BREAKING OUT OF THE C-ZONE
We all love our comfort zone, a place I refer to as the C-zone where we, in one way or the other feel “safe” and “secure”. The fear of uncertainty, pain and taking risks is the reason why many of us remain in the C-zone and use it as a cushion of refuge and a form of protection to avoid the reality of life. Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you really want to do something but you develop the lazy thought of “I would do it but I can’t be bothered?” If so, then perhaps you have a feeling of contentment. If you want to grow, discover your potentials, capabilities and skills to develop yourself and make a difference then you have to migrate from the C-zone, step into the real world and make things happen.
Your comfort zone makes you feel so comfortable in your own world, making you think everywhere else is uncomfortable. This causes you to explore nowhere other than the 3 rooms in the C-zone. Picture your comfort zone as a small house with just 3 rooms; the Cosy room, the Contentment room and the Cloistered room or what I call ‘the 3 C’s of the C-zone’. None of these rooms contain any motivation to push you to make bold decisions, and the worst of all, there is no room for improvement and progression. The comfort zone is a beautiful place, a wonderful place even to sit and do absolutely nothing but guess what? Nothing ever grows there. It is a place of infertility where you can’t bring your plans and ideas to fruition.
Take yourself out of your comfort zone – place yourself in the learning zone and take up a challenge. Exposure to challenges leads to personal discovery, in other words finding out more about yourself, your skills and how to utilise them. It also takes you on an exciting journey of personal growth and development. Challenges are not there to be avoided but for you to overcome them and learn from them. If you are avoiding challenges then you are avoiding growth. However, all the above will not happen if you do not take the bold decision of stepping out of your fortress and taking a daring leap into the wilderness. Comfort zones lead to the adoption of laziness, procrastination, self-inflicted helplessness and unnecessary pity-parties.
At this point, you are probably asking yourself ‘but how do I step out of my C-zone?’ It’s not easy, but who said that the road of life would be easy? As difficult as it may be, it’s got to be done and if you allow fear to take over then you will surely go no further. Fear is a major component that leads to self-imprisonment in the C-zone. Fear of social judgements, rejection and failure discourages one of making bold and deliberate decisions towards progression and taking risks, but remember: failure is not a reason to give up, it is an opportunity to improve yourself, develop a different strategy and work harder. It is the golden opportunity to try again using a different approach to achieve better results. Now let me answer the ultimate “HOW?” question.
How to step out of the C-zone
I. Identify your comfort zone, find the root of what is keeping you in there and deal with it.
II. Change your mindset and your way of thinking. Start seeing your comfort zone as a prison and not as a place of shelter. Embrace the discomfort, avoid taking the broad path and take the narrow path. Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
III. Do not sprint out of your comfort zone but take gradual steps and slowly expand the perimeter of your C-zone. Let the discomfort strengthen you to slowly demolish the wall you’ve built around yourself stopping you from elevating.
IV. Set yourself some goals and develop strategies to achieve them. As time goes on, check your progress and identify the areas that need improvement to confirm that you are slowly getting there.
As you make the decision to take gradual steps out of your comfort zone, you are also taking steps towards the expansion of your comfort zone. It will enable you to build your confidence and develop an optimistic attitude which will then make you more inclined to take risks and excel.
Word of advice: life begins when you step out of your comfort zone. Don’t live a life of mediocrity, step out of your comfort zone and you will notice that it was never a comfortable place to be in. You are only restricted by the barriers you build yourself so do something outside your comfort zone and make a difference in your life and that of others.
by Mimi (@Miminspired)