We’re all familiar with the old timey saying that encourages us to step out of our comfort zone. Well, I stumbled on a piece that read “Science says Pushing Yourself Outside Your Comfort Zone Is a Terrible Idea.”
Oh yeah, I was shocked too!
So is science trying to tell me all that pushing I’ve been doing was for nothing? I should’ve been chilling all the while instead? I shouldn’t have tried as hard I’ve done so far? Somebody better start answering my questions.
True to what I gathered, most self-improvement advice tell you that growth starts where your comfort zone ends. You’ll see things like life begins at the end of your comfort zone, you lose your creative part when life becomes routine, this all make sense but hey, science says we need to do it the right way and chill.
No, this is definitely not an encouragement to be lazy. Please dear, let’s be guided. We all still need to do better than just survive in this world, we need to thrive, do amazing things, and secure the bag.
Research has shown that whatever area of life you’re looking to improve in, your best bet is to aim for something known as “the zone of proximal development”. In this zone, you get to use all the help available while getting better at doing what you do. It’s gradual and more deliberate. You will not experience burnout or exhaustion in this zone because a more experienced person got your back.
The zone of proximal development is still similar to the comfort zone because while you’re doing something new and challenging, you are less likely to push harder than you should, which is healthy.
The best way to stay motivated is to work on tasks of ‘just manageable difficulty’. Psychologists recommend you stay in your stress “sweet spot” of just a little pressure so as to improve the fastest. In this zone, you are eased into a new level of difficulty as you improve instead of being open to all the risks and challenges at once.
Your motivation will be high because you’re not stressed. Things are not too hard, not too easy, they’re just right. This zone sounds great to me. What do you think?