The Danger of Comfort Zones


We’re all familiar with that feeling when we become too complacent and comfortable in life. Whether it’s in our careers, relationships, or personal growth, there comes a time when we’re just going through the motions. The motivation and drive that once propelled us forward have now hit a plateau.

In this episode, hosts Rob Brown and Phil Calandra delve into the concept that staying stagnant in our comfort zones leads to a lack of fulfilment and inhibits our personal growth. They also share practical strategies on how to break free from these patterns.

As the saying goes, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” While comfort provides a sense of safety and convenience, it also hinders us from venturing beyond our boundaries and achieving greatness.

Tune in to gain valuable insights from Rob and Phil on how to infuse your life with adventure again. Discover how daring to dream big and engaging in thoughtful planning for future experiences can reignite your motivation. Remember, embracing discomfort is vital for personal growth. So, are you ready to challenge the dream-killer known as comfort?

In this week’s episode, Rob and Phil shed light on the following crucial topics:

  • Why Achieving Success Often Leads to Falling into Comfort Zones
  • Expanding Beyond Your Comfort Zone to Achieve Your Dreams
  • Daring to Dream Big: The First Step Toward Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Unlocking Your Full Potential: Breaking Free from the Constraints of Comfort Zones
  • The Significance of Embracing Adventure and Stepping Beyond Your Comfort Zone
  • Overcoming Comfort Zones: Unveiling the Psychological Barriers
  • Strategies for Breaking Free from Your Comfort Zone

Venturing beyond the confines of our comfort zone can take us on a transformative journey, unveiling personal growth, untapped potential, and newfound strengths. While security may reside in the familiar, true change blossoms when we dare to take that leap into the unknown.

Get the free TRUEST FAN ACTION PLAN… supercharge your productivity in 90 Days or less.

To listen, click the play button above. Or click the “Subscribe” button to go to your favorite podcast player.

Show Highlights



Connect with Phil Calandra:

Connect with Rob Brown:

Podcast Transcript

Rob Brown Snippet (00:05):

You cannot get to a new place to a new adventure discover a new world. If you aren’t willing to step outside of your comfort zone and have an adventure, some nature, that doesn’t mean risking everything. It just means being willing to take that extra step, consider that other thing that you might do that could add some wonder and whimsy and excitement to what you’re doing.

Phil Calandra Snippet (00:30):

One thing that you find is that it’s so easy to get complacent, or get into this comfort zone after you’ve done something special. It’s human nature, I think, for us to get sucked into this spot. So the comfort zone, I think of it as a lie, because you have some fear, you have some reason that you’re not willing to move away from the comfort zone.

Rob Brown Intro (01:02):

Welcome to the Truest Fan Blueprint, a podcast for financial advisors, and other professionals looking to get the most out of yourself and your business. I’m Rob Brown, and my partner Phil Calandra. And I promise to walk you through a journey that will allow you to take action in your business and your life, so that you can be the best that you can possibly be. Thanks for listening. 

Welcome, welcome. It’s time again for the truest fan. Blueprint. Welcome, everybody, and especially a big welcome to you, Phil, great to be with you again today.

Phil Calandra (01:48):

Yeah, you too, Rob. It’s great to be here.

Rob Brown (01:51):

I really like the topic that we’re going to talk about today. And we’re going to talk about comfort zones. And I recently read a book, The comfort crisis. And that really stuck out to me because it speaks to the idea that in life and business and a lot of things that we do, we are often fall back to things that we are most comfortable with. 

And we don’t take the extra effort to stretch ourselves. And as we were preparing for this podcast, we came across a great quote, a comfort zone is a beautiful place. But nothing ever grows there. I think that’s a good way to put it. Phil, you know, as you think about this, what are things that you see that get people to fall into comfort zone?

Phil Calandra (02:47):

Yeah, this is a fascinating topic. Because as you and I both know, we coach advisors, I’ve been around successful people, financially successful people, athletes that are very successful. And one thing that you find is that it’s so easy to get complacent. 

Or get into this comfort zone, after you’ve done something special. After you have gotten a few wins under your belt. It’s human nature, I think for us to get sucked into this, you know, this spot where like the quote says all growth ceases to exist, it’s, it’s almost like there’s no sunlight that’s going to pour down on this particular patch of your garden, then the life becomes dormant, if you will, the comfort zone, I think of it as a lie. 

