From Comfort Zone to Learning Zone

Comfort Zone
Comfort Zone

“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 Four Circles
The Four Circles

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)

Why Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

spial-staris-Photo by Cosmin Paduraru

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. (A. Einstein)

Every time you are engaged in your daily routine, the brain uses just a few neurons to analyze the situation; it already knows what to expect and how to react. You feel comfortable and safe. 

In this state, the brain works according to a principle of efficiency: it is what we call the comfort zone.

In different circumstances, imagine that you are facing a brand-new experience. In this state, the brain mobilizes all its resources to analyze and manage the unusual situation. 

This general mobilization requires more energy, and you know that learning something new is very tiring. Your built-in consumption detector activates instantly, and you start to feel uncomfortable, sometimes even frightened.

The principle of efficiency explains why people tend to prefer the company of like-minded people, and why they prefer to avoid new acquaintances, or why they feel uncomfortable in their company.

It is easier and less energy-consuming. Maintaining the status quo is energy efficient, yet it can also be destructive!

Most of our inner conflicts arise from an aversion to change. To give an explanation that justifies this internal quarrel, people continue to visualize the same frightening fantasies in their minds. This attitude forces the brain to continue to produce the same chemicals that trigger fear.

FEAR

We are prey to so many fears; each person has their own. The fears are various and distinct because they lay on subjective perceptions; they do not represent reality! Some people are terrified of snakes, but others love them like children. Some are terrified of taking a plane and others jump from 13.000 feet with a parachute. These are our emotions when our mind deciphers external situations; they are not real conditions.

One of the most common fears is public speaking. The perceived threat is mental, not physical. Nobody dies from talking to a group of people! Nevertheless, the fear you perceive is real and can be so intense that it can paralyze you. Even years later, when we forget that episode, our body still remembers and promptly activates the same response every time we face a similar situation. And each time it’s a little bit worse than the previous one.

Fear is an entity hidden within us, growing with the years, and it dominates our actions if we do not take action to face it.

If we do not learn to analyze our feelings and understand our fears, we will remain paralyzed; we will live in an invisible cage for the rest of our lives. And this will lead us to a feeling of deep dissatisfaction and, without even realizing it, we will feel like broken. A life safe but trapped in the comfort zone is, in fact, an unlived life. This thought is terrifying.

How to get out of the invisible cage

Do you want to know how to start making a real difference in your life? Here are some tips.

First, you have to learn to ask yourself questions. Too often, we project outward, and we believe that the external situation affects our mood. It doesn’t. We have to learn to look inside ourselves; we will find many answers there, some of them very unexpected.

What to ask:

  • What don’t you like about your life now? You need to identify it accurately and concretely.
  • What do you want to be different for you?
  • Who or what is stopping you from achieving your goal?
  • What will you feel if you leave your comfort zone: Fear? Distress? Anxiety?
  • Imagine yourself in 10 years: You haven’t changed anything, and the routine is the same as it is now: Do you like this idea? How do you feel?

What to do:

  • Be yourself
    Avoid compromising with yourself and others all the times. Most importantly, do you know who you are? Listen to your inner voice and follow it, always trying to be consistent with your desires and dreams.
  • Small steps
    Start making small changes in your routine: change supermarket, accept an invitation to a dinner with new people, sign up for an art course, or photography, or digital marketing, for example. Small changes in your daily routine trigger the process and train your mind.
  • Face the shadow zone
    That’s the most crucial task, but we don’t want to do it because it scares us. It is not easy, and it is not compulsory. Discover the courage! To face your fears is to meet the demon inside yourself.
  • Develop willpower
    You have to use and exercise your mind, that’s its function! Sometimes it takes great determination and great willpower to carry out the transformation we have decided to do. Start from the brain.
  • Joyfully and lovingly
    Everything you do, you must do with kindness and love for yourself. Empower your thoughts with harmony and joy, avoid forcing yourself or humiliating yourself, but take actions with the firm intention to transform your life for the better.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. (Neal Donald Walsch)

Once you open the invisible cage you’ve built yourself; you’ll have experiences you never imagined you’d have.

You’ll be able to achieve your potential. You will discover your talent and will get the chance of making it available to others.

You will feel more fulfilled; you will increase your self-esteem and inner strength. You will realize that you are proceeding on your journey intensely.

Start living!

Take action today and claim your Free Video Series to learn new skills and improve yourself.  

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
NPL, Richard Bandler, Owen Fitzpatrick