The danger of comfort zones

They say nothing great ever happens in your comfort zone.

08 October 2019 | Columns

Ester Kamati

Many find it difficult to move from the place that has always given them shelter - the place where they grew up and call home.

It is a place where they don’t bear any risk. They find it hard to leave the job that they are good at, which gives them security and a guaranteed salary.

People often remain in comfort zones because they fear that they may not find anything better than what they have at that moment - be it a job or relationship, etc. They prefer to remain in the place where they have become accustomed to, because they are afraid of change. Comfort zones are birthed by the unwillingness to accept alteration and the fear of being in a place where you do not have complete control and may have to adjust.

It is the fear of anything out of the ordinary and a complete unwillingness to move from your current position. This is a dangerous zone because nearly everything that is done in the comfort zone is calculated. No real challenges occur here and therefore there is very little room to grow. The comfort zone is dangerous because despite the opportunities that may be out there, you are stuck in one place, where your sight of other opportunities you could possibly thrive in is blocked.

I still believe in the notion that wisdom comes with experience, and when experiences are limited, the opportunities for growth and wisdom are narrowed. It becomes exceedingly difficult to picture yourself away from your current position, because you become complacent, and although change is inevitable, very minimal and guarded changes occur in the comfort zone.

It is absolutely okay to be uncomfortable, because when you find yourself in an area even a few inches out of your comfort zone, that becomes a test of character, and only when character is tested, does it become stronger. Some of the greatest innovations come about when people think beyond their comfort zones and out of the box. It is because somebody had a ‘lightbulb moment’ that we have electricity today, so nothing is truly ever too farfetched.

Young innovators are on the rise, simply because they realised that it is okay to be uncomfortable and grow.

When you are put in an uncomfortable setting, this is where the true beauty of the brain comes into play.

Due to the test of a new environment and the willingness to step away from what we know, we can became a country that can brag about innovations such as Lefa, EasyShop, the PopBack app and Feelings Nation.

These all happened because youth took a stance, put their brain power to the test and came out winners with brilliant ideas, which fulfil a perceived need in society and generate an income for them. It is about time that society learns to accept the hustles of individuals trying to do something amazing. This is with reference to the scholars selling sweets, which is deemed unpopular, and individuals in vocational training, which is considered the last career option on the list for many, among other examples.

If you are doing something that your peers deem inferior for a positive cause, and it is legal, then you are the definition of a changemaker, because due to these efforts, it may no longer be seen as inferior in the future.

The blessing or opportunity is not waiting to come to you, it is rather waiting for you to chase it, and I am certain that it is completely unavailable inside the comfort zone. Challenge yourself, push beyond the borders of your comfort zone, and you might land feet-first in developing ‘the next big thing’.

If you are reading this and you had a business idea that you weren’t sure was going to work, you’ll never know until you try, so it’s a good time to book yourself a one-way ticket out of ‘Comfortville’. In conclusion, it is a healthy thought to want to achieve better, the attainment of which is most likely found outside the place you are afraid to leave.

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