The comfort zone


The concept of the comfort zone is the one that says that while we are doing things or we are in places that are “familiar” to us, we feel comfortable. Our comfort zone is everything that surrounds us, what we are used to, what we “are in control of” and that is part of our routine. Precisely because we always want to be within our comfort zone, we never dedicate ourselves to doing anything “new”, “interesting” or “motivating”, since new things are “unknown”, potentially “dangerous” or simply “disconcerting”.

However, what makes a person able to achieve more and better goals is to do more and more things that expand their comfort zone. If I do sport and run 2km every day, my comfort zone is set at that limit and it is comfortable for me to run 2km without straining myself too much. However, if one day I decide to run 10 km, seeing that I am able to do it, and keep doing it every day, my comfort zone has expanded enormously with the consequent benefits for my body.

Our comfort zone is an mental abstract concept that applies to any situation: our work and our tasks, our friends, our environment. If we want to improve and get further, we always have to expand our comfort zone. When I was asked by GEO magazine to publish my first article in a travel magazine, that was out of my comfort zone, as something signed by me appearing in a magazine, read by lots of people, was something new. However, the second one was already normal, and the third fit in nicely within my new comfort zone. Now I find it perfectly normal to see a book written by me, published and available in any bookstore. It does not even cross my mind that this should be out of my scope.

Expanding our comfort zone is a good exercise every day. What can you do today to incorporate something new into your environment? It’s about feeling safe and comfortable doing things that are more and more “complicated” (until you try them and see that they were not so hard after all, they only seemed to be, seen from the outside). For one person, doing any given thing can be a huge challenge, while for another, having done it a thousand times, it can be a matter of simple routine. Running a little further, visiting a new place, learning a new language, signing up for a course to learn a new skill, etc. The wider your comfort zone, the more confident you will be in whatever you set yourself up for.

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