“The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master.” ~Khalil Gibran
We acknowledge zones all the time: hospital zones, school zones, time zones, etc. Most of the time these zones aren’t inherently in existence, we created them for some purpose. They are convenient or safe or make for some kind of structural ease.
Zones don’t have to exist in any particular form. For instance, there are countries that are almost but not entirely in one time zone. But they break the “rule” that a time zone is between this longitude and that one for convenience’ sake and just choose to operate in a single time zone.
Zones like these exist by mutual agreement. But a comfort zone requires no agreement at all. In fact, there is generally a lack of agreement about them. You may find rollercoasters fun and exciting and I may find them jarring and nauseating. I probably won’t try to talk you into my take on them either because we all agree that these things are personal.
So let’s examine a few facts about comfort zones:
- There is no consensus on what should or should not be in a comfort zone
- They are generally agreed to be made up of personal choices
- There are no standard requirements
What this means then is you can have anything you want in your comfort zone — and anything you want out of it.
So why would you choose things that hold you back or, even worse, cause you problems? Why have a quart of Ben & Jerry’s in your comfort zone when you know it will only make you uncomfortably fat? Why have a regular paycheck in your comfort zone when you know it will only make you uncomfortable eight hours a day?
The secret is out, folks — there is no such thing as a comfort zone. It is friends with the tooth fairy and second cousin to Harvey the Rabbit. You made it all up and you can make up something else entirely.
So instead of the standard “it’s easier to plop on the couch with a bag of cheese-coated, deep-fried cholesterol chips”, why not create “I’m itching to get out in the fresh air”? Ditch “I’ll just surf Reddit for a few more…hours” with “I can’t wait to crank out a few great blog posts”. It’s only comfortable if you say it is and it is only uncomfortable if you say it is.
This works in both directions. You can put what used to be in your comfort zone out. You can decide that it makes you edgy to waste too much time on Facebook or it makes you feel lethargic to eat that deep-fried whatever. (It probably already did anyway.)
“There’s no such thing as a comfort zone.” click to tweet
I am not saying that new behavior will not cause a sensation you used to regard as pain. But that is just an old habit. It will pass if you let it. Why live in a narrow, restrictive comfort zone when you could live in a broad and spacious Region of Comfort? Remember, it’s all made up. Even better, it is all made up by you. Do yourself a favor and make up something expansive, glorious, and dynamic.
Tell us about your new Region of Comfort by commenting below.
Photo credit: daumenlutscher