People enlarge their comfort zone in two very different ways:
- Just doing something scary like jumping out of a plane
- Growing from within by taking steps which are a little bit scary, getting used to it and then repeating the process.
It doesn’t matter which camp you are in. If you accept and move forward even approach two will help you outgrow quite a few fears. What’s helpful about doing that is not only will you be less afraid, your baseline anxiety might drop which means your mind is free to contemplate other things.
After a growth experience you can’t go back to your old comfort zone. You have outgrown it. To regain any sense of comfort you will have to accommodate for this different you. Otherwise you will feel like a grown-up in a classroom designed for 8-year olds.
Eliminating disappointment can be a good goal, that motivates us to grab opportunities, even the ones which are beyond our comfort zone. However once disappointment has caught up with you, should not be the goal to turn the other way. Disappointment communicates to us the hopes and expectations we might not have been aware about. When we run and hide from disappointment we will miss that vital information. But isn’t positive psychology about focusing on the good? Absolutely. However there is something very valuable if you look at the nature of your disappointment, especially if you do it without reliving it and more with a healthy distance: you are not your disappointment. Disappointment does not mean that you have failed: it means that your expectations where not met. If you know what kind of expectations you carry around it is much easier, to either work on reframing them or finding new pathways and options to meet those expectations.
You read every self-development book that hits the bookshelves. You pay hundreds or even thousands of bucks for workshops, seminars and retreats. You seem to never get enough of that stuff. How do you know if that in itself is not some kind of problem (trust psychology folks to find problems you didn’t know you had)?
Adults love straight-forward solutions. We love them so much that we would rather spend years and years finding “the one thing that changes our life” instead of changing ourselves. That’s why tools are so much more popular than processes because if only we had the right tools, everything else would fall into place.
When is the last time you heard someone say ‘I really used to struggle with my self-esteem. Then I bought one book and the problem was solved forever.’