The comfort zone we want to get out of, and the one we don’t

I was talking to a friend the other day about a project that we want to start together. He was super excited about a much more ambitious idea than the one we had thought of before. That idea involved taking a bigger risk and being more exposed if it failed.

That new idea was far away from what I’m comfortable doing. It scared me only by thinking about it.

He mentioned how it is good to get out of your comfort zone, and I agreed. “Ok, if I’m going to get so far out of mine you have to do something that gets you out of yours”, I said. Because, of course, his idea was much more in his wheelhouse than it was in mine. Even though it was outside of his “comfort zone”.

Then I mentioned something that I knew would be very hard for him to do, and he was like “Oh shit, I don’t know if I can do that”.

So I guess there are things that we know are uncomfortable for us but still are sort of similar to what we like or are good at. If I’m a programmer, I’m going to learn this new programming language or paradigm. Or if I like to run, I might try to do a marathon.

But then, there are the things that we don’t even try because they’re so far from what we’re comfortable with. Things that make our gut spin by only thinking of them. Sometimes, we shouldn’t just try to get out of our comfort zone, but to run away from it so far we can’t even see it when we look back.