A class debated whether one should work within their comfort zone or not.
“You sit, eat, sleep, walk, talk, and do every other action in the way that is comfortable for you. Anyway, the actions are done. So why should one break the comfort zone?” Rohan, the most popular guy said.
Everyone seemed impressed and convinced about his school of thought.
Suddenly a shrill voice was heard, “Because success and hard work is not any other action. If it was as easy as walking and talking, every other person would be successful. Your actions will be done. But that will not be 100% performance. The difference between ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary’ is just that little ‘extra.’ “
It was the Principal, whose eyes twinkled as he spoke.
A comfort zone is a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress. It is a state of mind where a person’s anxiety and vulnerability are minimized to manageable levels. It is that area of your life in which you feel in control.
For example, some people love to go to work every morning and are used to the routine of going to work daily such that their work becomes their comfort zone, and leaving this comfort zone to become a freelancer or an entrepreneur can be very challenging for them. Of course, for others, a comfort zone could be the time they take their meals or that time after work when they relax in front of their television or with social media after a hectic day at work. Of course, comfort zones are not static because they change based on the areas of your life you feel most comfortable with.
The ‘comfort zone’ is an artificial construct, a mental concept; it’s a boundary you’ve created that exists only in your own mind.
You’re afraid of failure, of making mistakes, of looking foolish; you worry about what other people might think or say; you think you’re not good enough, or you think you’re so good that you have to stay in this prestigious job and keep progressing in the company. You may be overwhelmed by all the options, unsure of where to start. You may simply be lazy.
On the other hand, it may be the very possibility of success that you’re afraid of, your power to change your life, and the accountability that comes with this. You may be avoiding that responsibility by procrastinating, putting off action until tomorrow while making convenient excuses for it
The majority of the people rather be in a place they are used to the outcome than step out and become vulnerable and endangered. They like that they feel safe and secure, confident, and in control. Stress and anxiety are minimal as they’ve already mastered the problems that exist in their world. They know what’s coming next and they have rules and habits in place to deal with everything.
Whilst this could be soothing, there’s another side to staying in one’s comfort zone. On that side, you experience stagnation, frustration, and a feeling of being stuck as your comfort zone inevitably shrinks around you. When you are in your comfort zone, you become too comfortable and complacent. If you don’t perform activities that somewhat scare or challenge you, you miss out on growth opportunities. Your comfort zone conditions you to settle no matter how much potential and skill you may have. There is barely any room for development when in this zone.
It’s easy to do what you’re used to doing and staying within the confines of least resistance, but if you want to make progress in your life, you need to break free from what holds you back.
Just as ships are not designed for the confines of the safe harbor, neither are human beings. We are designed to sail the wide-open oceans, to push the boundaries of what we can achieve, to unlock the latent potential lying dormant, and to discover we really do have the potential from within to reach places we did not even know we were capable of getting to.
They say that outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens. When you push the boundaries of what you feel is comfortable and challenge yourself to try new things, when you go on an adventure, when you explore and experiment and, yes, take a bit of a risk – that’s when you learn and grow and, ultimately, you achieve your deepest, darkest desires.
To escape your comfort zone, you need to recognize that you are stuck in your comfort zone. Lots of people are stuck in their comfort zone without knowing it. They think they are doing just fine and associate stagnancy and monotonous routine with the general state of the society or personality, but in an actual sense, they are simply being stuck in their comfort zone. If you mastered all the components of your life, can’t remember the last time you tried something new, mostly bored and unenthusiastic, say “No” when you are asked to do something new or inconvenient and procrastinate as often as you breathe, odds are you are stuck in your comfort zone. Recognizing this makes it easy to seek and welcome solution to break out.
Secondly, Identify and Face Your Fears. Make a list of all your fears and phobias. Think about where each is rooted. Some fears are based on trauma or experience, and some are based on a lack of information. You may notice that some fears exist without any reason to speak of. If you have never thought about things this way before, you will probably find yourself with many fears that are quite irrational. Try to differentiate your well-founded fears from those which are based on feeble premises, like hearsay or lack of proper understanding. Then, think about all the perfectly harmless things you have been avoiding because of these fears. Once you have done this, start facing them one by one. Starting with the weakest fear.
Also, Surround Yourself with Positive Examples. Very few things have more influential power over us than the people we interact with most. Make sure this fact is working in your favor instead of against you. When you surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do, you can let their progress inspire your own.
People who remain in their comfort zone do not accomplish much. It takes no effort to live a life of comfort settling for mediocrity.
You have to try new things, be fearless, bold, courageous, daring, and adventurous, and believe that you can accomplish more. Remember that you can never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone because change begins at the end of your comfort zone.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?