. Staying within my comfort zone could mean, staying in bed and hitting the snooze button!

On an overall goal basis, staying within it could mean – staying in a job that was no longer giving me new challenges, moving outside it could mean quitting my job and building a new career or completing your first 10K run, marathon or Ironman race.

For some if could be described as those circumstances when you feel nervous and excited because you don’t know if you are actually going to be able to do what you are about to take on. For example, talking to your CEO about a new project you want to lead. Could this be the true definition?

I’m intrigued by this concept and am keen to know, what does ‘comfort zone’ mean to you?

I asked myself:

Comfort zone brain dump
Comfort zone brain dump

“What happens when I stay inside?”

  • Routine
  • Security
  • Warmth/comfort
  • Short-term fulfillment

“What happens when I push myself outside?”

  • Embrace change
  • Achieve goals
  • Try new things
  • Meet new people
  • Push my limits
  • Aim higher
  • Feel motivated
  • Utilise my most valuable asset – time

Needless to say, I could think of many more answers to the latter question!

This left me even more inquisitive about why I don’t push myself more; if I know that outside of my zone is where I achieve more and find long term happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment, why don’t I push myself more and spend more time there?

The obvious answer in my mind is because we all need to relax and take time to just be. We work hard, life can feel like a rollercoaster juggling different projects, commitments and goals at the same time. We need to take that time off to re-charge so we can actually achieve our goals.

That being said, I definitely know I could push myself more and be more motivated to constantly raise the bar. So for now, I’ll keep the pressure on and keep asking myself these questions. SAY YES MORE and don't let excuses creep in.

Please discuss, I’d love to hear your thoughts or email me sophie@challengesophie.com

Check out Kevin Matthew’s podcasts they’ve been giving me great food for thought and a kick up the butt! http://www.maximisepotential.co.uk