The Comfort Zone Trap
By Umer Raza
Are you tied in the trap of comfort zone. Many feel the comfort zone as a blessing and continue to enjoy it, though right, yet the comfort zone in which we get trapped often takes us away from many potential peaks that we could have surpassed otherwise.
What is this comfort zone and how does it trap you.
Most of the time it is very difficult to identify the comfort zone. However, let me tell you an easy way to identify if you are in your comfort zone.
When you start doing the same thing so well that you do not feel you are doing it, you can identify the comfort zone. For example, most people who drive car or motorbike, must have observed that when they were learning to drive, each time they needed to change the gear, they had to focus on changing the gear and they used to see, if the car has got enough acceleration to qualify for the next gear. And when they needed to take the turn they made sure that they have seen all the mirrors in the cars. But once they become regular driver, they never notice as to when and how the gear is changed.
Similarly those who are working in an office for years, know the routine of all the seasons in their office. The pressure times, the slow periods, the appraisals etc. All these times and seasons in the office come and go and those who are working comfortably well survive all these periods with good or above average, marks. All these people are in a comfort zone, when they see their job survived and they got the usual or little extra money for the next year. Their kids are enjoying an easy run in school, kitchen is going on fine, wife is happy with her usual tentrums (that most survive easily) and the boss in office is happy and comfortable with you. You know that now you will not be fired unless you (by Mistake) make a blunder. This is what most of the professionals are trapped in. They take it easy and enjoy the normal day-to-day stresses of life. Now if you can identify any of these with your situation, you are in a comfort zone.
However, if still you cannot identify these situations as your comfort zone areas, let us go through a test. Answer these simple questions.
- Is your boss happy with you.
- Does he/she confide with you in many departmental or organizational decisions.
- Does your salary rise at an above normal rate every year.
- You do not have to fight for your bonus or any perks and benefits in office
- Do you get a sound sleep early at night and wake up at just the time necessary to start your work.
- Are your children happy at school and you are getting always a good report about them from school
- Does your spouse always say yes to what ever you say (barring few occasions when he/she should and must say no).
- Is your point of view never challenged by any one.
- Do you get your meals in time, all the time.
- Are you always appreciated for the work you do and you are never been given any feedback.
- Are you still living in your current house for last ten straight years (only for males as females might be following their better half in this case)
- Are you working in your current office for the last five straight years (only for males, as most females in this case might be only working either for fun/fulfilling passion/with service or merely to support family)
To all the questions to which you have answered yes, constitute making your comfort zone. Not to say here that you need to reverse all the situations merely to move out of the comfort zone. However, all these situations sometimes go on to rust the thinking process and delude our process to realize our full potential.
You may not dump your boss, your current house or job just to move out of the comfort zone and to realize your full potential. However, one thing is certain that is, you must give your current situation a second thought. If you are still ok with what you have and have no ambition to move ahead and waiting for something to happen, so be it, May Allah help you at it and you may stop reading any further.
On the other hand if you have ambition and want to kick the bucket, this article may give you that one initial push to just do it. However, I am again not suggesting to just leave every thing and make all those who are happy with you angry at you. What I am suggesting is to make a plan for your self for the next 3-6-9 or 12 months and gradually start to shift. Your plan will give you an idea as to how quickly, effectively and creatively you can make a shift out of the comfort zone and into realization of your untapped potential. Remember we all heard the maxim “if one door closes many open”. Meaning there by that once you are out of your comfort zone and willing to take the challenge to survive out of your comfort, you may un-intentially see the way and new avenues to explore. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is, for any such exploration to happen and new avenues to give you sight is to
- Remain self disciplined
- Must have the courage to volunteer
- and Remain connected with Allah.
Once you do all these things you will realize that you have not only gotten out of your comfort zone, but also annihilated the fear of being discomforted. The outcome as a result can be your realization to the potentials that you had.