Examining Our Fears and Comfort Zone | WinkHere
Have you ever been afraid or anxious before trying a new or challenging activity? Has that fear ever stopped you from taking action? I’m sure you’ve been paralyzed by fear at one time or another in your life. I know I have. That’s simply part of being human.
Examining Our Fears
Of course, every person has a different fear threshold. What frightens one person to death might have little impact on someone else. For example, to some, speaking in public or starting a new business is scary. Others might be fearful about asking someone for directions… or for a date. Regardless of how trivial or silly you believe your fears may be, this post applies to you.
When I talk about fear, I’m not referring to physical risks that might injure you or endanger your health, such as diving off cliffs in Acapulco or bungee jumping. I’m scared of those things, too — and I have no plans to do either of them. What I’m talking about here are those challenges that stand in the way of your personal and professional growth. These are the things that scare you — but which you know are necessary if you’re going to get what you want in life.
The Comfort Zone
When you’re gripped by fear and anxiety, it’s usually because you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. Let’s take some time to discuss this important concept — and how it relates to your success and the development of your potential.
Each of us has a comfort zone, a zone of behavior that is familiar to us and where we feel comfortable and safe. Think of your comfort zone as the inside of a circle.
The activities and situations that lie inside the circle are non-threatening and familiar. They’re routine, part of your everyday life — the things you can do with no sweat. In this category are tasks such as speaking to your friends or co-workers or filling out the daily paperwork at your job.
However, you occasionally face experiences or challenges that are outside your comfort zone. These are represented by the “Xs” in the diagram above. The further the “X” is from the circle, the more afraid you are to participate in that activity.
When faced with something outside your comfort zone, you suddenly feel nervous. Your palms become sweaty and your heart pounds. You begin to wonder,
“Will I be able to handle it?
“Will others laugh at me?
“What will my friends and relatives say?”
What does the “X” represent for you?
As you look at the diagram above, what does the “X” represent for you? In other words, what fear is holding you back from reaching the next level of success or fulfillment in your life?
Is it fear of approaching new prospects or fear about changing careers?
Is it fear about learning new skills or Is it fear of going back to school?
Fear of telling other people what’s on your mind?
Or Is it fear of public speaking?
Whatever that “X” represents for you, just be honest and admit it. My guess is that thousands, if not millions, of people have the very same fear you have!
The Benefit Of Backing Away From Your Fears
When confronted with an anxiety-producing event, most people will retreat to avoid the fear and anxiety. You see, backing away does relieve the fear and anxiety that would have resulted if you followed through with the activity. For instance, if someone asks you to make a presentation within your class, and you decline, you save yourself the sleepless nights you’d have worrying about it and the nervousness you’d experience in the days leading up to the presentation.
In fact, that’s the one and only benefit you get by retreating — a momentary avoidance of anxiety. Think about it for a moment. Can you list any other benefits that people get when they refuse to confront their fears?