The term comfort zone defines the range of temperatures in which we feel comfortable. For me, this zone is between +18C (+65F) and +27C (+80F). I can easily maintain this temperature inside whatever house or apartment I’m currently living in (being a nomad, I switch places regularly) but what about going outside? How do I prepare myself for whatever is out there, be that rain, heat or cold? Am I ready to go outside? Do I have all my gear?
The same applies to deciding whether to leave our emotional comfort zone and venture out to something unknown. We have to be ready for it, regardless of what other people tell us. We might be psyched about leaving our 9-5 job and becoming a travel blogger, after listening to yet another podcast. We might fall victim to our own ambition and take on more responsibilities at work, even though we’re already overworked and are running on empty.
When we go outside in the rain, it doesn’t help that other people have umbrellas and raincoats. We should have them too; otherwise, we’d get wet and uncomfortable. Whenever we wish to follow in other people’s footsteps breaking out of their emotional comfort zone, we should ask ourselves: do we have the umbrella that would keep us dry?
How do we know we’re ready?
If we convince ourselves this is the only thing that will make us happy, we’re not ready.
If we think it will solve our problems, we’re not ready.
If we decide to dive in headfirst without evaluating the whole scenario, we’re not ready.
Jumping out of our comfort zone before we’re ready would only increase our frustration and make our failures seem larger than they are.
When we understand that our happiness comes from within, we are ready. Ready for anything, really :)
When we get used to solving our problems before they become problems, we are ready.
When we carefully evaluate our inner self, calmly and logically examine our resources and find they can withstand some challenges, we are ready.
Finally, we are ready for leaving our comfort zone when we know we can always go back in without feeling like we’ve failed.
At this point, actually, our comfort zone should already be extended exponentially, making it comfortable for us to be in whatever setting we decide to place ourselves in. We would know exactly what we are and aren’t capable of emotionally, physically and intellectually. We would also know that it’s okay to take a step back and to redistribute our resources so we may keep moving forward.
Forward movement is an integral part of living and should be encouraged always. This movement though should originate from within our souls and be based on reasons other than satisfying our ego.