Productive Discomfort - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

Get an account to save ideas & make your own & organize them how you wish.

deepstash

Beta

The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should)

Productive Discomfort

As you challenge yourself, your comfort zone adjusts, so what was difficult and anxiety-inducing becomes easier as you repeat it.

"Productive discomfort" becomes more normal to you, and you're willing to push farther before your performance falls off.

694 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should)

The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should)

https://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-breaking-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-w-656426705

lifehacker.com

10

Key Ideas

The Science of Your "Comfort Zone"

Your comfort zone is a behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. That provides a state of mental security. 

You benefit in obvious ways: regular happiness, low anxiety, and reduced stress.

Optimal Anxiety

A state of relative comfort created a steady level of performance. In order to maximize performance, a state of relative anxiety is needed—a space where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal. This space is called "Optimal Anxiety," and it's just outside our comfort zone. 

Too much anxiety and we're too stressed to be productive, and our performance drops off sharply.

Making Sense Of Your Comfort Zone

  • Your comfort zone is neither a good or bad thing. It's a natural state that most people trend towards. 
  • Leaving it means increased risk and anxiety, which can have positive and negative results.
  • Don't demonize your comfort zone as something holding you back. We all need that head-space where we're least anxious and stressed so we can process the benefits we get when we leave it.

Comfort Kills Productivity

Without the sense of unease that comes from having deadlines and expectations, we tend to do the minimum required to get by. 

We also fall into the "work trap," where we feign "busy" as a way to stay in our comfort zones and avoid doing new things. 

Taking Risks In A Controlled Fashion

By challenging yourself to things you normally wouldn't do, you can experience some of that uncertainty in a controlled, manageable environment. 

Learning to live outside your comfort zone when you choose to can prep you for life changes that force you out of it.

Productive Discomfort

As you challenge yourself, your comfort zone adjusts, so what was difficult and anxiety-inducing becomes easier as you repeat it.

"Productive discomfort" becomes more normal to you, and you're willing to push farther before your performance falls off.

Putting Things Into Perspective

Even in the short term, a positively uncomfortable experience can help us brainstorm, see old problems in a new light, and tackle the challenges we face with new energy.

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

  • Do everyday things differently. Make a change (large or small) in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis.
  • Take your time making decisions. Making educated decisions can push you out of your comfort zone. Think, don't just react.
  • Trust yourself and make snap decisions, just to get things moving. 
  • Do it in small steps. It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone. Identify your fears, and then face them step by step.

Returning To Your Comfort Zone

Going back to your comfort zone from time to time will help you process your experiences.

The last thing you want is for the new and interesting to quickly become commonplace and boring.

Hedonic adaptation

It is our natural tendency to be impressed by new things, only to have the incredible become ordinary after a short time.

It's why we can have access to so much information instantly and still get so bored.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Vulnerability and confirmation bias
Vulnerability and confirmation bias

Vulnerability challenges your confirmation bias.

It is uncomfortable to ask questions, express your opinion, or open up about your emotions with people. You expose yourself to their cr...

Breaking out of your comfort zone

Breaking out of your comfort zone makes you feel vulnerable, but that feeling works in your favor because it improves your performance and boosts your growth. A  constant state of comfort equals steady performance.

Too much anxiety, however, will make you too stressed to be productive. 

Set realistic goals to hedge your anxiety

In most cases, once you do something scary, you realize it’s not as bad as you thought—it was just the anticipation that frightened you more than anything.

Setting a goal can help you get past that anticipation and feel in control of your vulnerability.

2 more ideas

Overthinking

It  means overanalyzing something that happened, regretting an action, or worrying about the future of something. 

It's when you can't think about anything else, and it'...

Overthinking and action

If you're overthinking an idea you can actually do something about, the best thing you can do is take action now.

This doesn't mean you have to suddenly run off to make something, it just means you start taking a step forward. We tend to overthink because we fear failure, but if we just start working, that dissipates quickly

Break the circle of overthinking:
  • Relabel the ideas you're overthinking ("self-doubt," "anxiety," etc)
  • Reframe your experience and identify your thinking errors
  • Refocus your attention on the part that matters
  • Revalue your brain's messages with the new information
Anaïs Nin

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."

