A great teacher once said… and so many motivational quotes said it too, we all know it now: Nothing good ever came out of staying in your comfort zone. It is oh-so-comfortably uncomfortable, stepping out of your comfort zone.
Stepping out of our comfort zone means letting go of the things we think we know, and going for something new and different. When we play it safe in life, the same issues keep arising within our comfortable little box, and there is no room for real growth. In order to not to limit the vastness of possibilities, we must be willing to work on all of the different areas in our lives, not just the one(s) we feel most comfortable with.
When you are in your comfort zone, life is groveling like cars on a highway. The direction is straightforward, there is nothing new or interesting along the way, and a lot of minuscule things pop up and start to annoy you. Comfort zone is easy and, well, comfortable: it is something to fall back to, or never leave because of all the soft padding we build inside of it. Comfort zone is what we are used to, and it’s just the thing we need to break down to build something bigger and greater for ourselves.
How to notice if you are stuck in your comfort zone
If you feel anxious about doing something, it means you should probably do it. Doing something we deep down know we should do, but for one reason or another are too afraid to follow through, is stepping out of your comfort zone, facing your fears, and above all, growing. When surfing for the first time, most likely it can hardly be called surfing; the waves keep on pushing you back to the shore and knocking you off the board. But if you never push through those waves, time after time, you won’t know how great it feels to actually be able to get up, stand up, and go for a ride. That feeling of accomplishment is one of the main reasons I constantly think to myself: how can I get out of my comfort zone? Getting out of your comfort zone is very easily achieved when traveling, for example.
What can you do to notice or be aware of when getting stuck in your comfort zone?
If you feel that something is missing, if there is an emptiness within you that you can’t quite pinpoint, that probably means that you are looking for more meaning in your life. Comfort zone is great in its numbing effects and making things easy, but it’s the storms that make a sailor, right? If everything feels ok, but not challenging in a proactive way, you are probably sitting safely in your comfort zone. Find challenges, even if it’s just talking to 3 strangers every day, taking public transport instead of your car, or booking a trip BY YOURSELF - anything you do that at first makes you a bit hesitant and reluctant is good practice for bigger leaps further away from the comfort zone. You’ll notice soon that whatever you did wasn’t so bad, you survived alive, and you can evaluate whether you want to do it again or not.
Getting out of your comfort zone is not easy, otherwise we’d all be doing it, right? It takes mindfulness to realize when you are not reaching your full potential and then following through to change your actions, and repetition to make it into a habit.