A Guide To Comfort Zones
We all have many comfort zones: comfort zones of working, relationships, exercise (or not!), socializing, etc. Our comfort zone describes where we prefer to be, to behave, to operate and to develop.
On a more fundamental level our comfort zones are defined by how we prefer to believe and think – it is our beliefs and our thoughts that drive our attitudes and behaviour.
Some people will think competitively and behave competitively – being competitive is their comfort zone.
For others the opposite is true. Some people will welcome change, preferring the excitement and challenge that it brings, maybe even some fear – again that is their comfort zone. Their colleagues at work may find this strange behavior if their comfort zone is to remain where they are.
This can be particularly challenging for managers because they have to guide all their people through the change despite some preferring it and others resisting it. Either response is determined by what our preferences are. It is not necessarily that one is better: it is more important to understand what is driving our behaviour so that we can improve our self awareness and ability to cope with what life throws at us.
Our comfort zones are developed through the common characteristics that all human beings share - deep down, below the level of personality, you might say we are all the same. One of these characteristics is the desire for comfort and security – whatever that means to each one of us. However, we also have other common characteristics and they include the fact that we don’t wake up every day determined to go backwards - there is a spark inside us that seeks growth and new experiences. In fact, we enjoy learning, developing and becoming better at things. It is good for our self image and self esteem. The only thing that might prevent us from embarking on personal growth is a fear that it will take us out of our comfort zone where we feel safe and secure. However, the only way we can learn and grow is by leaving what we know – our comfort zone. A dilemma!
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