“Life expands and contracts in direct proportion to one’s courage”
When we operate in our comfort zone we feel at ease or ‘anxiety-neutral’. We accomplish this by behaving in a manner that is known and comfortable to us: it delivers reasonably predictable results, usually without a sense of risk. In other words, we use a limited set of behaviours, adjusting our activities and routines to deliver a steady level of performance with minimum effort and anxiety. Operating within our comfort zone offers a space of psychological safety, security and reduced stress. The benefits are obvious.
But there is such a thing as too safe
Needless to say, however, our comfort zone is not where the magic happens! When we do what we have always done, we get what we have always got. If we insist on remaining within our comfort zone, we are limiting our opportunities for expanding our life experiences and inviting adventure, magic and excellence into our lives.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but curiosity is an inherent part of man and has played a pivotal role in our evolution, driving us to push the boundaries beyond what was ever thought possible. Without curiosity, growth and development stagnates. Being curious means exploring the unknown and that means leaving our anxiety-neutral comfort zone from time to time.
In order to be the best we can be - focusing our efforts, performing at our peak and inviting magic into our lives - we actually need a moderate level of stress and anxiety, or “optimal anxiety” as some call it.