Everyone has a comfort zone, one which we very often prefer not to step outside of because it makes us feel… well uncomfortable (of course). But what if we stay there all the time? Do we develop? Do we grow as individuals?
How Comfort Zones Stifle Success
Have you ever entered a room full of people you didn’t know and your first thought was to turn around and leave? At a meeting, have you been asked at the last minute to get up and thank the speaker? These are examples of what many consider as being outside their comfort zone.So, what is a comfort zone & what’s wrong with living in one?
Roy T. Bennett put it like this,
“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
It seems that psychologically, we’re programmed to seek comfort, but unfortunately comfort isn’t really the best thing for us if we want to have success.
Their comfort zone is the state which highly successful people try their best to avoid; they are constantly trying out new ideas to see what works out and what doesn’t. When their plans don’t work out as expected, they use these experiences as learning opportunities to progress closer to their goals.
So, when you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, take some deep breathes and calm your mind. Don’t freak out but look at this as a new opportunity in front of you, a new action to take, that just like any other action, requires a process that happens one step at a time. Look on that first step as a gift, a chance to try some small thing that might lead to a great journey that you’d miss if you don’t take that first step!
Yes, starting something new is usually scary and it might bring about doubt. That’s normal. Change will cause a lack of ease because it’s unfamiliar territory, nonetheless, the unfamiliar can become familiar once we embrace it. So how can you embrace jumping out of your comfort zone?
You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do you really want in life, what is your dream?
- Why do you want it?
- Are your current actions helping you move towards that dream?
- What can you change so that you are working towards it?
- Do you want your dream enough to make those changes even if they are not comfortable?
By now you know what you need to do, so do you feel ready? If you answered yes to that, now is the time to implements those changes, the ones that can launch you into success.
If you want to experience the freedom of being a complete action taker who is willing to do anything, regardless of how scary it may be, you have to find something of major significance to drive you. I promise you that having a fluffy goal with no emotional backing (for example, a certain amount of yearly income) is not a driving force, it is more of a nice-to-have.
The driving force I am talking about is something much more personal, much more sacred to the individual. It is a representation of you, your beliefs, your morals, values and everything else that defines you at the core of your being.
Think Olympic champions (and hopefuls) who make huge sacrifices just to compete at this high level. Without having a driving force inside them, how would they commit to the years of dedicated & often painful training that is needed, putting aside the social life & friendships that others take for granted?
Very few people ever take time to define this for themselves, so they never truly tap into their driving force. That is why we see so many people living complacent lives, accepting mediocrity and frustration instead of aggressively pursuing something that makes them come alive. Because of this, it never occurs to them that they should be stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things.