So we are locked down, it’s full-on summer and it’s hot. I cannot think and I know not what to do. I have no purpose. it’s all so blah. It’s so hot today that I’m just lying around, ruminating… What should I do? Should I have a purpose? Is there something I am here to do?

“In the heating and air-conditioning trade, the point on the thermostat in which neither heating nor cooling must operate-around 72° – is called “The Comfort Zone”. It is also known as “The Dead Zone” – Russell Bishop.

Am I just vegetating in my comfort (dead) zone? I really shouldn’t be so complacent in my comfort zone, I think to myself!

Bestselling author and fear expert, Rhonda Britten says “I’m not interested in people getting rid of their comfort zones. You want to have the largest comfort zone possible – because the larger it is, the more masterful you feel in more areas of your life.”

“People don’t honour the comfort zones they have created; they think it’s wrong or bad to need one. It’s not! If you deny that you have a comfort zone or pretend that you don’t need one, you’ll be stressed all the time.”

She suggests instead “to build off“ your existing comfort zone and she has created a strategy to do so.

She calls it “Stretch, Risk, Die”.

I love the example she gives, “Picture a dartboard,” she explains. “The bullseye is your comfort zone. The next ring is your “Stretch” zone, the one next to that is your “Risk” zone, and everything outside of that is your “Die” zone. Each time you move into a new zone, you have to go through a little fear, because you have to think differently about yourself and what you’re capable of.”

Here I am in a kind of blah, dead zone, I am not even going to call it comfort… but er, I am comfortable here, no? Don’t berate yourself, I tell myself… just get things going one at a time!

So the “Stretch” she says is something we tell ourselves, we should, but haven’t gotten around to doing.

Oh ok, so I’m just about out of that zone, I think. I am writing again. But I have things I want to do, that I haven’t dared to even try and think about. I need to maybe take those baby steps and get going on one. To go to the kitchen and make that Samosa. Yes, that will be my “Stretch.”

And then there’s the second one, “Risk.” It’s something you think you may not be successful at, and so you don’t even want to try it! She recommends taking that risk!!

The first step towards my taking that risk is simply, for me to understand the recipes and gather all the ingredients … maybe gather and measure the ingredients, so it’s ready.

Oh-oh, here comes the “Die” part!!! What if the dough turns out to be a sticky mushy mess and worse, the oil heats up and catches fire (I say this from experience), that’s a die for sure!

What’s a die for you may just be a stretch for somebody else,” notes Rhonda. “It’s about emotions and mindset. As you begin to “stretch, risk and die,” your comfort zone will grow, and you’ll find that things that used to be “dies” to you are now just risks.

It’s not “I’m going to be good at everything,’ it’s about not being scared to try.”

I hear you ma’am… what if, just what if I do manage to make a good samosa?

Even in the heating and air-conditioning trade terms, the compressor will turn on to recalibrate the temperature so that you are always comfortable. That action of getting out of that comfort zone, Rhonda says “ is about motivating and inspiring yourself in a way that honours your whole person”.

Is that the purpose of my life? To inspire and honour myself?

I think I’ll make that Samosa today.


NEERJA SHAH

Former Editor of Elle India & TV Producer

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