For many years, my main goal was to protect my Comfort Zone
– or my Comfy Dome, as I called it.
I had created a safe place for myself, and hearing that ‘learning happens outside of your comfort zone’ rubbed me in all kinds of wrong directions. I could learn just fine inside my Comfy Dome!
And I was right. You can learn things inside your comfort zone.
And I was wrong. There is a limit to how much you can learn if you stay within the boundaries of your comfort zone …
………………………………….. and I claimed that was okay with that.
……… but you know that it was my fear talking, right?
This is how I imagined my “comfy dome” – a safe haven for me to live and be happy. Everything was just fine:
I had been telling myself that lie for so long, I believed it. Hey, I liked being comfortable! Who doesn’t?
But how comfortable could I actually be when I was scared shitless of everything outside my own little “Comfy Dome”?? It was indeed little. The world outside of my dome was the scariest place I could imagine:
Did you hear what I just said? “The scariest place I could imagine.”. Imagine being the key word!
The scary place was inside me, not out there!!! In my mind I had created so much fear that it held me back from living an amazing life. I was a prisoner of my own mind.
“Fear is a powerful form of thought. It paralyzes the nerve centers, thus affecting the circulation of the blood. This, in turn, paralyzes the muscular system, so that fear affects the entire being, body, brain and nerve, physical, mental, and muscular.”– Charles Haanel
I know the above statement is true; I ended up being physically ill. I was not only trapped in my own mind but in my own body … all because of fear. Fear that I had created with my own thoughts. I didn’t know any better.
But then …
I joined a self-discovery course back in the fall of 2019 – somewhat reluctantly, I admit, full of anxiety and scepticism as I was at the time. But I will be forever grateful to have learned at that course that we can expand our Comfort Zone and that we can do it an inch at a time – by gently nudging it, not leaping off the side of the edge. (Been there, done that! Only to fall flat on my nose. I felt like I had taken seven steps forward, then 10 back!!)
I made this image to illustrate the different zones:
The comfort zone is where your day-to-day, routine work happens – where you’re on auto-pilot. There are no surprises, you are confident in what you do. Most of us need some days in the comfort zone. Some learning and innovation can take place in this zone, but if you stay there for too long you might get bored and lack motivation.
The learning zone – aka the stretch zone lies just outside of your comfort zone. When you stretch it a little and then go back to your comfort zone, you can reflect and apply what you learned – this is growth.
The panic zone – aka stress zone. By trying to control your stress and/or anxiety, you are drained from energy and very little, if any, learning takes place. We may have to enter this zone to deal with an emergency, but staying in the stress zone for long can be harmful to our health.
A Helpful Question
I have asked myself a question that has proven to be very helpful, which is:
“What would the person I intend to become do next?”
I ask myself that question in many different situations throughout the day, but let’s leave that for another post. When I ask myself that question regarding the comfort zone, this is my answer: She continues to gently nudge and nudge until her comfort zone has expanded a bit. Then she nudges it again, and again. She is courageous! She is curious to see what she can accomplish! She also wants to find out how she can be helpful to others when she continues to nudge that edge, gently, respectfully, with self-compassion.
Because of this exercise, I am now free from my previous “Comfy Dome” once and for all and I have replaced it with an actual Comfort Zone, where I relax and apply what I am learning. Then I do it all over again, nudge the edge and expand, go back and apply new knowledge.
I am now enjoying the journey called life, like the true hero that I am.
When in doubt, ask yourself this question: What would the person I intend to become do next? You might be surprised when you hear the answer…
The amazing self-discovery course is now open to new students, and you can find it here: tinyurl.com/HeroCourse
Stay tuned for more unusual tips.
Follow me on Twitter: @bibilindahl
I wish you a wonder-fun day! ♥
Love from Bibi