As a human being, our instincts have developed fundamental ways to protect us, no matter what the situation is.
One of these systems is our habits. Whether good or bad, under times of stress or uncertainty, our bodies seem to automatically shift into a type of overdrive that keeps us doing the same things over and over. When you couple this with our natural comfort zone, it is very easy to see why some people’s lives tend to drift along without too much changing unless it is out of their control.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
Living Inside Your Comfort Zone
It is very easy to live within your comfort zone. In fact, most of us do this subconsciously every day. You know… doing the same things we always do, and therefore getting the same results. Often we think about changing things and can start off with a hiss and a roar, but things slowly drift back to how they were, without us really being aware or knowing why. This also occurs when we are too afraid to change or to try something new. Yes, it’s called the comfort zone for a reason, but I like to call it the Comfort Couch.
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.” – Alan Alda
Get Back In The Driver’s Seat
Once again, this is as true in life as it is in business.
One of my passions is racing cars, so for me, it’s like driving a new race car. When you take it out for your first race it feels incredibly fast, and you struggle to keep the car on the track. But then a few races go by, and you start to get it completely under control. More time goes by, and you find that you’re pushing the car as hard as you can, and the next thing you know, the rev’ limiter starts kicking in on the straights. (This restricts the maximum revolution speed of your engine, which helps to protect it and prolong its life).
This is exactly how your subconscious is wired – to protect and prolong your life. Welcome to your comfort zone. Consciously, you have the desire to go quicker, but subconsciously, you sabotage yourself because your need to ‘play it safe’ is stronger than your desire to win.
Suddenly you wish things were going a lot quicker (your car, your goals), but you have to actively change some of your actions to achieve this.
When you do put yourself out there on the edge, your skills will increase and grow to match the situations that you put yourself in. Things SHOULD scare you once in a while, to make you find out who you really are, and to show you that you are capable of so much more than you realise.
Article by Darlene Mathieson
• Business Consultant, Traction Business Acceleration Ltd
• Co-Owner, Simply Reading – Creative Learning Tools
• Motorsport Champion