The Dangers of a Shrinking Comfort Zone

Like a warm bath or a comfortable couch, our comfort zones are places where we go to relax, unwind, and forget about our problems.

The issue is that we need to step outside of our comfort zones in order to realise our full potential.

Even worse, the longer we stay within our comfort zone, the smaller it becomes. It starts to contract slowly, not only preventing us from achieving our full potential but over time it actually reduces our current capability.

We need to keep pushing against the edges of our comfort zone, as a minimum, just to maintain our current capabilities.

I find this is definitely true with the running that I do. If I start to ease up and slow the pace or distances on the training runs I make, then even within a couple of weeks, I find it difficult to match what I was doing only 2 weeks ago, let alone improve my performance.

After I had run two marathons, and was training for a third, even though I had run 42km twice the year before, I would find it difficult to run even 30km, let alone 42k.

I needed to work my training back up to a level where I can do the longer distances.

Why is that?

That’s because my comfort zone shrank, as soon as I had completed my last marathon and then reduced my training, my comfort zone became smaller. It didn’t stay at 42km, my comfort zone was reduced to be closer to my new level of training.

It’s the old ‘use it or lose it routine‘.

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