The comfort zone is really nothing more than a big lie. Because you have, and we’ve talked about this before you have some fear, you have some reason that you’re not willing to move away from the comfort zone. 

And you don’t want to take the risk, you’re fearful of something, or you just are like I said, complacent. Because you had a big win, or you know, you had a great year in your business or you brought in more assets or you had a great race or whatever it is. And comfort is a lie.

Rob Brown (04:11):

Yeah, that’s that’s a great way to put it because I think and maybe if you want it to water that down a little bit, which I probably shouldn’t do, because that may be making this more comfortable. 

But if it’s not a lie, maybe it is feeling like you can’t move on from one plant toe or one level of success to the next. And so you tell yourself that this is enough. I can’t do any better. That’s the kind of thing that kills business growth. 

It kills growth in relationships because you just get comfortable with each other and you say that well, why stretches why take a chance of doing something different that could jeopardize that komfort even though you might be thinking about doing it, because you want to do more of what that thing is, you want to be a better leader, you want to be a better father, you want to be a better husband, or better at the working on the causes that you that you care about. I think

Phil Calandra (05:19):

you just always have to overcome your comfort zone to me, if you’re ever dreaming, if you ever have been in a position, I know I have many, many times where your dreams are evolving who you want to be as a person are evolving. 

And if you cannot overcome the comfort zone, then you don’t ever get a chance to realize what that next big thing is what that next dream is for you. And that’s individualized. It’s your dreams are specific to you. 

They’re not from anybody else. And as soon as you have some success, as soon as you get into this comfort zone that we’re speaking of, it’s a dream killer. It takes your ability to step into risk, or to take a chance. 

And so many great things come in the history of mankind, how many things can you name, I mean, just an infinite number of you know, they took one more shot at it to improve something and then lo and behold, was this revolutionary idea or business or opportunity or relationship or whatever it

Rob Brown (06:25):

is? Yeah, it’s it’s that never giving up sort of attitude that comes from staying uncomfortable. Because there’s something good about being uncomfortable about what you have. 

And I love that you brought up dreams, because, as you know, in our truest fan blueprint, process, the first step is to dream big, it’s to like, think about your life out, you know, 10 years from now, and what are all those things that you would really like to see happen, and then to not hold back on those dreams. 

And it might be about how big your business gets, or the amount of time or the number of trips you’re taking with your family, the amount of money that you’re able to give to charity or get involved in a charity with your time, it’s just really just thinking about the unimaginable is the where we start in our process. 

We don’t start in our process saying, What can we do, just to get comfortable, because that’s just a passing step is just a maybe a next stage that we want to get to will, will feel comfortable we can get to this level in our business or this level in a relationship. 

But then the first question we need to ask ourselves, is that really accomplishing our big dream? Or was that just one of those steps that we got to and now, what’s the next step? What’s the next level of comfort or success, though you want to get to so that we can break through that one too, it becomes a iterative process. It’s not just a one time thing?

Phil Calandra (08:10):

Yeah, I remember, gosh, almost 20 years, exactly. I it’ll be 20 years next month, when I started my financial planning practice, my dream was to go out on my own and to not have a boss and to not have a job any longer. I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I had that entrepreneurial itch as they say. 

And all I wanted was to replace enough of my current consulting income, I was working for a big consulting company at the time, all I wanted was enough money to replace the basics. I very, very young family, my sons were four years old when I started my business. 

And that was my dream to go out on my own and to start, and to replace just enough that income that I could, I could work for myself, I could do my own thing. And fortunate for me, I did it stay in that comfort zone, I expanded it. And then I wanted to make enough to hire my first employee. 

And then I wanted to hire my first employee, and pay the all the office utilities and the rent, and then have a 401 K for my staff, and you keep evolving these comfort zones. And when you don’t evolve your comfort zones, that’s where your dream gets buried. 

And I was I used that in my own business and my own trajectory of my career as the kind of the motivator the inspiration to keep me leveling up right, and not getting stuck in the comfort zone. Because if I just said well, you know, at the time, I guess I was 33 years old. 

