Is the Comfort Zone Really Comfortable?

In the below lines I am going to challenge you to stop for a minute and think about the well-known phrase that says «Great things never came from comfort zones». The majority of us would agree to this saying, but after giving it a little bit of thought, I would not agree saying that the comfort zone is really comfortable. Staying in this zone practically means to enjoy in the current state of being, doing nothing to step out of it, because, well, it is comfortable there. If we think a little bit further, the comfort inside the comfort zone is only illusory. Staying inside one’s comfort zone implies that someone else is making and shaping things in our environment – if we want it or not – which affect us, or better, the conditions of our apparent comfort zone.

In the croatian culture, when two people meet, the following very common, almost ritual dialogue unfolds.

One of the two says:

– «Hey, long time no see! How are you?» And the other one answers:

– «Well? As the others want it!» or «As things just happen!» He could simply add: «You know, I am in my comfort zone!»

This so-called comfort zone is in reality the zone of powerlessness, a zone in which we feel like victims, a zone in which we are waiting for someone else to do something in order to make this our comfort zone, which in fact isn’t so comfortable, a little bit more comfortable. This space is also called accusing and blaming, finger-pointing, finding the one guilty for me not having a distinct comfortable comfort zone. In such a case, the targeted offenders may be politicians, parents, neighbors, the education system, the state and in some cases even the weather during a certain season. And the list goes on…

Other than blaming, finger-pointing and finding the guilty one, there are a few other common behaviors in the comfort zone. A popular one is observing and waiting. This is lately manifesting in patient waiting until for example the crisis will pass (of course on its own), so that afterwards our comfort zone will be a bit more comfortable again. Another option would be to wait on some new laws to be passed, which would through all kinds of stimulations possibly influence our comfort zone in a positive way – which again leaves the individual to observe and wait endlessly.

These kinds of behaviors act out in different ways and I would like to finish with the maybe most important one. It is connected to the first part of the phrase «Great things…», because we all actually love great things, we love progress, improvement. But a great part of the people who stay inside their comfort zone act like it is non of their business to do anything great. This is someone else’s job.

The majority of them thinks something like the following:

– It is my job to work, to go to my workplace (if I have one; if not, then someone else is responsible to create circumstances for me to find one), to care for my family, to be a good, honest, decent citizen, and someone else is responsible for «great things».

In the end one thing stands for sure: the comfort zone isn’t at all a comfortable place to stay. Only if we by our own will, step out of our comfort zone and step into, meaning taking control of all our thoughts, emotions and activities, then we can really say that we are directing our destiny, or someone else will direct it for us.

Mario Buljan