Some Great Things About Staying In A Comfort Zone
These days you are being told everywhere, by everyone, to move beyond your comfort zone. Because it is such a noble thing to do. And staying there is lazy, ugly and yucky.
I want to rebel against it for a second…
Yes, I agree with “yucky”: our addictions live in a comfort zone. They have the best conditions to breed and thrive in this moist, warm and rarely visited area. But this is just one detail. There is so much more happening in this state.
How do we know that we are already in a comfort zone and not simply resting?
I don’t know if there is a clear distinction. Use your judgement: when you feel on the positive side and hopeful, maybe you are still resting… If you are bitter and frustrated you may be on the other side. (Be sure: others will judge you, especially those who never talk with you and don’t know what’s going on.)
Why do I think comfort zone has something positive, (but not necessarily pleasant) to offer?
I see it as a state, in which, you are regrouping, recharging, rejuvenating, simmering your choices, new directions, plans of action, entertain yourself with some crazy ideas, hypothesizing, reevaluating values, observing, looking around, and let’s don’t forget about: contemplating…
And there is the other, ugly side of the state: where your growing frustration, apathy and fear, feeling left behind, make you stay at home and lose interest in everything – maybe except TV.
All that I just mentioned are fabulous things… why? Because the pleasant part allowed you to see the bigger picture and to know yourself better. You might have even discovered deeper meaning in things and events. The unpleasant part was painful, and pain is more likely to give you a turbocharged kick out of your comfort zone. To jump back to life. Who cares, it’s a messy comeback. Back to action, aliveness on all levels – that’s what’s important, with fresh ideas, deeper meaning, back to do your work, to share your talents, to do something… creative. With more appreciation of what you can do.
Sometimes you may need to stay in the comfort zone for few weeks or few years. And that’s ok. But once you start realizing that you healed from whatever you had to heal, that you now have the strength to do more, don’t miss this moment. Don’t stay there even one day longer. (Resist watching the real housewives of wherever – or you, your heart and spirit will really get ugly and yucky.) We often are afraid to change to someone more positive and powerful, or we don’t know we can. So we may stay in the “old self” also because others have certain expectations of us. Strange – but it’s happening. Have you ever been there?
I hope you won’t fall into this trap. You have the ability to wake up one day, any day, and decide to be the new, improved version of you. There is no need to hold on to the old negativity. It is not you. You’ll worry how your family and close friends will react to the change. At this point I recall what Pema Chodron said, when talking about character changes that take place once we start to meditate and to conquer our attachements. She said: they (family) will still treat you according to the old rules for some time. It will be painful. But with time they will catch up. They will catch up.
I had moments in my life that I needed to create my comfort zone and stay there whenever possible between work, studies and all. For me it was a way of honoring my need to have peace, to create comforting space, and to protect my sensitivity. This occasionally comes back, depending on what’s going on.
How long do you stay is your comfort zone? What happens there? Does it ever happen? If you are ambitious and competitive probably – never, but you may have a part of life to which you are not giving any attention to… this may be your comfort zone. I am looking forward to hearing your opinions in the comment section.