Wikipedia defines comfort zone as “a psychological state in which a person feels familiar, at ease, in control and experiences low anxiety and stress. In the zone a steady level of performance is possible.” Sounds GREAT right? It all depends on what area of your life we are referring to, and what your end goal is.
In life we have come to see stress as a negative in every aspect; This is the perception the has been pushed upon us even from a young age. Don’t get me wrong, there are many good reasons to see stress as a negative, but as an entrepreneur we need to embrace it more as a catalyst for change and development.
Positive stress, also known as eustress, is the type we feel when we get excited or happy. It’s stress wherein you do not feel threatened or fearful but still experience many of the beneficial responses such as hormonal changes and pulse increase which are the reactions without our body that help us to feel alive and excited; For example this could be getting a promotion, riding a roller coaster, winning a prize.
It’s this type of stress that can be manipulated into some very positive benefits. As noted in an article from Health, good stress may be “may be just the thing you need to get job done at work” and I’m inclined to agree. I have never produced my best work, or anything I was really proud of, while coasting through my comfort zone on auto-pilot. Not only that, but think of the last time you faced a sudden deadline and that rush of productivity and thrill which motivated you into action!
Couple that with an increase to your brainpower and you’ll be nearly unstoppable! Anyone who has experienced eustress may have noticed an increase to aspects of their intelligence; This is due primarily to the brain chemicals called neurotrophins. It’s believed that this may in fact by the primary mechanism which helps boost productivity and concentration during excessive.
I’m sure you’re all thinking that this is well and good, but I’m still not saying what you really want to hear – how the comfort zone can become figurative death for your budding entrepreneurship. Comfort zone is synonymous with complacency; There I said it, mic dropped. The definition of complacency on Merriam-Webster is “a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better : a complacent feeling or condition”.
Not wanting to try and make them better, that’s what kills the entrepreneur. Having no sense of urgency or drive to improve will leave the start up just starting up and eventually fizzling out. Safe doesn’t pay your bills or change the world. It’s that oe foot outside of your comfort zone that’s going to enable you to continue growing and changing with the world around you. So go ahead, live a little.