How big is your comfort zone? Do you practice constantly expanding them? I think it is important to stretch them each and every day (or certainly as often as you can).
You might ask – what am I talking about? Well a Comfort Zone is basically how we feel when we are in a safe, secure environment. It could be a location – your home, your office, England, Australia or anywhere else. Or equally your comfort zones could relate to what you do and how you do it: whether you like travelling; or whether you are comfortable presenting to say…. 100 people; or driving 300 miles away from home; or even 15 miles from home?
When we are very young, we don’t know consciously that such a thing exists. We are put in the pram and taken out for a walk. We enjoy being with our family and friends. And often, we will scream when we want our Mother or Father to pick us up. Older still when we start school we learn that it’s ok to go to play at a friend’s house and then even stay the night. However, for some children (or parents) this is way out of our comfort zone. We all have different experiences of growing up and may have found it incredibly uncomfortable staying away from home. This is our comfort zone in relation to our home and family!
Our comfortable places and feelings slowly expand. As our parents learn to trust us so we expand our comfort zones – it increases our confidence and as we increase our confidence so we expand our comfort zones. It is about learning trust and responsibility.
Comfort Zones do not have to relate to a place. Have you ever thought of bungee jumping or base jumping – that’s where you jump off a mountain for instance without even putting up a parachute at the beginning! Extreme sports! People who perform extreme sports are often heard saying “it is very safe as long as you follow the rules” – I have never heard them say it is comfortable.
What I am getting at is that when you try something new generally you are leaving your Comfort Zone and experiencing new things. And often you will find that it is not nearly as scary out there as you imagined. Fear is often about the unknown. And so “not stepping out” of our comfort zones is often caused by a fear. To get over this fear it is important to push yourself.
As we get older our Comfort Zone reduce quite dramatically so that often you will find older people very comfortable in their living rooms sitting watching TV all day, and are quite negative about getting out – even if they are physically able to.
I encourage you to expand your elderly relatives Comfort Zone by taking them out, taking them to new places or even places that they have been before in their youth. Or when they were younger and making happy memories! Even a tiny change in a routine will make a huge difference. It gives them something to talk about to their friends and family rather than the boring mundanities of daily life.
Expanding your Comfort Zone will be extremely beneficial for yourself or your elderly relatives and will enrich everyone’s lives.
Hopefully I have inspired some of you to think about what you do on a day to day basis and how much fun it could be to step out and experience new things, and expand your own comfort zones and those around you. What amazing benefits could you achieve? Excitement, fun, new friends, new ideas!