lump of dough - photo from unsplash

Get out of your comfort zone. Actually, don’t!

Get out of your comfort zone. No!!! Don’t! It’s a terrible idea, especially the way in which this insidious suggestion is suddenly everywhere we look – a message hypnotically fed to us, ingested, digested, accepted and unquestioned – on the other side of fear is success, get out of your comfort zone, feel the fear and do it anyway. I vehemently disagree. What’s on the other side of my comfort zone? Panic – that’s what. No, no, no thank you.

If the concept is working for you then great, but if it’s not, alternatives are available. Life is how we see it. And if I receive the message ‘get out of your comfort zone’ and I see, feel and hear panic then that’s not a very resourceful place for me to go to. It’s possible I’m alone in this, in which case ignore me.

But, if I’m not alone, I want to offer up that there are alternative, more resourceful ways of thinking about it. When I imagine my metaphorical comfort zone (because it is imaginary by the way, even though we talk about it as if it’s an actual ‘thing’) I don’t go to skydiving, bungee jumping or white-water rafting. I think about…. a lump of dough. I realise this analogy may not excite you, but this is what works for me. So, you start with your lump of dough, and right within the core of that is what’s important to you and why you do what you do. And you roll it out from there, from the middle, from that which is important to you in order to create what you want. If it’s not important to you, don’t bother, unless you’re doing it for fun, in which case crack on. But if there is something important to you, and the lump of dough isn’t currently in quite the right form to make/do/achieve what you would like, then roll it out from the centre. And the edges might feel a bit thin, flimsy or even have the odd hole that needs patching up – dare I say it uncomfortable, and that’s all good. You can always squish it back together and start again.

Experiment, have a go, don’t take yourself too seriously – get comfortable with feeling a bit uncomfortable, yes, that can exist within your comfort zone, have some fun. No panic necessary. Luxuriate in, expand, stretch, hang out in your comfort zone, but no need to leave it if you don’t want to. And guess what – you can still be successful, creative, and have what you want.

‘Get out of your comfort zone’ – how’s this instruction working for or against you? I’d love to know what thoughts, ideas and images this sparks for you. ‘Imposter Syndrome’ I’m coming for you next.