The power of the Comfort Zone

Published 09/07/2020

I don’t think it is always true when people say that the only way we grow is when we push out of our comfort zones. Comfort zones are exactly that: safe, nourishing places of just being you space, and these spaces are important.

The Blurt Foundation really summed this up by also exploring the opposite and wrote:

If we’re talking about the magic of comfort zones though, we do also need to explore the opposite – the discomfort zones. Because for all the struggle and strife and challenges and tests that come from those, there’s the growth, the curiosity, the wonder, the potential that exists within that.

Consider for a moment a seed. We sometimes lament how long it might take for a seed to become a seedling to then become a fully fledged flower or vegetable or fruit – in our excitement for the hopeful outcome, we forget the hard work it has to do. That poor seed has had to crack its shell open, inch its way through heavy, dirty, compacted soil and who knows what else, just to reach the surface. Some seeds manage to break their way through concrete an’ all.

The seedling then breaks through the surface to then have a barrage of other things to contend with; it could get eaten by an animal, perhaps it’s been planted in the wrong place and it’s not been able to form strong roots to help it to handle the wind and rain. Perhaps it’s grown in a spot that’s too sunny, too hot for it to handle. When we see a flower or a vegetable or a fruit, we see something that’s naturally tried to flourish but done so against a lot of odds.

Of course, there are things we can do to raise the odds, we can make sure we’re planting the right seeds in the right environments where blooming is more likely to be successful, we can do things to protect them from the elements and animals that might want a mighty nibble, we can do things to lessen the discomfort that’s undoubtedly going to exist no matter what we do to help.”

I agree we are a bit like seeds, even though sometimes we think we just can’t grow because our environment doesn’t feel very nurturing, we find we do. The journey that ends with that growth usually has meant that we have had to adapt, think differently, get it a bit wrong and take time back in our comfort zone to recover before we can make headway. But we can do it.

Whatever life is throwing at you right now, know this: you are fully capable of making that next step, even if it is a tip toe. Know that if you need to you can pop back into your comfort zone until you are ready for the next step. It is okay for this to happen more than once and to ask for help. Although things may feel super tough right now, know that they are not tougher than you and you are way braver than you can imagine.

Stay well x
Kim Fry
UKSA Welfare Officer