• Joanna Rawbone

Comfort zone or self-imposed confinement?

Someone shared a quote attributed to Richard Branson today which set off a whole train of thought. The catalytic quote was

“Nothing good in my life has ever happened from the safety of my comfort zone”.

The reason this probably resonated so intensely with me today is that since the beginning of the year, I’ve seriously committed to raising the profile of Flourishing Introverts and shifting the extraversion bias in organisations. Now this has meant consistently doing things that are way out of my comfort zone. And guess what? The more I’m doing them, the less discomfort I feel.

And that’s when it dawned on me. My comfort zone was actually serving as self-imposed confinement. I was trapped or imprisoned behind bars of my own making. What made it more poignant, was when I realised that I’d invested time and energy making my cage homely and welcoming so that I felt safe there. I could hang out there indefinitely and even chose my comfy cage as my preferred place to replenish.

Now we all appreciate that introverts need to replenish deeply and frequently in order to be able to function successfully in this mad, loud, busy world. But I’m here to tell you that your comfort zone is not a healthy place to hang-out because whilst it may facilitate replenishment, it also causes contraction.

If you’re serious about flourishing as an introvert it requires expansion and courageous action, neither of which happen from the safety of a comfort zone.

So, I invite you to throw open the doors of your personal cage, shake out the soft-furnishings and find new ways to replenish that are out of the ordinary. I’ve worked with introverts for long enough to know this isn’t for everyone and some of you may have even switched off already. But if you’re ready to flourish, ready to be all that you’ve secretly known or dreamed you could be, then end the self-imposed confinement.

Your future self will thank you for it.

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