Getting Out Of Our Comfort Zone And Into Our Life


Have you ever wondered why the proverbial Comfort Zone (CZ) always gets such a bad rap? At first glance, the CZ seems to be an ideal place: A psychological place where familiarity, ease, and control abound, bringing with them benefits like safety, security, low anxiety, and stress. Some of the most common messages regarding the CZ seem to contradict this perceived idyllic image:


  • Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Neale Donald Walsch
  • Our comfort zones can be the greatest enemy to our potential. David Cottrell

There are also some negative perceptions of the CZ:

  • It is a place of limited success from which persons never arise to soar and pursue limitless success
  • It is a place of failure from which persons never ascend to achieve any success

These points of view suggest that the CZ is an enemy, a trap, a place of stagnation and inflexibility, and above all a place from which all ensnared persons must escape if they want to grow and realize their full potential. They all seem to scream:





One of the most endearing eagle stories presents a graphic image of a mother eagle stirring up the nest: The mother eagle disturbs the nest, thereby displacing its soft inner bed to expose underlying twigs, branches, and “construction hardware”. In effect, the mother eagle is seeking to move her eaglets out of their CZ by stirring up discomfort.

The mother eagle creates discomfort in order to prompt reluctant eaglets to move out of the nest and fly. Mother’s action has a long-term strategic goal, to get her offspring to achieve their full potential, which is to ultimately soar to heights above 10,000 feet (3,048 kilometers). You see, eagles are not only meant to fly, they are meant to soar. They are meant to reach lofty heights and achieve majestic feats of flight without moving their wings or using power. The moral of this story:





Life often unfolds in cycles of disturbance, from navigating the stages of human development to having unexpected events thrust upon us. Maybe it is the uneven nature of life that stirs our natural attraction and yearning for the balance of the CZ. At its best, the CZ is a launch pad and a springboard, a pit stop yes but not a destination.

In order to escape our seeming innate tendency to set up residence in the CZ, we must establish an ongoing strategy to disturb our own nests:

  1. Refresh Our Approach To Comfort
  • Redefine our criteria for measuring comfort to include change, diversity, challenge, learning, growth, and purpose
  • Treat comfort as the means to an end, never as an end in itself: Comfort can give us the confidence, strength, and stability we need to advance to the next level
  • View comfort as a launch pad from which we can advance from success to success
  1. Maintain An Updated Inventory Of Growth Goals
  • Include goals that oppose and challenge our own status quo, what is normal to us or what we prefer
  • Establish goals that stretch us beyond some of the narrow limits we set for ourselves
  • Set goals that create momentum so that we can quickly move to action
  1.  Kick Against The Pricks Of Our Knee-Jerk Responses
  • Intentionally select something that is not an automatic/knee-jerk or safe choice
  • Deliberately choose to do things differently, like take a different route to a destination or try a different style of food
  • Interact with persons with whom we would not normally relate in order to become comfortable with different personalities and types of persons
  • Seek out and consider opposing opinions and points of view in order to broaden our thinking and perspective on issues
  • Spend time in different environments to expand our comfort level in unfamiliar environments