Quick Definition: A psychological term used to describe the set of environments and behaviors with which one is comfortable, without creating a sense of risk.
A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate within mental boundaries, either to protect themselves or simply because it has become a comfortable pattern. While automating behaviors can be helpful, it is necessary to break out of old patterns to experience growth. Thus, in order for AFCs to become PUAs, they need to step out of their comfort zones.
Your environment plays a large part in your ability to break out of a comfort zone. A person who is away from home and his normal surroundings is more likely to step out of his comfort zones than someone who is a familiar environment. Thus, bootcamps often accommodate students from around the world and involve meeting new people and doing things the student would not normally do.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be a painful process, and you can feel incongruent adopting new behaviors. However, it is important to push past this initial discomfort and get rid of old belief systems that do not work. This is illustrated clearly in a quote from The 40 Year Old Virgin: “If what has always felt right has not worked out, then maybe you need to do something wrong!”