Start, Stop & Change: comfort zone

It’s all too easy to get and stay in our comfort zone and never venture out—personally or professionally.

  • We have the same hair style for 10 years.
  • We don’t volunteer for certain opportunities at work because we don’t like public speaking.
  • We go to the same restaurants.
  • We are afraid of new fashions.
  • We don’t venture out of our small circle of friendships.
  • We stay in a job we don’t love because at least it’s familiar.
  • We don’t embrace change.

Our comfort zone is where we’re comfortable with what we’re doing and where we can avoid feeling doubt, discomfort, anxiety or risk. While it’s called a comfort zone, another way to characterize it is being in a rut.

Give yourself the gift of growth

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is your biggest gift to yourself.

The saying goes if you didn’t feel uncomfortable today, you didn’t grow. Just like an unused muscle, we have to practice stepping out of our comfort zone to build the skill that allows us to try new things, gain confidence, and get more of we want in life.

Which of these steps could you take to expand your comfort zone?

  • Go on a silent retreat
  • Ask for a raise
  • Smile at strangers
  • Take a different route to work
  • Eat alone at a nice restaurant
  • Forego watching TV for a month
  • Ask for help
  • Learn a new skill
  • Join Toastmasters
  • Start a blog
  • Get up an hour earlier than usual
  • Sign up for a class

Think about why it’s easy to stay in your comfort zone in the short-term—but extremely limiting in the long run. Then go out and expand your comfort zone. Just a little every day and you’ll move in new directions!