Like I said, Well, you If I make 150,200 $80,000 a year in this business enterprise, then I’m comfortable. That’s what I was making. And thankfully, I didn’t do that I kept expanding the comfort zone. And now I look back on it. And it was fantastic that I did.

Rob Brown (10:19):

Yeah, yeah, that’s a great example, because it talks about a number of things. But one of the things that I drew from the way that you describe that was that comfort zone are those different steps in your different levels of comfort zones, as you went through that process may have been based on something financial, like replacing your employee ie income, or having enough money to be able to hire your first staff. 

But each one of those things that you described, you also talked about how that impacted things outside of your business, you talked about taking care of your sons, and having fun with them. 

So sometimes, you know, maybe a comfort zone that we have, about what we want to do in our businesses, limits what we’re able to do for those other things that we care about outside of our work, like our family relationships, and sometimes that comfort zone that we want to get we get into with our families, we tell ourselves, we can’t do things differently, because that will interrupt that rhythm that we have at home. 

And then we let the rhythm that we have at home, mollify the success that we have outside of the home and the work that we do for charities or the work that we do in our work so that there’s a real interplay and that that beautiful place where nothing grows, isn’t just a garden with, you know, one vegetable, you know, there’s lots of different vegetables and maybe some flowers growing to it. 

If we stay uncomfortable. Everything grows, not just not just that one thing that we may have our, our minds on.

Phil Calandra (12:14):

Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right. One of the things that that just popped into my head to a word is adventure. One of the things that Trish and I talk about regularly as we are building our relationship and our love together is what’s the next adventure for us. 

And it seems to be more and more outside of the realm of our vocation, as financial professionals. And think about that, if you are an explorer, you know, when Christopher Columbus left the shores of Belize, he was Portuguese, right? I can’t remember my history. 

But it Christopher Columbus had never been enough out of his comfort zone to get on the you know, the boat and actually leave the dock. Right? I mean, we have massive shipping examples that we could pull off of, but how good is that boat, if you’re only willing to tie it to the dock. 

It’s meant to go off the shore. It’s meant to explore and be adventurous and search for those things. And you know, if you’ve traveled any, even if it’s just traveling in our own country, sometimes travel is so daunting. Why? 

Because you’re going out of your comfort zone, you’re going into someplace you’ve never been it’s a new city, maybe it’s a new state, and those are exciting for us. But you have to be willing to what get out of the comfort zone. 

And that just popped into my head and the other word is adventure. You can’t experience great things in life. And you can’t have great epic adventures. If you want to stay more to the dock gotta cut the anchor loose. Yeah,

Rob Brown (13:55):

yeah. And I think in the world that we live in maybe because of what happened with COVID and and the way that we were tied to our homes and unable to do things that we were to use to be doing. Maybe that tendency to be more comfortable. 

Stay in that comfort zone is also trying to stay safe. But you know you you cannot get to a new place to a new adventure. discover a new world if you aren’t willing to step outside of your comfort zone and have it adventuresome nature. 

That doesn’t mean you know, risking everything. It just means being willing to take that extra step. Consider that other thing that you might do that could add some wonder and whimsy and excitement to what you’re doing because getting outside of your comfort zone and accomplishing more is also fun. 

It’s exciting when we talk about a couple of weeks ago on our podcast about the importance of enthusiasm for what it is we do.

Phil Calandra (14:56):

The comfort zone is just the psychological state And we can alter our psychological state. But we have to do that from within ourselves whether to your point, whether it was COVID, whether it was, you know, a recessionary economy, whatever it may be, it’s a state of mind, I think as as much as anything, and you have to get out from under what feels familiar, safe and easy if you want to expand your comfort zone.

Rob Brown (15:25):

So what do you think is like the number one action steps somebody could take? That feels stuck in a comfort zone, and wants to go beyond that? What’s the first thing that somebody should do?

Phil Calandra (15:40):

Well, I mean, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said kind of one of our core tenants in truest fan coaching is step number one, which is to dream big. If you’re in a comfort zone, then you haven’t had enough time dreaming big, you haven’t really thought about that one thing or that next thing. 

So start there, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in a relationship, whether it’s travel, fitness, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would complete an Ironman Triathlon, it is daunting as hell, it is grueling it for most people is something they’d never want to attempt or try. 

