The origin of the term “comfort zone” is a tricky one, mostly because we all have a personal definition and understanding of what it means. But when it comes to performance, it’s relatively straightforward: the comfort zone is a behavioral state in 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.
Risk is a key word here. An overwhelming sense of danger does not have to accompany the act of stepping out of your comfort zone. Quite the opposite, it can be a simple ‘yes’ instead of the familiar hesitation.
Instead, exploring areas outside of your zone can be as uncomplicated as possible embarrassment during a dance class or sharing your ideas at the next business meeting. The correct way to expand your comfort zone is to redefine your anxiety. Analyze why you perceive some situations as a threat and release yourself from the false expectations you’ve created and stood by.
The plunge into unexplored zones can be liberating, enticingly mysterious and full of positive, life-changing encounters. Risk isn’t just a chance for failure, it’s also a chance for greatness and happiness. Inspiration lies even in the moments of discomfort. Look for these opportunities and snatch them! Break free of the limitations and regrets you surround yourself with. Realize that you alone have control of your reactions and try to maintain an open perspective.
Comfort zones are self-created, we choose where the lines fall or if they even have to exist at all. Next time you find yourself hesitating, take a moment. You are a wonderful, resilient, capable, courageous individual. Allow that to show in all facets of life and live each day to its fullest!