Charlie had a long day. He came out of his office. It was already evening. He groaned: “Oh, I have a headache. There was so much going on at work. I just want to get on the sofa and watch TV.” His wife replied: “Fiddlesticks! Hey, let’s go dancing! What do you mean? Charlie is a passionate dancer. Immediately his eyes beamed, his body tightened: “Yes, good idea! Charlie suddenly no longer felt tired, but full of energy.
Do you know that too? There are activities that are simply fun and give us energy. Often we have already integrated these actions into our lives: Charlie, for example, went dancing up to 3 times a week. It can be small actions like a walk in the woods or bigger ones like a parachute jump.
Often, actions where we have to overcome our comfort zone are fun. The comfort zone is the area where we feel safe where there is no danger. For example, the sofa at home or the work we have been doing for years. When we stay at home in the evening after work and watch TV series. This is the comfort zone. It’s comfortable here. We have no challenges. The comfort zone is not a bad thing in itself. However, if we stay too long in our comfort zone, our joy is lost. The vibrating lightness of life has no place in the comfort zone. Instead, we find everyday routine, duties, boredom and comfort there. So why don’t we often leave our comfort zone? There are 2 reasons for this: Fears and comfort.
Marc found out that he enjoys singing. He has already chosen a singing group. He became nervous at the thought of going there: “I don’t even know the people there. What if nobody pays attention to me? I’m not really good at singing either. I embarrass myself for sure!” The restlessness increased. Marc almost didn’t go. But he did. And indeed, the evening was great and gave him a lot of joy.
Usually it is like this: Leaving the comfort zone is fun. I myself have spent a whole comfort zone stretch year in 2014. The rule applied for the whole year:
“If I would like to do something, but comfort or fears speak against it, I do it anyway.”
I have to say that 2014 was a very productive and adventurous year. I flew to Thailand 2 times although long-haul flights were always a horror for me. I was swimming in cold lakes, riding elephants, attending self-awareness courses, marvelling at Buddhist temples, riding motorcycles and meeting my present wife.” So be careful: comfort stretch years can turn your life upside down.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
In itself, the comfort zone is nothing bad. There we are safe and can regenerate. A problem only arises when we spend too much time there. So we should leave our comfort zone regularly. This has a number of advantages:
- More energy: starting actions that are challenging is exciting. It’s fun, we gain a lot of energy.
- Freedom: The more we expand our comfort zone, the freer we are. Marc, for example, now has the freedom to go to the Sing group.
- Fun and joy: Outside the comfort zone the adventure awaits us. It means variety and fun.
- More self-confidence: If we regularly leave our comfort zone, our confidence in ourselves grows. We learn that we are stronger than our fears and comfort.
- Growth mindset: this is a big advantage. We learn over time to see obstacles as challenges.
- Self-knowledge: we get to knows ourselves better. We realize what fears we have. Leaving the comfort zone forces us to deal with ourselves.
- You develop courage: you can only leave your comfort zone if you face your small and big fears. By doing this, you become more courageous.
- You develop self-discipline: we stay in the comfort zone either out of fear or out of comfort. If we overcome it regularly, our discipline and willpower will be strengthened.
I hope I was able to convince you. Leaving the comfort zone does not always mean that we have to skydive. No, it can be little things like playing with your child if you haven’t done it before. It can be a cold shower in the morning. Here are a few suggestions:
- Bathing in a cold lake.
- Take a cold shower.
- Take a Salsa trial course.
- Go to the sea on a cold day and let the wind whistle in your ears.
- Get up early in the morning and go jogging.
- Smile at strangers.
- Attend a new fitness course you’ve always wanted to try. Laugh at yourself when you’re in a bad mood. – Call your mother to tell her how much you love her.
- Buy a bottle of Pustefix, lie in the grass with a friend and blow bubbles while talking about your best childhood memories.
- Stroll the city all night and find a place to have breakfast at dawn.
- Take a course that has always interested you.
- Ask a person for a date that you think is out of your league.
- Check out improvisations (or, if you’re a real devil, sign up for a course…most offer the first lesson for free).
- Train for a physical event, like a half-marathon.
- Act like a child for a day – paint with fingers, paint books or go to the zoo.
This list is for suggestions only. Do you like any of them? Be careful, that’s a trick question. If so, do it! But don’t overtax yourself: If you don’t feel comfortable at heights, you shouldn’t directly do a parachute jump. Then you would immediately find yourself in the frustration zone. You would overtax yourself. It is better to take small steps to get you out of the comfort zone and into the energy zone.
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They are not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know it’s worth something.” — C. JoyBell C.
Goal: joy and energy
- Inventory: What does your current life look like? Are you in your comfort zone? Are there already activities that you enjoy? Do you play tennis or take part in a self-defense course?
Valuate your life. Are you more in the comfort zone or do you have a lot of activities that inspire you and give you energy?
0 = I am completely in my comfort zone.
10 = I lead a life that inspires me. I am often in the energy zone.
Where would you place yourself spontaneously?
If you are 7 or higher: Congratulations! I congratulate you on your life! Keep up the good work. Maybe you can expand the activities that give you joy and energy.
- Collect ideas: If you have less than 7 points, you should bring more actions into your life that give you energy and joy. The actions you already enjoy should be maintained and expanded. Answer the following questions:
- What can you do without noticing how time passes? This question points to actions that bring you into a flow.
- What activities do you enjoy, give you peace and energy, and inspire you? Look for actions that inspire you and give you joy.
- What feels good for you? This is about feel-good activities such as a massage.
Make a list. Be completely free and without inner criticism. Just write on it. It can be very simple things like having a beer with your friends. But they can also be spectacular actions. My mother took a hot-air balloon flight at the age of 78. She always wanted to do that, but didn’t have the chance until she was 78. Just write down everything you can think of, without even thinking whether it can be realized at all. Don’t let your concerns restrict you, but follow your heart.
- Shorten the list: Now a colorful bouquet has surely come together. Shorten the list to 5 – 10 activities that make your heart beat faster or that you find particularly pleasant. Many people feel full of energy as they write this list. Is that the same with you?
- Very practical: Now think about how you bring the activities into your life. This is about practical considerations.
- A client, Felix, made the following list:
- Go to the tennis club.
- Going on a backpacking trip alone through South America for several months.
- Do a Tantra course.
- Join a singing group.
- Appeal to women he finds particularly attractive.
- Travel to his birthplace. Swim in the lake where he often bathed with his family as a child.
- Cycling with friends.
- Dancing alone at home to his favorite music.
- Walking in the forest.
Some of these activities are easy to carry out, others more difficult. The backpack trip to South America is probably the most difficult because Felix doesn’t get that much vacation. But he immediately set out to achieve his goal. His eyes were shining. He chose especially beautiful places, planned the financing and thought about how he could get several months off. The mere preoccupation with this dream filled him with energy.
The other activities were easier to bring into his life. A week later he went to his birthplace and bathed in the lake. “He still looks like he did 20 years ago” he enthused, “It was great and it touched me very much.”
This exercise is done quickly and can give you a lot of energy. It is important that you fill your life more and more with actions that give you joy. It doesn’t always have to be something special. A walk in the woods, playing with your child, dancing at home to your favorite music. The main thing is that it makes you happy.