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Don Neal Blog: The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone

There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone.

 

Why is it that we humans are wired as we are? Just when we get into a groove, we start to see it as a rut. Just when we begin to feel certain about something – if our minds are open and we’re curious – we seek that which is uncertain, just so we don’t get bored.

 

Maslow tells us we have five core human needs: physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Tony Robbins says human beings have six core needs: certainty, uncertainty, significance, love, contribution, and growth.

 

For me, I see personal growth as a core need that is in search of self-actualization. The intersection of Maslow and Robbins.

 

We seek to grow in our careers, our relationships, our financial security, and our physical health, and at some point seek to reap the benefits of this growth by being comfortable – secure, safe, at peace, at one with our surroundings and centered.

 

And yet, with that peace and certainly of comfort comes uncertainty, boredom, angst, and ennui. What’s next; what am I missing? What if I lose it all, lose my edge, and become too comfortable and irrelevant?

 

Life is a roller coaster of growth, comfort, setbacks, and discomfort. The question is how to balance the growth and comfort equation.

 

There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable – it feels great. But the world is moving faster than any of us keep up with. The key, as I see it, is to know when to relax and when to break the pattern of easy, safe, predictable, and comfortable.

 

Are you comfortable in the growth zone?