The first to speak of comfort zone it was Alasdair White about managers at work, explaining how to be in your own comfort zone it means being in a behavioral state in which a person operates in a neutral anxious condition, to provide a constant level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. But what if you want to change the performance and the result? Already in the research reported in that 2009 it was clear that a little anxiety could even improve performance, too much anxiety made it worse. Is it therefore necessary to accept a certain amount of anxiety to improve oneself?
Leave the comfort zone
Currently theleaving your comfort zone seems to be the panacea for all evil. In the vision of a human being who can achieve everything because “the will is enough”, leaving the comfort zone, in a simplistic vision, seems to promote a qualitative leap. Leaving the comfort zone would seem to guarantee the improvement of oneself and one’s working position, personal growth, to appropriate what belongs, to do better and more, to become more courageous. But is it really so? Let’s deepen the concept of comfort zone to go a little deeper and not be satisfied with clichés and apparently trivial solutions.
Comfort zone, what it means
First things first: having a comfort zone is priceless and healthy. Having a comfort zone means having a mental and concrete condition on which to be able to count and be able to stay without feeling threatened, but safe, stress-free and feeling protected practically and emotionally. But who wouldn’t want to happily and easily experiment with new roles, jobs, activities?
Going out is not just a matter of fact. Almost everyone who says that “I did it to get out of my comfort zone”, I would like to get out of the comfort zone “,” she has to get out of her comfort zone “do not know what they are talking about. Most of those who think they are leaving their comfort zone speak of one-shot experiences where a single experience is made that one was afraid to face: a sporting experience, in free time, an exit from the routine that represents more than another a dose of adrenaline but that does not change the substance of things.
Getting out of your comfort zone means getting out of that cocoon of calm and habit systematically introducing novelties that require an emotional effort. Doing new things, which we do not feel in our strings, can generate fear in the fear of not having enough courage, of not being good enough, of being judged, of making a fool, of being alone, of losing what one has, of not being more protected or to be in danger.
Around the comfort zone, however, there is not only danger: there is also a growth zone, that is, an area in which our limits, our resources and new experiences mix to generate something new, to bring something into our life, not to escape from it. Of course, to get out of the comfort zone you have to tolerate some doses of insecurity: if we change the road route with a new one, we will not know at first if we will find traffic, if it is convenient, if we will take less time. But next time we will have one more choice.
But it’s not that simple. To say that to “do better” you have to change is like saying that to make pizza you have to put it in the oven. But what’s in between? The solution is inside, not outside of us. Pushing for change can be useless and disappointing if I feel that I am only going to meet something that terrifies me, in the hope of being surprised, without taking into account apprehension and the desire to adapt, therefore going through a transition phase.
I would not assume that the comfort zone is the bad and the exit from it the good in toto, it is instead possible that:
• Getting out of the comfort zone can allow us to have more choices when we need them, without being in urgency and without the possibility if things at work or in our relationships should change.
• Leaving the comfort zone must have the objective of extending it and re-entering it: that is, not to eliminate the comfort zone but to extend it to expand one’s own certainties and not to live in love with danger.
• Experimenting allows us to understand what makes us feel good and what doesn’t, without preconceptions, but experimenting on the head.
• It is not certain that we are unable to get out of the comfort zone, perhaps we have not yet focused on motivation, or we do not have the right motivation.
• It is not necessarily a private matter: leaving the comfort zone can be done together, changing habits is easier if we are supported by friends or partners, in short, if we tackle a path together with others.
• Leaving the comfort zone is a test of patience rather than willpower: we are no longer able to give ourselves time and we must train ourselves to do so.
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