The comfort zone; is the level at which one functions with ease and familiarity. It is a place, situation, or level where someone feels confident and comfortable. Lots of us feel okay and satisfied in our comfort zone and as such; are afraid of stepping outside the comfort zone because in it; we don’t experience any anxiety and stress. But stepping out of the comfort zone raises anxiety and leads to stress. Stepping out of our comfort zone re quires a high level of concentration and focus.
However, Creating a comfort zone is quite healthy; but then so is stepping out of it when it’s time to grow, transform and transition from one stage of life to the next. Experiencing a little stress and anxiety now and then is a good thing when you step out of your comfort zone which leads to experiencing new things, challenges, taking risks and looking at the bigger picture. If you can’t step out of your comfort zone you may experience difficulty making change or transitioning, growing and most importantly transforming. In other words, all those things that defines who you are and give your life personal meaning. Often times, we fear challenges, failure or getting hurt. But the truth is for us to have the ability to rise to the occasion, scale hurdles and obstacles and actually succeed in accomplishing something new and challenging; we must face all these challenges.
Here is a story of an architect leaving his comfort zone for the very first time and irrespective of the fear of the unknown, he took the bold step, left his comfort zone to tread on a new territory, pushing boundaries of his photography and allowing himself to be stretched.
Mr. John Andrew left his paying profession as an architect and took up photography. Before he went into it, after having convinced himself that it is what he wanted to do, got himself a camera, got a professional photographer to put him through and embarked on the journey of photography. He started out by making great shots, travelled to far and near villages to capture beautiful images of animals in the forest. He emerged as one of the best student in school of photography. This filled John with a new sense of confidence to become the photographer he had always wanted to be; a photographer who captures beautiful animals in the forest. He took the risk of stepping out of his comfort zone as an architect and made good use of his camera. It’s important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone because when you do, it’s kind of a big deal and then there’s this inner peace that comes with knowing fully well that you took the risk of trying something new other than not trying at all.
Amaka; a 23 year old computer science graduate of ABU Zaria also took the risk of leaving her comfort zone. A naturally endowed model of 6.7 feet tall, fair complexioned beauty, she got a job offer to model for Tommy Hilfiger. But the fear of the unknown crept in; and she got sacred of leaving her comfort zone to pick up the career she had always wanted.
Her mum spoke to her one day and encouraged her to try something else apart from what she read at school. She gathered courage and took up the risk to become a professional model. She did great in it and that one step brought her fame and fortune. She became that model every designer has been looking for, she broke her fears, her doubts and took the risk and today she is proud she did.
So you see stepping out of your comfort zone is not such a bad idea. Take that risk today and shake off that fear holding you back. I also did step out of my comfort zone; and today I am happy to be where I am.
By Maimuna Bagudu