Your comfort zone is a behavioural space where your activities and behaviours fit a routine- which things feel familiar to a person. We feel at ease, in control of our environment and even we’re in this state we experience low levels of stress and anxiety.
A little habit of healthy stress gives us the motivation to act. Think of it as your temperature zone …like goldilocks neither hot nor cold just perfect. Think of it as your place of home. Do we learn anything new at home? How do secret venturing out away from home?
Your comfort zone is your report card for life. And anything that’s not on that card is a threat. Stepping out of it represents opportunities for growth. When we get too comfortable. Your comfort zone means comfort and comfort means stagnation – no motion – no movement. It is a place where we can manage our stress really well – because we know what to expect. What happens when we don’t move? We get lazy, we stop learning.
Without mental stimulation dendrites, connections between brain neurons that keep information flowing, shrink or disappear altogether. (a huge contributor to early onset of Alzheimers, Dementia).
I have a confession – I haven’t always been open to trying new things.
New things meant failure, it meant that uncertainty. It meant people making fun of me because I didn’t know what I was doing. We all struggle with trying new things. It takes us right back to the school playground when we were 8 or 11 when some poked fun at us or when the teacher calls upon us. The brain does that as a way to protect us. It doesn’t like uncertainty. Anything uncertain is a threat. Research shows that we experience more stress when we don’t know if something bad is about to happen than when we know for sure it’s coming.
Weight Loss, learning a new sport, travelling solo, learning a new language, trying a new dating site, going off sugar for a month – guess what they all have in common? They will scare the heck out of you! Because we are going to expand the most energy worrying, stressed about the outcome because it’s unpredictable. We do not have a neural pathway for that particular thing. There’s no learned pathway- no part behaviour do the brain treats uncertainty as a threat.
We’re wired to seek comfort. It is out of your comfort zone. Leading to rumination…leading to thinking traps of worst case scenarios. Our brain craves answers now. We’re control freaks average we can’t control an outcome we get helpless. The journey requires mental strength. What happens to the brain -when we’re hard on ourselves – we get stressed out. And when we are stressed – we tend to take away the thing we need the most – self-compassion.
In a recent O Magazine article, the author states: “Learning something new causes the brain to build connections between neurons, replacing some of those we lose over time.” So trying something new is GOOD for our brain! Do it for the brain!
Is self-doubt a constant companion? Are imposter syndrome moments keeping you from realizing your biggest dreams and desires? Maybe shame is getting in the way of moments of courageous action? Or maybe it’s something entirely different.
Discovering what’s getting in the way of your success is the first step to dreaming bigger into your purpose.