The Comfort Zone Concept

I have never seen the phrase comfort zone in the dictionary, but if it were there, I suppose it would read something like this:

Comfort Zone- A mental state in which no progression toward one’s potential takes place.

I believe that my comfort zone is nothing more than a decision I make to set limits, and blind myself from opportunities that are set plainly before me. Most of the time, when doing something makes me uncomfortable, it is because I have rarely or never done it before. This brings uncertainty, from which the majority of fears originate. However, facing uncertainty and fear is also where the greatest potential for growth lies. After all, doing things I haven’t done before is pretty much the definition of growth. It brings me closer to my potential! For me there is nothing more rewarding in life than progress. This progress comes through the bold confrontation of uncertainty, an opponent who, when accompanied by fear, can be debilitating if I CHOOSE to let it take over.

Again, it is a matter of setting limits by my own choices. If I make a CHOICE not to ask a girl out on a date because I FEAR she will say no, then I miss out on a date with that girl. Had I asked and been rejected, the same result would have occurred. There are two differences in the situations: 1 - If I ask, there is a possibility of the girl saying yes and the date actually happening. 2 - Asking means facing uncertainty which, without fail, translates into progress and growth no matter what her answer is.

I picture my comfort zone as a circle. Inside this circle lies the world I am comfortable with. What makes the inside of the circle comfortable? Words that come to my mind are confidence and control, brought on by experience. People often talk of expanding this circle to make our comfort zone bigger. I believe in setting my goals high and working towards perfection, so I ask myself this: How do I create an endless comfort zone in which I am confident with every situation I could ever possibly face? What this question is really asking is, How do I become comfortable with uncertainty? By becoming familiar with it! Every day there are countless opportunities to experience new situations. I often avoid these situations. This impedes me from feeling uncertain. However, the more I face the unknown, the more comfortable I will become with the feelings associated with being in that position. I will reach a point where I tell myself, “I don’t know what the end result is going to be but I have now faced uncertainty so many times that I am CONFIDENT things will turn out just fine, and I know I am going to learn so let’s go for it!” The fear will vanish and I will free myself from my own prison.

I am not in any way inferring that I should ever act against my morals. If I hesitate to do something because of my morals, it is not because of uncertainty. In fact, it is just the opposite. Through LEARNING and EXPERIENCE, I know and am CONFIDENT that acting against my morals will produce a negative result. This is certain.

In summary, the goal is to turn feelings of uncertainty first into feelings that I am familiar with, and then eventually into feelings that I am COMFORTABLE with, thus destroying the walls of the comfort zone.


Author's Bio: 

My name is Jake Andersen. I’m a dental student, a fan of change, and I believe that my words make a difference. I’ve always been interested in change and improvement. After reading several books, often having a hard time applying them to my own situation, I began writing my own material utilizing “I” and “me” as much as possible. I’ve found that it helps my readers to better relate to the material and apply it to their own situations. I encourage you, the reader, to do the same. Peace.

Jake Andersen