Anaïs Nin
Elbert Hubbard
Elbert Hubbard

"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing."

George Adair
George Adair

"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

7 more ideas

Rapunzel - Tangled

"Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it."

Rapunzel - Tangled
Gusteau - Ratatouille
Gusteau - Ratatouille

"If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead." 

Merida - Brave
Merida - Brave
"You control your destiny -- you don't need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems."

8 more ideas

Quit When...
  • You're consistently experiencing more frustration than reward.
  • You can't envision a possible solution or continuing this way.
  • Spending time on this keeps you from more rewardin...
Before You Call It Quits
  • Make sure you've identified the real causes of your unhappiness. Keep a diary of events and problems.
  • Give it a chance. Many things, like diets, require time to work out.
  • Try many other solutions.
  • Have a backup plan. Know what you're going to do if you quit and what you need to do to prepare for that.
Eat Meals Earlier 

Don't eat any heavy foods within two hours of bed time. 

If you get too hungry as bedtime creeps around, there are a few foods that are okay to eat before bed, and can even h...

Do Something After You Eat

After you eat, get up and do something a bit more active—even if it's just washing dishes or taking out the trash. It'll avoid that post-meal drowsiness, and it's a great time to have a 10-minute cleaning burst to keep your house looking nice.

Avoid Napping

Napping can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night:

If, after you've thoroughly tested your evening routine and gotten better sleep, you still feel drowsy, you can try adding a power nap to your day, preferably during the early afternoon. 

7 more ideas

Universal fear
Universal fear

Some fears are acquired based on specific life experiences. Other fears are more universal, like the fear of darkness. 

Darkness leaves us vulnerable and expos...

Fear in adults

Our brains equate darkness with the frightening side of unlimited possibilityAs we become adults, we eventually become comfortable enough to move through the dark without a light. 

However, 40% of respondents in a survey said they were afraid to walk around the house with the light off. 10% won't get out of bed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Poor sleepers

In some cases, fear may be powerful enough to cause chronic insomnia. However, a person may not be able to sleep because their mind starts to wander. 

They may think what if someone breaks into their house. Instead of realizing the associations may indicate a fear of the dark, they inadvertently assume they have a fear of burglars.

Concept creep

... or moving the goalposts, it happens when problems never seem to go away because people keep changing how they define them.

This can be a frustrating experience, because you don't r...

Relative comparisons

These comparisons often use less energy than absolute measurements. For e.g, it’s easier to remember which of your cousins is the tallest than exactly how tall each cousin is. Human brains have likely evolved to use relative comparisons in many situations because they often provide enough information to safely navigate our environments, with very little effort.

Breaks keep us from getting bored

The human brain just wasn’t built for the extended focus we ask of it these days.

The fix for this unfocused condition is simple—all we need is a brief interruption (aka a break) to ge...

Breaks and brain connections

Our brains have two modes:

  • focused mode, which we use when we’re doing things like learning something new, writing or working) and 
  • diffuse mode, which is our more relaxed, daydreamy mode when we’re not thinking so hard.

The mind solves its stickiest problems while daydreaming—something you may have experienced while driving or taking a shower.

Breaks help us reevaluate our goals

When you work on a task continuously, it’s easy to lose focus and get lost in the weeds. In contrast, following a brief intermission, picking up where you left off forces you to take a few seconds to think globally about what you’re ultimately trying to achieve. 

6 more ideas

Flow is the state of mind

... where we are so immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity that we lose sense of space and time.

It is thought to be t...

Why it’s hard to achieve flow in your workplace
  • The processes, policies, and busy work gets in the way.
  • Most jobs don’t have a clear goal.
  • Feedback can be inadequate.
  • The pace of work has increased, and it’s hard for people to spend time thinking deeply.
  • Your skills aren’t well matched to the challenges you are allowed to pursue.
  • There’s a lack of control over interruptions or when and how you work.
  • The job doesn’t push you out of your comfort zone.
Take more risks

... to push your mind beyond its comfort zone. Flow happens when we get a bit out of our comfort zone. Too much, and you get anxious; Too little and you get bored.

You need to know your physical or emotional limitations and consciously push past them.

7 more ideas