A few years ago I was a big believer in the comfort zone.
‘Everything you want but don’t currently have is outside your comfort zone’, was a fact as far as I was concerned.
If I wanted to get anywhere I had to ‘put my big girl panties on’ and I set out to ‘do one thing each day that scares you’.
I believed it was the secret to my business success: I was prepared to do the things that other people weren’t to get where I wanted to go.
The other night it was great to see with such clarity that I no longer see the above as true – and it saved a bunch of people from a real life experience of what those people on the first episode of X-Factor each series demonstrate.
Let me explain.
Firstly, over the past year I’ve realised there IS NO SUCH THING as a comfort zone.
We made it up.
It doesn’t matter how large or small yours is, what’s inside or outside it. It can only ever exist in thought.
And every single time I see ‘Oh, I made that one up too’, it just seems to dissolve as a ‘thing’.
Yes, there are some things I feel like doing sometimes and there are some things I don’t feel like doing sometimes.
Setting up this concept of a ‘comfort zone’ and then behaving as if that’s true implies there are things I will ALWAYS feel uncomfortable with, but if we look at our experience we find that somedays standing up in front of a room feels terrifying (for me anyway) and sometimes I just do it without thinking about it.
There’s a freedom in understanding that.
Currently I have quite a lot of scary thinking about standing up in front of a room, so it feels like a scary thing to do. And while it looks scary I probably won’t do much of it.
But I also know that new thought on this is possible at any moment, and when I think about it differently, I’ll feel about it differently – so I’m leaving a space open to get an insight on that one.
Secondly, I used to believe because everything I wanted but didn’t have was outside my comfort zone, the very feeling that I was scared of something meant I SHOULD do it.
The more I’m seeing now everyday that ‘stuff’ can’t make me feel anything because it just doesn’t work that way – then there’s nothing for me to ‘go out and get’.
And even better than that – to know that everything I want I already have (even when it doesn’t always feel that way) is THE COOLEST THING EVER.
Why would I need to go out of my comfort zone, even if there were such a thing?
I already have everything I need.
PHEW!!!! I don’t have to push myself to do the stuff I don’t want to do anymore.
Another huge chunk off the to-do list.
And when I found myself in a slightly woo woo get-up-in-front-of-a-group-of-people-you-don’t-know-and-sing-with-no-alchohol-or-wooden-spoons experience a few nights ago, I could quite happily say ‘no thanks’.