And I totally get that. But as soon as I thought, Oh, I think that I want to give this a try. Then my think I wanted to try became this all consuming dream of, I can picture myself crossing this finish line. 

And then the rest is history. As they say, it becomes easier, after you can kind of imprint in your mind, whatever that dream is. So that’s got to be step number one, wouldn’t you agree?

Rob Brown (16:45):

Yeah, no, I totally agree. And that takes me back to the book I wrote to his fan. I mean, I talk about one of the topics that I talk about is the importance of family. And when we think about comfort zones, a topic that comes back over and over again, in my coaching work is advisors or business leaders who want to spend more time with their family, but can’t get unstuck. 

From the comfort zone of well, I can take one week, at a time, you know, I’ve got that week card out in the summer, we go to the beach, and a week carved out in the winter, where we go to the mountains. And you know, I’m comfortable that we have a great time. 

And they say things like, Wouldn’t it be great if I could do that like once a quarter or not twice a year, what it would be great if I could do that for two weeks instead of one week. And the reason I reference the tourists fan book is I one of the examples that I give is, if you want to get out of your comfort zone or planning vacations, plan an epic vacation, stop right now put some dates on the calendar out into the future, maybe six months from now or a year from now have this adventure time that you’re going to set up for your family. 

And then spend that time with your family for a while talking about what that trip what that adventure could be and give yourself enough time to experience it. And that can get you out of that kind of comfort zone, which plays right into fill what you said of, you know, take the time to dream about what you want. 

And it doesn’t have to be I want to, you know, kazillion dollar business in 50 years, you know, it can be I want to have an epic vacation with my family. In the next 12 months. You just have to take that first step in dreaming up and then start working your way back to planning it out. Yeah, that’s

Phil Calandra (18:37):

right. And just one quick thing that I’ll add because you instilled this in me in our coaching sessions going back a number of years ago, I am an avid and I love snow skiing. It’s odd, I don’t really like cold weather. But if you have white fluffy snow on the ground, I want to be playing in it with skis on and I am now Rob planning mine, six week ski vacation, which will take place this winter. 

And that’s all because in your process in our coaching and our work together beginning years ago, that was something that was part of my dream big sequence following that passion and setting things in motion and it’s gonna happen. It’s happened right? So the the dates are on the calendar as as we speak.

Rob Brown (19:24):

And you aren’t going from a long weekend skiing to that six weeks. That’s right, you’ve continuously gotten more and more comfortable or gotten more and more out of your comfort zone, I should say by taking longer, longer trips and saying hey, it’s possible to do these things, even with the all of the other obligations and things that you have going on in your life. 

And I think I think that’s a great place to end this conversation because we love to be able to suggest something that you can do as a result of of listening to this podcast that can help you become a better version of yourself. And I would encourage you stop. Think about areas of your life where maybe you’ve allowed yourself to be comfortable. 

So you may be uncomfortable in some areas, because you’re really excelling other areas or maybe holding yourself back. But what is an area that you really feel like the comfort zone is getting in the way is keeping you from growing name, that comfort zone, and then name something that you want to do based on the dreams that you have for your future, that will get you going in the right direction, and then take the first step. 

And the example of the epic vacation is a perfect one. Maybe you just want to spend that time with your family, well just name it, that’s what you’re gonna do. Second, put the dates on the calendar, just the way Phil puts six weeks of skiing on his calendar, and then start planning the details because everything else can work around it. And I think that’s a great way to work through the comfort zone. 

So it’s not a place where you stagnate, but it really is a place that you can grow. That’s right. And with that, Phil I think that’s it for today. Anything else to add here at the last minute?

Phil Calandra (21:16):

No, that was a great topic, Rob. So glad we got to do it. And like you always say I’ll say it for us. We’re rooting for your success. So go out there and get it talk to you soon.


Rob Brown (21:27):

Absolutely. Take care y’all.

Rob Brown Outro (21:37):

Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Truest Fan Blueprint. If you want to learn more, head over to our website On the site, you’ll learn more about becoming a truest fan. You’ll also find today’s show notes and links to the other gifts and resources we talked about during this episode. Again, thanks for listening and remember, we’re rooting for your success.

Spread the love

Join the TF Newsletter

Get TF updates, podcasts notifications that help you "swing for the fences" in life, business, and relationships.