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November


The Safety zone. Tuesday November 19, 2013

Throughout evolution, the human brain has developed ways of stopping us doing things that are likely to get us killed. This evolutionary trick served us very nicely throughout history; using intuition and a dose of experience, we build up an idea of what is safe in our world. For most of human history, what is unsafe, often led to death, which is widely agreed to be an unfavorable outcome.

This concept is commonly framed in the ideas of Comfort zone and Safety zone. Your comfort zone is the little zone within which you can go about your daily life without feeling you are going to take on any risk, like going down to your local hairdressers. This is the level to which your prehistoric mind is happy that you're unlikely to take on any real risk, you've got your hair done in the same way for a while and its therefore not something to get worked up about.

Your safety zone on the other hand is that feeling you start to get when you're stepping outside of that comfort zone. For example, visiting a new hairdresser. That voice in your head starts to tell you that perhaps this isn't such a good idea. You can think of many reasons how it might all go wrong and why you should have just stuck with the one you usually go to. What you often find though, is that you walk away from the experience realizing that there was not a real need to be that nervous in the first place, your hair looks nice (might even be nicer than usual) and perhaps unsurprisingly, you did not die. Your comfort zone has now adapted and more opportunities are now available to you because you are not scared of taking them.

There is of course an element of danger in our everyday lives (so don't close your eyes and cross the road) However, the honest truth is that most of the things we are scared of; public speaking, visiting a new hairdressers are unlikely to end in death. That interview you're nervous about might have some consequences if you mess it up, but its unlikely to have all the negative consequences you convince yourself it will.

Perhaps think about some of those things you've been putting off and ask yourself what opportunities might present themselves if you just went ahead and did it.

"Do one thing every day that scares you." – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

http://moodscope.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-safety-zone.html


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Comments

The Entertrainer Tue, Nov 19th 2013 @ 8:02am

Love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, Jake. It's a beautiful and empowering distinction you've made there between the "Comfort" and "Safety" Zones. You are holding out the hope, I think,, of ever expanding our Comfort Zone into progressive Safety Zones - much like a child learns to trust it's environment. This would make a great post for the "Scared" Card too. Thank you.

Chris Wood Tue, Nov 19th 2013 @ 8:06am

Glad for the way of placing my own life into context. I liked the blog entry - thanks.

valerie Tue, Nov 19th 2013 @ 8:41am

This something I am trying to work on.Circumstances throughout life have put my nervous system on permanent "red alert"-anticipating disaster and resistant to change. It is life-denying,All the worrying I do won't stop bad things happening to me or others,Meanwhile my precious time here is being whittled away.Valerie

Julia Tue, Nov 19th 2013 @ 9:16am

Great blog Jake. The Book "Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway" by Susan Jeffers springs to mind (you don't have to read it, just read Jake's blog and absorb this book's title into your psyche) plus my mother always used to tell me "Think of the worst that can happen and it's never going to be that bad". Just like you are saying Jake. Thank you for reminding me about all this.

Anonymous Tue, Nov 19th 2013 @ 11:04am

I agree with Julia's comments today.
My lovely Dad used to say 'Do your best and you only fail if you don't try! ' His thoughts helped me with exams and difficult challenges in my life.

Anonymous Tue, Nov 19th 2013 @ 12:59pm

Good blog and helpful personal reflections. Thanks.

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