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Posted by Barry on May 16, 2012

Comfort Zone

You hear people talk about it all the time, you are in your comfort zone but what does it really mean?  Your comfort zone is that place where we all live in the routine of our lives.  We like doing things that we are familiar with and that way there are no surprises or any chance of something “bad” happening to us.  The same routine, the same breakfast, the same drive to work, the same job, the same activities in the evening, the same choices over and over again and this routine gives us great comfort, thereby the comfort zone.

What I have found out is that you really start to enjoy life when you have surprises; you do things you are unsure about, or even do things that are really hard or scare the mess out of you.  I started over two years ago when I decided to make a big change physically and start working out with P90X.  It was really hard, but I was determined and when doubts and fears would creep in to make me think about quitting and going back to my old ways in my “comfort zone” I would not give in and continued to push outside of the routine.

I continued to enjoy the “rush” you get from doing something new and scary outside of my “comfort zone” by actually getting up in front of a group of people and teaching a P90X class at my local gym.  Talk about getting out of your comfort zone this was public speaking, teaching, and doing something physical and having to be good at it.

There is also mental aspect to “getting out of your comfort zone” as not all challenges come from doing something physical.  I recently had a requirement put on one of my projects that required me to have to go and study an area that I do not have a lot of knowledge or experience in, working with computers.  I design, build, and field mobile systems used in missile testing.  We work with a small group as we field these systems and a new government requirement was placed on our systems to have someone Microsoft Windows 7 installation and configuration certified at the expert level.  I took on the challenge to go learn all the material and take this certification exam, something I had not done since my college days.  I had to not only learn all this material, but also keep working the project and keep it on schedule and part of staying on schedule included me having the certification to do the work that was coming up.

Needless to say I worked really hard, rose to the challenge, and passed the Microsoft certification exam.  I not only proved to myself that I can still learn new areas of information, but I also can get the job done when the pressure is on.

The reason I point out the whole “comfort zone” mentality is so that you will start to take a few chances, start to do something that pushes you or scares you, and start to really live a complete and joyful life.  You really start to feel alive and know true joy when you are pushing and growing not only physically, but mentally too.  So do something to step outside of your “comfort zone” today!

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