Your Comfort Zone is Pretty Awesome

Vanessa Torre

There’s no shame in staying there.

“Everything good happens outside of your comfort zone.” You could discount the price on that and put it on an endcap at Target. I still don’t think I’d buy it.

What does this even mean? Can someone define comfort zone for me? Because, conveniently, everyone seems to have their own definition of it depending on what they need it to mean.

It’s really easy to preach the gospel of going outside of one’s comfort zone when you selectively decide what that means. It feels shallow and empty.

I don’t quite understand why the comfort zone is a bad thing.

Let me just get this straight: I have a place I can go to where good things routinely happen in a consistent manner. And you want me to abandon that.

I dated a guy who was huge into the whole “outside the comfort zone” idea. He routinely encouraged me to get outside of mine. So early on I asked him, “What was something you did that was really outside of your comfort zone?”

He told me how he had a fear of heights so he went skydiving. Okay. Did that really make him a better person? What is the big life lesson in jumping out of a plane? Where is the permanence of that action?

This same man has spent years as a workaholic who does not necessarily prioritize life as well as he could. He does not tackle emotional issues head-on. When life got to be too much, he just shut down. He could jump out of a plane but he can’t muster up the ability to combat shutdown mode. That is selectively GPSing your comfort zone.

In essence, he felt like he was winning the game of moving outside of his comfort zone because he cherry-picked the small things that made him uncomfortable instead of tackling the really hard stuff.

I see no courage and nobility in patting oneself on the back for grabbing low hanging fruit.

Let me turn this concept on its end for you. What if we spent less time trying to move outside of our comfort zone and more time trying to make our comfort zone the most awesome place it could be?

Instead of picking ourselves apart trying to dismiss what we’re actually good at, perhaps we should use that as the starting place to build on what we currently have.

Let’s not demonize our wheelhouse. Let’s improve it.

I know my strengths. Working from my comfort zone allows me to build on them and creates fertile ground in which they can take off. I’m much more interested in expanding my comfort zone to be as large as I can make it so that it holds as much as possible. THIS is where the good stuff is going to happen. I’m pulling things in, not pushing myself out. It’s an invitation for the badass to come on in and stick around for a while.

My comfort zone is awesome. I’m staying right here. Find yours. Settle in. Take over the world.

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Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ

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