Why You Should Expand, Not Leave Your Comfort Zone

Hi my friend,

I never believed that leaving your comfort zone brings success. You will hear these words almost everywhere. Coaches use it, commercials advertise it, and even people close to us advice it. Upon hearing this, I always asked myself: “Why should I leave something if it makes me feel comfortable? Why not just expand it, rather than leave it completely?”

My comfort zone story

The truth is, people who give this advice mean good. There is really no harm behind their words. But for many, they can spark anxiety and overwhelm. Lot of people don’t like rapid and sudden changes, and instead thrive on careful planning, calculation, and preparation. Truth is, we would rather do it in a calm and a calculated fashion.

Almost two years ago, I relocated to another continent, half across the globe, and started living in Calgary (Canada) alone in order to find my bigger why. My family members and friends were surprised by my decision to say the least. So I received praises like: “Good job! You’re leaving your comfort zone, that’s why you’ll succeed.”

However, what they didn’t see were the months of planning and preparations before making it this trip. I planned all the major details, to make sure that my comfort zone is going with me on this journey. For me, it was a small laptop and a tiny diary that could fit in my pocket. 🙂

Even though I did leave my comfort zone and made this radical change, I did it after I planned everything that I possibly could. You see, I’m like a walking planner. I try to foresee every possible outcome, good and bad, before I make a decision. This situation was no different.

What many close to me failed to realize back then was, I wasn’t leaving my zone of comfort entirely. I was actually expanding it.

How does expanding your comfort zone works?

Imagine the expansion of a comfort zone as walking. When you make that first step, you are expanding it. The second step that follows is your comfort zone. So you are basically bringing it with you everywhere you go. Like a friendly shadow.

Sure, walking is not running and it’s slower. But it’s more peaceful, calm, it gives you freedom of choice, ability to choose which road to take without rushing, and you’re doing all this with the comfort of not having to speed up things.

Leaving the place that makes you feel secure is not a guarantee of success. Far from it. There’s nothing wrong of taking it with you. Whatever you plan to do, whether it’s a career, relationship, or other important decision, you don’t have to abandon the safety that gives you confidence. Bring it with you on your journey, because it will be a game changer for you.

It’s your decision in the end

Whatever advice or insight you may hear from others, it’s your decision in the end. Reaching your goal can be accomplished even when you are carrying that gentle turtle shell with you that makes you feel safe. We all have different paths, but remember that it’s up to you to decide how you will make your plans a reality.

Your comfort zone may give you the necessary strength to fulfill your dreams. Don’t leave it, expand it instead. For me, it was a small laptop filled with thoughts I gathered throughout the years. For you, it can be whatever you desire it to be. One quote from an unknown author wonderfully describes the feelings of so many when comfort zone is being described:

“You have no idea how far out of my comfort zone my entire life is.”

So you see my dear friend, we need that comfort, more than anything. Embrace it as a fuel to propel yourself, and be all that you can be! 🙂

Love,

Marko

What are your thoughts on expanding your comfort zone rather than leaving it? I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!