You Know That Comfort Zone Of Yours?Well…

Photo by Jenna Christina on Unsplash

Oh boy, I’m not sure whether I’m excited to share this with you or dreading telling you. Oh well, here goes…

I was out walking in the Brecon Beacons (definitely somewhere to visit if you’re into jaw dropping views), enjoying the mild autumn day and thinking about life and other cool things. Suddenly, out of the blue, and I’ve no idea why but the thought came to me that …

There is no such thing as a comfort zone.

Think about it for a moment, it’s not an actual, physical thing is it, although it may actually feel and look in your mind something like the image of the bed and duvet I used at the top of this post.

As a coach I used to write and talk to clients about the magic happening outside our comfort zones. Right?

Those inspirational quotes about stepping out of your comfort zone, because that’s where the juice in life lies, are all over Facebook and Instagram aren’t they? You’ve just got to google comfort zone images and there’s a ton of stuff there. I’ve just done it, yeah, there are tons of images.

Here’s the good news….there’s no such thing. And, here’s the even better news (or perhaps you’ll see it as the bad news) there’s nothing stopping you from leaving it (because it doesn’t exist).

You see, a comfort zone is simply a thought.

In that moment I saw that my comfort zone is something I’ve created in my thinking and then my consciousness (as I described in I didn’t realise I could ignore my thinking) gets to work and brings it into being as if it’s real. Except that it’s not real. I made it up.

So, if that’s the case then (and let’s have some fun here), we can’t move out of our comfort zone because that would be impossible seeing as there’s no comfort zone to move out of in the first place. Are you still with me?

Seeing this literally stopped me in my tracks. One of those face palm emoji moments.

And then as if the door into that part of my mind had been flung open this is what I realised I’d also made up my entire life. It’s all thought damn it!

Writer’s block is thought

Procrastination is thought

Earning x a month means I’m successful is thought

Performance anxiety in anything is thought

Being good enough, clever enough, witty enough is thought

I’m the kind of person who… is thought

That I have to wait for the right conditions to begin (anything) is thought

Self sabotage is a thought

Pretty mind blowing, humbling and freeing to see through the illusion I’d created.

Okay, so what does a comfort zone really mean then? What thoughts created it as something kind of safe and kind of unsatisfying, some place we really shouldn’t hang out in, and yet it feels good-ish?

I think the answer lies in the fact that we fear discomfort and therefore created some semi-safe hiding place.

The solution then for me is about becoming comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, being okay with feeling insecure. And here’s the thing, a reminder that our feelings can’t hurt us, they are only ever reminding us that our thinking is off base.

I can now remind myself that there’s nothing wrong with these feelings and like thought they’re temporary. And it’s kind of sad to avoid doing something that we really want to do when all we did was take our thinking seriously.

So, off the top of my head here are some examples of going with the discomfort.

Telling someone you love them when you’ve no idea how they’ll respond
Applying for a job you really want even though you feel it’s a massive step up
Travelling to your best friend’s wedding even though you’re scared of flying
Volunteering to give a talk about a subject close to your heart despite your fear of public speaking
Writing that cookery book even though you’ve no idea how
Pursuing your passionate hobby without any idea how you can make a living from it

Look how much life opens up to us when we don’t take our thinking seriously!