Each of us lives within a space that is our comfort zone. Happy or sad, our comfort zone is the way of living that makes us feel comfortable and at ease. Our comfort zone is shaped by our experiences in early life – the way our family of origin interacted, the food we ate, the neighborhood we lived in, and the stories and opinions shared within the easy confines of friends and family.
Our comfort zone is both positive and negative. Positively, our comfort zone forms much of who we are and the framework that helps interpret the world around us. It gives us a sense of predictability and safety in the craziness of the world around us. Often, it connects us to our family and our personal history. Without, we can feel adrift and uneasy.
On the negative side, our comfort zone keeps us mired in old patterns, ways of thinking and ways of being. It limits the horizon of our potential and stifles growth and change. Often the factors that make-up our comfort zone are completely unconscious, which means our actions are guided by forces we may not completely understand.
These negative tendencies can best be addressed through professional counseling. In the presence of an educated and nonjudgmental counselor, we can explore the unconscious roots of our comfort zone. Once we are aware of the confines of our comfort zone, we can make conscious choices to stay within it or to break out of it. Through repeating this process, we consciously craft our own comfort zone and take control of our own happiness and well-being.