As we pursue our goals in life, we're going to feel uncomfortable. Count on it. That's part of the process. The comfort zone is the area of activities that we've done often and feel comfortable doing. Anything new, different, or untried lies outside of the comfort zone, in the land of the uncomfortable.
Imagine your life as being in a big box. Inside the box is everything that you have done, felt, know, believe, have, experienced, think, etc. Everything that is comfortable to you. For example, what you believe is inside the box. What you don't believe is outside the box. What you have experienced in your life is inside the box and what you haven't experienced is outside the box. The line that demarcates the perimeter outside the box, in other words, that line that separates what's in the box from what's outside the box is fear. Fear of the unknown, or possibly of loss, is something human beings expend a lot of energy and suppress a lot of creativity to avoid.
But what lies outside the box is what you want that you don't presently have, or what hasn't shown up in your life yet, or what's missing, or your dreams. Risking by moving out of the security of your "comfort zone" is a way to create value in your life.
Your comfort zone is where you operate the majority of the time. You probably look pretty good and feel fairly happy when you are operating at about 50% of your maximum commitment and effectiveness. Comfortable.
Here's an example. You don't know how to swim and have always been afraid of the water. Scuba diving is something all of your friends do and has always appealed to you. So, you take some swimming lessons, learn to swim, and get certified as a scuba diver. In the process you sink, swallow water, panic and do all the things you wanted to avoid by learning to swim. Swimming and water were out of your comfort zone, but eventually became something that is comfortable to you. Water sports are now inside the box. Your experience of life has expanded as a result and you are more confident, not only about water, but about everything. The box of your life gets bigger. You include more of life in your life.
So, why risk if you are truly comfortable and your life is working just as it is? What exactly is the appeal and value of risking and moving outside of the comfort zone? You probably wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place if you didn't at least have an inkling regarding answers to these questions. When it comes right down to it, only you can answer these questions. Think about your own life. Only you know what specific rewards lie outside your comfort zone and what prices you will pay to attain those rewards.
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Arthur Jansik D.C. is a chiropractor and owner of the iRubmassage center in Miami Springs ,Florida for the past 30 years.