“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” This was a great line said by John Assaraf who is a behavior expert. Who does not want to feel calm and in control? We find ourselves creating that place where we feel like we can just relax, feel safe, and not constantly challenge ourselves.
Your comfort zone is what you know well and what you are familiar with in all aspects of your life – what you settle yourself with when it comes to relationships, to your career among other things. The brain is a creature of habit so it establishes cerebral pathways that it refers to whenever a decision must be made. These channels establish patterns. That’s why it sometimes feels like we’re stuck in that pattern or behavior.
You stay away from things you are uncomfortable and unfamiliar with. You find yourself constantly retreating into that comfortable and beautiful space. But how comfortable will be that comfort zone if we do not challenge ourselves and grow?
While you might make the excuse that staying in your comfort zone is the most practical thing to do, you staying in your comfort zone may really just be because of that thing called FEAR. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of feeling the emotions you do not want to feel. Fear of being lost in unfamiliar territory. It might make you anxious. It might cause tons of self-doubt or make you question your self-worth and self-esteem. But there’s also a good kind of nervous that’s healthy and sets us up for some serious, wonderful growth.
How to Tell It’s Time to Get Out of That Comfort Zone?
Uncertain social, political, or economic conditions, according to researcher Brené Brown, can effectively shrink our comfort zones. The more fearful we are, the smaller our comfort zone grows, and breaking out of it becomes more difficult. So you must break free and start going out of your comfort zone slowly but surely.
Why slowly? Slowly because you do not have to totally leave your comfort zone. After all, it will become more simple and more natural to change when you start from your comfort zone because that is where you are confident in who you are and what you want to do.
You can always stay in your comfort zone but being stuck in that place and never trying to step out every once in a while will undoubtedly cause you to miss out on many things. It’s time to go out of your comfort zone when you feel:
Unhappy Without Knowing Why
Everything in your life is going the way it should but what if you’re unhappy? You probably want more in life without knowing it and you might never know what more life has to offer if you do not step out of your comfort zone. Your body may have craved that sense of comfort for a very long time but now it’s craving for something different.
For example, staying in a relationship with someone for so long and realizing that you are only in it because that person is familiar and comfortable to you although you have stopped being happy for a long time. You are afraid to break up for fear of being alone.
Although you do not have to totally break up with that person, you can start going out of your comfort zone by talking to your partner about how you feel. You may not be able to predict how that person would take what you have to say but at least there’s a chance for a change. You both may still be able to do something to spice up the relationship.
You Feel Lousy About Yourself
It’s time to step out of your comfort zone once you are starting to feel lousy about yourself. You feel stuck and you are starting to feel left out and unsatisfied, perhaps even bored of what you have remained to be.
For example, not applying for a promotion at work. The work has become too easy for you. You enjoyed the simplicity of your task for a while but then without the challenges of a new position you start to feel stuck and bored doing the same old routine. There’s no sense of accomplishment to make you feel your growth. Then it’s really time to start taking chances and apply for a higher position.
If it’s too much for you too soon, begin by asking for more tasks, and by taking initiative at work. Show your boss what you are capable of and once you start to feel comfortable about it apply for a higher position.
People Have Stopped Approaching You
When was the last time you accepted new opportunities? When was the last time you went out with your friends to go on a new adventure? If people have stopped inviting you, it may be because you have said “no” so many times that “no” is all they expect of you for an answer.
An introvert, who is a homebody may feel content staying home all the time, but there are things you will be missing out on if you turn down the efforts of friends to include you in their bonding moments all the time.
Although you do not have to say “yes” all the time and be the extrovert you are not – you can always put more effort into your relationships. Give your time to people who need you. Say “yes” once in a while and enjoy the company of other people. The most valuable lessons are learned in our everyday interactions with other people, especially friends and families with whom life is supposed to be shared.
How Going Out of Your Comfort Zone Could Benefit You?
Your comfort zone is your safe place. It’s where you have come to know and accept yourself after all your past experiences. It’s not totally wrong to stay in that zone but life is ever changing so you must be able to keep the growth mindset. Grow your comfort zone by stepping out of it once in a while and grow comfortable with new things, new people, and new ideas.
Challenge yourself once in a while and test your limits. Learn that it’s okay to fail. What is important is that you get the lesson. There are so many things in this world to be enjoyed, so many things to learn and experience. Things you will not be able to even catch a glimpse of if you never dared to venture out of your comfort zone.