I love the comfort zone, although in many ways it seems to get a bad rap. So here's some thoughts on exploring the comfort zone versus challenging yourself.
Striving, pushing, needing to be more – it's an unhelpful mindset which I believe promotes a feeling of not being enough. That's why I would like to advocate for the comfort zone as something to be appreciated. Embracing life as it is, right now, the seemingly 'good' and 'bad'; the enjoyable and the unenjoyable moments, opens up a sense of appreciation for those moments where I am comfortable and what I love about that. Recognising those moments where I am happy, contented and enjoying myself, that is my comfort zone and where I love to be. I don't want to be pushing that away thinking that it isn't good enough because I find myself in a space where I'm content.
So what about this notion that if you stay in your comfort zone you're not challenging yourself? Firstly, why challenge yourself? Just living life is challenging, full-stop. You don't have to look far to find some challenge to pop up. Is it necessary to go out and create extra challenges in life? Secondly, challenges will come when you're ready to expand yourself and you'll know when you're ready to expand yourself when you become bored.
The sentiment that if you're bored with life you're living in your comfort zone I don't think makes sense. Feeling bored and uninspired isn't very comfortable, so I don't think that is living in your comfort zone. I think that's life telling you that you're uncomfortable with you confines and ready for more, and to expand yourself beyond where you are will present itself as a challenge. Creating challenges because of the idea that if you're not challenging yourself you're not living life to it's fullest is a good way to keep you in discomfort and unhappiness.
As always, it comes back to listening to yourself and asking if you're happy and contented with where you are or if you're listless and ready to extend yourself. But don't see the lack of challenge or discomfort as something to be got rid of. Happiness comes when we appreciate and love those moments in life where we have found ourselves in happiness and joy. Hang on to them, enjoy them and rest in the comfort.