Merriam Webster defines “comfort zone” as “a place, situation, or level where someone feels confident and comfortable.”
“Comfort,” though, is different for each of us.
Some of us like routine, structure, plans, definitions; we stay calm knowing what’s coming, what’s expected. Others of us like open-ended spontaneity. It allows for on-the-spot problem solving, creativity and impulse-driven satisfaction. It is that feeling of liberation, spaciousness, and the “let’s-see-what-happens” freedom that animates us.
Well-being, however, is the line we must hold as we toggle between the two.
If we live only for the moment, and do simply what we feel like doing, we lose sight of the discipline necessary for financial security, physical and spiritual health management, social and community connectedness. If we stay lock-stepped in an insular structure or process, we become myopic, boring, easily rattled if things fall outside “The Plan.”
Maybe the key to all this is not so much defining our comfort zone as broadening it: adding soft lines where spontaneity and structure can live side by side, overlap or nudge each other into bigger-ness.
Intentionally keeping a little space in the clock, calendar and budget for some unstructured playtime or surprises is a good start; so is holding to bottom-line-must-do’s. That’s when comfort and zone expand becoming the springboard for well and being.