Before starting to write this article, I did a quick Google search on the term “comfort zone” and an overwhelming amount of articles were on how to “move outside your comfort zone”. Growth indeed happens when you leave your comfort zone and so it would seem totally counter intuitive that I am advocating for having a comfort zone.
In my twenties and early thirties, I used to be a believer in always being in the edge, never settling and always pushing myself beyond my comfort. This mindset and attitude has got me far and opened more opportunities than would have been exposed to me had I just settled.
As I grow older and especially now that my life has dramatically changed since being a parent, I’m starting to take a different world view. I’m starting to value the need for routines and comfort zones. My life used to be about achieving tangible goals and milestones and now it’s all about being present, enjoying the moments and creating memories. As a new dad, I need to allocated a significant amount of my headspace and time to my lovely wife an kid.
I still haven’t lost the hunger and drive. Heck, having a kid has actually increased my ambitions. The only difference between the old me and the current me is how I go about chasing my dreams. Old me would have pushed myself really hard sometimes neglecting myself in the process but new me appreciates that life is jog not a sprint. I’m more focused on playing the long game and achieving sustainable success. Success will cost you. The is a certain price for success I’m no longer willing to pay and this might mean getting there slower or setting new definations of success.
Anyways, all that long winded rumbling was to convince you need to have sections of you life where you keep to your comfort zones. Our comfort zone, according to Rhonda Britten, founder of the Fearless Living Institute, is our safe place. According to Rhonda “Some people call it a rut. It’s not a rut; it’s life. It’s the things that are regular, that are predictable, that cause no mental or emotional strain and stress”. Rhonda advocates that rather than getting out of your comfort zone, you should aim to expand it. This means working from a position of strength and then progressively adding things into your life that expand on what you are good at and enjoying now.
I’m choosing to keep certain areas of my life comfortable and predictable so I can have the mental, physical and emotional fortitude to go after those big dreams. In the past, I’ve found that if I’m constantly at the edge of my comfort, I burn out easily and end up sabotaging myself. What areas of your life can you bring comfort so you are nourished and have the energy to go for the big and audacious stuff?