There’s no better feeling than being all cozy and comfortable, is there? But is your comfort zone a bit too comfortable?
I’ve been talking about challenge this month, as it’s an appropriate theme if you are looking for personal development. Because all of our growth comes through some form of challenge.
But sometimes we’re all good where we are.
Particularly if you’ve been through a rough time already. Maybe external events have taken the stuffing out of you. And goodness knows, we’ve all had our share of that.
In fact, we need some time to recalibrate and catch up with ourselves. Assimilate the learning, if you like.
And it can feel good to just relax and enjoy living for a while, without the stress of having to ‘do’ or ‘be’.
But it’s very tempting when we get into this state, to stay there. And the longer we do, the more difficult it can be to change.
If we’re not used to getting out of our comfort zone every now and then, we can become prone to not trying. We start to experience doubts about our ability. The fear kicks in. We may even actively avoid situations that we know will make us uncomfortable.
We might develop behaviours that we think are keeping us safe. But in fact, these may lead us to avoid taking any action. And because our fears aren’t being tested, we fuel the unhelpful thoughts that keep us stuck.
Have a think about the last time you took on a new challenge.
- Was it by choice, or did it feel forced?
- How did you feel before you started? Were you excited about the new opportunity, or did you feel some resistance?
- How did you feel once you got going? Did it feel better or worse than you expected?
- Are you more or less likely to take on another challenge now?
We will experience different challenges in different ways. And some will be more welcome than others.
The key is to find a balance between feeling comfortable, whilst still choosing to stretch ourselves.
Next time, I’ll be sharing some ideas of how we can introduce challenge in a more comfortable way, if you need a little nudge out of your comfort zone!