We are solidly inside our comfort zones when we are dealing with familiar topics, information, or people. All the knowledge we already possess is validated, and we are not challenged. When we are focused on acquiring new information or awareness , or when the information we have is being challenged, we are outside our comfort zone or on its edge. When we are too far outside our comfort zone, we tend to resist new information or withdraw.
The best place to expand our understanding, to take in new perspectives and to stretch our awareness is at the edge of our comfort zone. We can recognize when we are on a learning edge by paying attention to our internal reactions. Feelings of annoyance, anxiousness, surprise, confusion or defensiveness are signs that our perspective is being challenged. If we retreat into our comfort zone, dismissing anything that contradicts our way of seeing the world, we lose the opportunity to expand our understanding. The challenge is to recognize the learning edge, stay with the discomfort and be open to where it leads.