A comfort zone is a place we like to hang out in because, well, it’s comfortable. These zones are everywhere in our lives, for instance, we get comfortable with the habits we have. They just work for us, so we stay with them and don’t change.
Are you comfortably uncomfortable? Let me explain.
Every now and then something happens and you decide its time to make a change. Many things can trigger this desire. You may see someone else doing something different then we stop and think, “hmmm, that looks interesting, I should give that a shot.”
So, you begin the daring move to shift out of our comfort zone and not surprisingly, life gets a bit uncomfortable. You start to exercise more and the body lets us know about it. Your diet changes and you start to crave things. You start to change your spending habits and a large bill suddenly appears.
It would be so easy to say, “whoa, I didn’t sign on for this, I’m going back to where I was.” And that is what many people do, they never venture outside the box that is their comfort zone, or at least not for long.
Why is it easier to stay where we are, than push ourselves and explore boundaries?
Think of a thermostat or regulator. Thermostats are designed to keep the temperature within a certain range. If it senses that it is getting too cold, it switches the heat on and brings the temperature back to the set point. If things gets too hot, it switches off.
You too have built in regulators – which explains why most of us find it difficult to change. You have your set points and if you deviate too far from them, the pressure to change back (both from within ourselves and those around us) can be very difficult to push through.
Getting back to my original question; are you comfortably uncomfortable? Are you in a comfort zone that isn’t working for you but you are staying there? In other words, it’s uncomfortable. Or, you try breaking out, but you are continually slipping back in.
A scenario that springs to mind is exercise. We all know it is good for us, but we are not brilliant at putting those good intentions into practice. Research shows that around 70% of people who have had cardiac surgery slip back to their old lifestyles, putting their lives at further risk, rather than change their diet and exercise regime.
It’s the same with money, you can get very comfortably uncomfortable with debt. You know it’s there. It’s the noose around your neck and you want (even need) to get rid of it. You work really hard to clear the credit card debt, student loan, etc. only to have the car break down or a urgent trip to the dentist; something pulls you back down into debt.
If this keeps happening to you, then you are comfortably uncomfortable with debt.
If you are nodding your head right now, you might be thinking, how on earth do I get out of this uncomfortable zone?! The answer is, you need to change the way you think about savings.
“Hang on, aren’t I trying to get out of debt?” Yes, you are, but you’re thinking about debt. Try moving your regulator from always thinking about debt, to creating savings.
Think about what your life would look like when you channel what you are currently paying to debt, into savings. Think about the new experiences you could have, the things you could buy, think about all the things that you are sacrificing right now because of debt.
If you are visual person, make yourself a vision board or a graph showing your savings growing. Whatever it is you need to do, move your brain out of an uncomfortable comfort zone to a comfortable one.
Don’t expect the transition to be easy. It won’t be! Sometimes you will feel as if you are taking one step forward and two back; that is all part of the process of change. Remember, change is a process, not an event.
If change was easy, we would all be doing it, rather than the few who do bust out of their comfort zones and find something exciting.
If you have any questions around this or you would like to discover new ways to mange your money, then drop us an email or click on this link to find a day and time that suits you to have a chat with us. Best of all – it’s free!