Q: I feel sometimes stuck in my job, in my home, in my work and in my relationships. How I do come out of this feeling of being stuck in a ‘comfort zone?’
A: Getting too comfortable with your situation could lead to a ‘no-challenge zone’ bereft of creativity
Your comfort zone is a situation in which you feel safe or at ease. Almost every man and woman experiences this at some time or the other. But a comfort zone is not based on reality. It is only a psychological state which may be interpreted as a comfort zone.
For example, before marriage, the boy and girl live with their respective blood relations. These gradually become comfort zones for them. But, after marriage, they have to live in a non-blood relationship. This becomes, unconsciously if not consciously, a noncomfort zone for both of them. But there is no real reason for this to be so, for it is only the result of a psychological state. If the bride and groom understand this fact, they will regard their situation as an issue of management and not of reaction.
The same is true of corporations. Often when employees stay in one place over a long period of time, their place of work becomes their comfort zone and they do not feel inclined to move out of it. But again, this is purely a psychological state, and there is no real reason for them to have this feeling. Your comfort zone may seem comfortable to you, but it is only a result of your way of thinking. If you change your conditioned thinking, every ‘zone’ will become a comfort zone for you.
The so-called comfort zone is a challenge-free zone. Within it, there is apparently peace, but because of the absence of challenges, you cease to have new experiences. Thus you are unable to develop intellectually or engage in creative thinking. There is the danger in this state of affairs of your becoming a victim of intellectual dwarfism.
On the contrary, if you give no importance to being in a comfort zone and are prepared to enter every new zone, the result will be that you will have new experiences every time and shall have to face different challenges at every turn. By facing these new situations, you will develop the ability to think creatively.
A comfort zone may have everything, but staying in it cannot stimulate intellectual development. Living in a comfort zone does not give you the ability to face challenges. Although this is the state of affairs at your workplace, its effects will manifest even on the home front and in other domains too. Initially, you will fail to creatively solve problems at your job, but later you will also fail to creatively manage the other affairs of your life.
A comfort zone is only a beautiful name for a noncreative zone. When a bird lives in its cage, it may prove to be a comfort zone for it, but because of not putting its wings to use, it becomes lifeless. It is not good, however, to jump out of your comfort zone for the sake of ambition. This may prove to be a misadventure. But if circumstances require a change, do not be reluctant to accept it. Rather, admit it as a circumstantial gift. No misadventure is good, but facing changes with courage and wisdom inevitably pays off.
A comfort zone is a self-created world. You create this world under the influence of your emotions and not by applying your rational faculty. It is a fact that all the successes of history are the outcome not of emotion but of reason.
(Answered by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan)