How to Expand Your Comfort Zone for Success

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

Comfort zone can be defined as the situations or the actions in which you can work without any inhibitions or most confidently. You are not conscious of your surroundings and even if you know that people disapprove your action are not as much bothered as to stop the activity. Your productivity in any work is related to the comfort zone in which you are present. Your productivity can be at its maximum when when you are in your comfort zone and decreases substantially when you are outside your comfort zone. It is a sort of psychological safety zone in which you can work with minimum stress. Basically any environment in which we feel physically and emotionally safe can be described as out comfort zone.

Here are few examples.
When you join a new organization your comfort level is quite less and as the days and weeks pass you grow used to the new environment and start performing better. Usually companies provide some buffer time to anybody who are new joiners so that they can develop their comfort zones. Similarly if your boss is very short tempered you will feel threatened all the time and not be comfortable. This can also affect the performance.

Another example can be any newly married lady who moves to the in laws place. For initial few months she may not be comfortable as she does not knows anyone in the new house. Gradually as she become comfortable with the new new home and the family her comfort zone increases and she can stay and behave more confidently.

These were examples of social comfort zone. There can be skill related comfort zones like learning a new Software or operating a new gadget. In my opinion social comfort zones are more important as most of the time we deal with people.

Comfort Zone and its Role in Your Success
More comfortable you are in difficult situations, more successful you are in doing them confidently. People who can do tasks which most others cannot are the ones who are the highest paid and the most rewarded persons. If your comfort zone is much bigger than others than it you will be able to take actions more easily where people with smaller comfort zones may not be able take actions and that will keep you ahead of others and make you look stand out.

People who take risks are able to take those because there have face many uncomfortable situations and expanded their area of security so much that they will that they can handle new uncomfortable situations also although they may also be unfamiliar and uncomfortable in the new tasks.

Basic principle is to do small acts of bravery which can instill more confidence and make you familiar to the experience so much that you are able to develop the comfort zone in that situation. Once you reach that level then you can increase your comfort zone by selecting some tasks which are difficult. This way you can increase the volume of your comfort zone till it becomes a big dome.

Here are few tasks which will increase your comfort zone

I am mentioning all the tasks which will increase the comfort zone at social level since most of us face challenge more at the social level compared to any other situation.

  1. Look into the eyes of 3 people
    Try to look into the eyes of 3 people each day till they back out. This will be quite uncomfortable for both of you but you aim is to increase your comfort level. In case some one takes offense then tell them that he/she reminds you of some old friend. If you do this regularly will end up more comfortable with people.

  2. Talk to Strangers
    While in a mall or on a traffic signal ask what time it is or ask how to reach a particular place. You may also ask silly question like what time it is, or when will the sun set today and say that it is really important for you to know that it can be a life saving decision. Just make up any story and talk to someone.

  3. Sing in the public place
    Try singing in a public place like road or mall. Do it when you have quite a few people in the audible distance. If you have really bad voice that should be more the reason to do this :) Initially you can hum loudly till you gather enough courage though.

  4. Change your hair style or facial hair
    Take a completely different hair cut compared to your usual style. If you are male then try our different things with your facial hair like beard and moustache. I used to be real conscious of this and for year stuck to one hair style. First time I shaved my moustache I was ashamed to go to office and kept on think what the people will think. Now I am more adventurous and keep on changing style every few months. Now I look forward to people's comments and if they are negative I brush them aside.

  5. Wear clothes the wrong way
    Wear two socks of two colors or wear the dress inside out. Make sure that people notice that and then observe their comments. Say that you were in a hurry so did that and refuse to make it correct the entire day.

If you feel afraid to try these then there is even more reason to go for these as these actions will definitely increase you comfort zone. One thing is for sure, at the end of these exercise you will have some interesting stories to tell. So try these and see how interesting your life becomes.


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