What is a comfort zone?
As the name implies, the comfort zone is a zone or position in which you feel comfortable and safe. As long as you stay in this area, you’re not going to feel pressured, anxious, or stressed. At first glance, this is a great position to be, but as time passes by, it gets worse and worse to be in this position.
But why is it so bad for you to be staying in that zone? Well, the most important thing is that to improve, you must embrace fear and change in your life. The issue with fear and change is that, when we are comfortable, we are less likely to make those changes. In the end, your life will begin to stall and remain unchanged.
Why people can’t get out of their comfort zone?
- Fear of change
This is the most common reason for people not to get out of their comfort zone. If you are scared from change, your thoughts will be something like these: “This task is too big for me”, “I can’t do this alone”, “I don’t know where to start, so I won’t do it”, and so on.
If you have a fear of change, you’ll justify it to procrastinate. It’s a natural feeling that you’ve likely been leaning on ever since you were a child. It’s been ingrained in you. What matters now is that you work on changing it.
- Fear of failure
Going past the fear of change, perhaps you remain in your comfort zone due to a fear of failure.
The reason you’re afraid from failure might be one of these:
- A childhood event or upbringing can cause you to internalise damaging mindsets;
- You are a perfectionist or have perfectionist tendencies;
- You over-inflate failures in your head;
- You are masking true confidence with false confidence when it comes to your personality and abilities.
- Fear of the unknown
Life is a mystery, and we have no idea where it’ll take us. Instead of you seeing this as a gift, you may use that as a reason to be paranoid and to be afraid when there is something that would disrupt your life.
How you react depends on who you are, but it always comes back to you resisting change out of worry that your life could be different or, at best, better.
How to break out of your comfort zone?
- Challenge your habits
Habits are things that people pick up from various life events, friends, family, achievements and so on. Habits can be good and bad.
It’s crucial to pay attention to good habits, such as habits that have led you to past achievements. These achievements can be big or small, but they remain with you so long as you exercise them.
The bad habits interfere with us from success and better versions of ourselves. One way that you can push out of your comfort zone is to look at these bad habits and begin to challenge them. If it’s a bad habit or a habit you want to break, replace it with a better one and reinforce it.
- Learn from your lessons
Change is a journey that you must take if you want to succeed. Part of that change is having lessons and learning from those lessons.
These lessons can stem from failures and successes. Some examples of these are:
- If you want to change, you’ll need to trust yourself;
- The process matters as much as the results you’ll get in the end;
- Effort in change is what matters. Even if you fail, you put in the effort, and that makes all the difference.
Remember, even if you fail, it’s not a complete failure unless you didn’t learn something. Learning is all a part of life, and walking away with a lesson can be just as rewarding as achieving something.
- Experiment with different methods
There are so many ways you can step out of your comfort zone, and there is no right or wrong method. Every successful person has a technique for success and getting out of their comfort zone.
If one method doesn’t work, you’ve got dozens of others you can try and apply in your life. The idea that one of these methods can lead you to a new and exciting life filled with more fulfilment and satisfaction is thrilling. It’s human nature that you would want to be achieving more and getting more out of life.
One of the best methods is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable
The key to success is to strive to make changes, big or small. Will the changes be uncomfortable? Probably. But after some time, it will become your new normal, and you won’t even remember the discomfort that came before.
Here are a few steps to help you with getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
a) set a target
Leaving your comfort zone isn’t difficult if you have a specific goal in mind of what you’re hoping to find. To start with this, write down a goal you are striving for in your professional or private life.
b) identify the benefits
When it comes to doing something you aren’t the most excited about, it helps to remember the big picture of why you’re engaging in the task.
For the goal, you set for yourself, write down what achieving that goal would mean for you, or your business.
c) make a list of tasks
Now that you’ve got a goal ask yourself: what are the activities you should do to reach your goal?
Think of and write down the tasks you need to do, to help you reach your goal.
d) list the worst things that can happen
Some of the tasks on your list above may make you feel uncomfortable. Instead of surprising your feelings, acknowledge them. Write down why you are uncomfortable doing some of the tasks and the worst outcomes of every task.
e) create a plan for how to prevent the worst things
Now that you’ve acknowledged all the terrible things that could happen as a result of you leaving your comfort zone. It’s time to make a plan to help you prevent your worst fears from coming true.
Try to brainstorm three things you can do to help increase your chances of achieving your goals and preventing the worst outcomes.
Don’t imagine the worst, and let it prevent you from taking action. Instead, let the worst-case scenarios propel you to take massive action so you can reach your aims.
f) surround yourself with the right people
A big part of what will keep you in your comfort zone is the people in your circle. If your friend and acquaintances want to stay where they are, it will make it harder for you to move. You may need to separate yourself from those who are content to stay where they are.
But you don’t have to take your journey alone. Surround yourself with people who’ve got similar goals as you do. The journey through discomfort is a lot easier when you’ve got the right people by your side.