The Comfort Zone
The following is the definition of Comfort Zone from Wikipedia:
The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. The comfort zone refers to the set of environments and behaviours with which somebody is comfortable, without creating a sense of risk. A person’s personality can be described by his or her comfort zones. Highly successful persons may routinely step outside their comfort zones, to accomplish what they wish. A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security. Like inertia, a person who has established a comfort zone in a particular axis of his or her life, will tend to stay within that zone without stepping outside of it. To step outside a person’s comfort zone, they must experiment with new and different behaviours, and then experience the new and different responses that then occur within their environment.
Several things about this definition struck me as interesting. “A level of performance without a sense of risk. This describes lots of us in our every day lives. We don’t want to do anything that will upset the status quo. We may be unhappy or at least unchallenged but stepping off that path brings all kinds of reactions that we are not ready to deal with.
Most of us have a standard trip to and from work. Whether by public transportation, our own vehicle or by foot, we usually travel the same way each day. Boredom is balanced against the sense of the familiar. We know those landmarks, we see the same people, have the route timed or would rather not have to think on our commute.There is no sense of risk and that is just fine for most of us.
A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning which allows us to set mental boundaries which give us a false sense of comfort. If we think and act the same way, we believe that we have control over some aspect of our lives.
In today’s world this may be more important than in our past. We have so many things that are out of our control. The economy has caused many of us to lose investments, jobs, homes and certainly a sense of control. Engaging in the familiar somehow makes things better. But today you have to ask yourself is this what is best for me now?
This week let’s begin our reinvention with a step outside of our comfort zone. Tomorrow let’s alter our daily commute. It can be a small step around one block and back to the normal route, a different road, a later bus, earlier train. I’m with you a different route to work tomorrow.