Last episodic musing I mentioned a thing or two about comfort zones.
I figure now’s a good time to elaborate more on that.
Musings Episode 79: Comfort Zones…
In essence, comfort zones are where people become complacent. A person may complain about where they are in life, but be too comfortable (read complacent) to actively move themselves towards where they want to be.
It could be wanting to accomplish going to the gym more, quitting a shitty job you hate, making a commitment to put aside money for a trip you’ve always wanted to go on (rather than blowing it on consumer items), or maybe just cutting toxic relationships out of your life.
Comfort zones are a funny thing though – sometimes they can be hidden, in disguise.
I think it’s largely because of the fact that there are some (and I do mean some) pros to comfort zones.
Before all you self-help gurus who may stumble across this post get out your pitch forks and torches, hear me out.
Comfort zones can be, well, comfortable, because they’re familiar.
Usually when a person’s familiar with something, they feel safe in the familiarity, and have a slight bit of confidence with the situation they’re in or people they’re around.
The downside to this is, it can also make a person a complete asshole when around new people – meaning one can become “arrogant” in their comfort zone, only to be crushed by whatever they encounter that may very quickly, very abruptly, remind them of their place.
That’s a whole different blog post though, one I won’t touch on today.
But, if you put the confidence side of it into the simplest terms possible, it’s like playing an old video game you love – you’ve mastered all the controls and can play it with your eyes closed. You’re confident in your ability so you don’t mind changing the difficulty setting to hard, maybe even extra hard.
That’s confidence in a comfort zone.
But then a sequel or continuation of that same game comes out – and the controller formatting or battle system is completely new.
Let’s say you just buy a whole new game and everything’s new.
Now play it on hard – no, from the beginning, straight out of the box.
Little nervous? Extra cautious? Get frustrated at the game when you fail the first few missions, or keep getting your ass handed to you, so you go back to playing the other game, and talk about how much the new one sucks after only trying it a few times?
That’s you getting your confidence crushed and wanting to step back into your comfort zone.
The primary difference between the two scenarios is that in the first one, you’re making very tiny, incrimental, baby steps to challenge yourself in moving forward – albeit in a contained environment.
While in the second one, you’re facing a whole new wave of factors being thrown at you, and because of the unfamiliarity of the whole thing, your confidence is dropping…even though your hand-eye coordination, your ability to analyse and your mental agility may still remain intact.
In both scenarios your skill set hasn’t really declined at all – it’s just the “newness” of the environment in the second one, and the pre-existing knowledge of the first one that provide a sharp contrast in regards to perception.
The same goes for life.
Bear in mind sometimes there are some situations where you can keep getting knocked back despite your best efforts and willingness to step out of your comfort zone – DON’T internalise it. These can sometimes be the rare situations where it’s actually best to step away from things for a moment – it’s here where you may want to adjust your angle a little bit.
It’s like Einstein says…
Remember to remain agile and reposition yourself when it’s time.
All in all though comfort zones are ultimately, not very healthy to stay in…but they do give you a certain amount of confidence.
The key is to teach yourself to take that confidence, while still keeping your current abilities at the forefront of your mind, and transfer it into whatever new context it is you’re encountering.
So in effect, one could say it’s a bit like you creating and creating an antidote (confidence) for poison (comfort zones).
I think if people started to conceptualise comfort zones like that, the transition process from that old, comfortable rut some get to stuck in, to shiny new beginnings, may become a bit easier.
It’s a lot like knowing how to cook, but learning a new recipe.
You’ve got confidence in your ability – now it’s just up to you to recognise that ability, take the leap, and try something new.
I think this is also one of the ways a person can learn to be confident, but humble.
You can know your abilities, have confidence in them, recognise your potential, and then take on new things; rather than holding yourself back out of fear (which again, stems from a comfort zone) OR, diving in too recklessly.
So the next time you’re in a comfort zone, and you may not want to admit it – how about doing yourself a favour and acknowledging that yes, taking a step in a new direction can sometimes be intimidating, BUT you have all these skills you’ve acquired up until this point in your life – some of which are bound to assist you in accomplishing whatever it is you’ve got your eye set on now.
Approach it with confidence, but humbly.
Do what you fear – don’t fear what you do.
Improve Your Lifestyle. Improve Yourself. This is Life. This is Rego’s Life.™