Yes, the comfort zone.
As humans, this is a place we love. We look for, strive forand have created products and even entire industries to helpfind and maintain high levels of comfort (hello Lazy-Boy!).You’ll find this desire for the comfort zone in all areas oflife – physically, mentally, emotionally and more; face it,we are hard wired to seek comfort.
Given that, you might be surprised by the title of this piece. (Could I really want you to get uncomfortable?)
Why would any self-respecting personal and professionaldevelopment author write something that seems so counter towhat we all want?
Because like many things in life there is a differencebetween want we want and what we need. We all, at differinglevels of fervor, want the comfort zone (it is, after all,comfortable). Yet what we need to reach our goals is likelyin direct conflict with the desire for the comfort zone.
So why do I suggest you make discomfort your friend? Let mecount the ways.
Five Reasons Why…
Discomfort allows growth. Whether you are talking physically(it`s hard to become more fit while comfortably sitting inyour favorite chair, and especially when you first beginexercising, you will feel real discomfort!), mentally(thinking about new things, concepts and ideas requiresenergy), emotionally (doing something different can behard), you cannot grow until you push the envelope of yourcomfort zone.
If you want more of anything in your life – from healthyrelationships to a healthy body weight to a healthy bankaccount (and everything in between) – you must grow inknowledge, skills, habits and more. You must grow, and alltrue growth occurs outside the comfort zone.
Discomfort builds confidence. Ever noticed that the more youdo something successfully the more confident you become? Howdo you get better at something – by doing it exactly likeyou did it before? Probably not.
Confidence comes in part from competence, which comes frompracticing and trying new things in order to improve. Seethe connection? It is hard to build confidence sittingcomfortably in the easy chair.
Discomfort promotes creativity. Creativity is borne ofnecessity. People create new things, ideas, concepts andproducts when they have a problem – or in some way areoutside their comfort zone.
Often creativity is tapped to help regain comfort, which isgreat. The point is that when you feel or notice somediscomfort or lack of satisfaction with your situation, youwill likely be driven to innovate and be creative to find aremedy. If you want to be more creative, look for yourdiscomfort.
Discomfort overcomes resistance to change. When we arecomfortable, we are less likely to want to change – almostby definition. When we have a lack of satisfaction or havebecome uncomfortable with the way things are we are far moreopen to change. Change, of course, to create a new situationthat is better and ultimately creates a higher level ofcomfort.
Discomfort facilitates goal achievement. This is theculmination of the other four points. If you want morelearning, growth, promotion, profits, etc., you mustconsciously get outside of your comfort zone. Ask yourselfthis question: “Do you want your goals enough to put up witha bit of discomfort, or even fear?” Especially when yourealize that the very discomfort will help drive you to yourgoals. If so, great. You know what to do.
If not, go ahead and sit back in your comfy place. Justdon`t be surprised when you don`t create a better future foryourself.
You`ve traded it for all that comfort.