“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (Neal Donald Walsch)
The comfort zone is a state of mind based on the repetitiveness of living conditions. It is a reassuring routine, made of choices that have become established habits challenging to change, precisely because of the feeling of utmost security they give us. Everything seems perfect; why should we change? Because there is a lot to lose in this condition. Living always in the comfort zone involves a slow and almost imperceptible waiver of change, and with it, we give up the possibility of having an active role in our life.
In short, we put ourselves in an existential cage.
To understand immediately what this means, just think of our personal history, or people close to us, or successful people: every significant success in life happens as a result of a change in the status quo.
Crossing the line that delimits our comfort zone is difficult, generates anxiety and insecurity and unleashes immense fears.
We proceed in tiny steps but with determination, aiming to find a balance between comfort and discomfort, the state that allows you to leave the comfort zone and enter the so-called Learning Zone. It is the zone where curiosity takes over, a sense of familiarity and security is left behind, and real growth begins.
In “The Power Of Moments“, Chip and Dan Heat explain how getting out of your comfort zone is essential to living memorable experiences, and to grow.
“Getting out of the comfort zone is no guarantee of success, but it allows us to learn, to discover what we can do, what we want to become and what we can endure […] success comes if we push ourselves towards the finish line. The intermediate stages are fundamental and stimulate us to give that push because, on the one hand, they are within reach, and on the other hand, they are worth reaching”.
The Learning Zone
The learning zone is an ideal zone for learning and self-improvement.
Imagine the comfort zone as a circle around us of varying sizes (depending on our adaptability and flexibility). Outside it there is another circle, larger and frightening: it contains our fears, everything that keeps us trapped in the first circle. Lack of self-esteem, negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, fear of failure, fear of the judgment, just to name a few. It’s a circle populated by our demons.
Getting out of this circle requires enormous courage, and first, we will experience chaos and stress.
What awaits us outside of it is another circle, the Learning Zone. The Learning Zone provides us with beneficial stress.
Nowadays, the term “stress” has taken on a negative connotation; in reality, it has not. It has allowed the evolution of the species, for example, by allowing our ancestors to escape ferocious animals. Within certain limits, therefore, it has positive aspects. Stress determines a total activation that helps us to improve, learn and brilliantly face new situations.
This third circle represents the optimal zone, the one where we can learn new things, improve, overcome our limits and make the best of our performance.
In this circle, we learn new skills, and above all, we reinvent ourselves. I think that in these trying times, plagued by the health emergency called COVID-19, entering this circle is not only essential but vital.
We are in an era of transition; everything is changing around us: travel, social relations, family relations and especially work. Thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and tens of thousands will lose them in the next two years. Some could manage to work from home.
Do you know why they call it “smart working”? The truth is that working from home is brilliant because it has many advantages, especially if you do it on your own. Don’t think about the inconveniences we’re experiencing today, mainly related to the closure of schools and the challenge of homeschooling. Think instead about the possibility of working from where you want and when you want; for yourself and without sacrificing your family. Is this a dream? Nope, it’s smart!
The first thing to explore when we are in the Learning Zone is the Digital Economy. COVID-19 only accelerated the process that already began, which leads to the slow but inexorable death of the traditional economy and the expansion of the digital economy. They call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution, so much so that it is impacting.
The Internet has changed the game. Usually, we call it: “cyberspace”, “worldwide web”, “blogosphere “, “big net”: the idea is that it is a vast space that surrounds and contains us. One of the most popular navigation systems is called “Gopher” (= go far), it means the Internet is projecting you far away.
Entering the Big Net means experiencing the almost magical sensation that the computer monitor is, as in some paintings by Magritte (cit. Marco Longo, psychoanalyst) a window on the world that allows a universal contact and dialogue and gives the idea that everything is possible.
Internet access activates or reactivates curiosity and the desire to experience new possibilities of learning and working. The Internet, thanks to its high degree of interactivity, provides a context in which we can reinvent ourselves and escalate; it increases the expressive abilities of each of us and provides us with a launching ramp.
Any activity (or passion) can be monetarized on the Internet: yoga classes, healthy eating, cooking classes, photography, sewing courses. E-commerce stores are now much more profitable than the traditional ones, we have seen this during the pandemic crisis, and be sure that this trend will continue to escalate.
Where The Magic Happens
Going back to our circles, outside the Learning Zone, there is, finally, the fourth circle: the one where the magic happens! We grow, we reach goals, we enrich ourselves, not only in material but also spiritual terms, we (re)find passion and finally live the life we have always dreamed!
The path through these circles is painful, and it starts with one great act of courage. You already know that your life depends on it. So, don’t give in to fear, take the courage and take the first step out of the comfort zone; book your Free Workshop here to start exploring new opportunities and reinvent yourself. You can do it!
“Courage Is A Muscle. The more you demand it within yourself & take action, the more you grow and transform.” (Tony Robbins)