What is a comfort zone? And should you be trying to get out of it?
Noun: a situation where one feels safe or at ease. A settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.
Your comfort zone is your safe place. It’s your own little bubble where you can happily exist, everything’s familiar and you know just what to expect from one day to the next.
The comfort zone is nothing more than a state of mind. It’s where we can easily get stuck once we stop challenging ourselves to improve and grow. Sometimes, it can be a good place to be and there’ll be certain times in your life when it’s convenient to stay in a safe place. But is this healthy in the long term?
A few facts:
- Things won’t get any better if you decide to stay in the same place
- The longer you stay in the comfort zone, the harder it is to break out of it
- Challenges in life help us to grow if we stop looking at them as negatives and start looking for the opportunities
- It’s hard to improve and grow if you carry on doing the same things every day, without pushing yourself or allowing yourself to experience things from a different perspective
Making the decision to push yourself, and get out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to achieve more. If you want to look back in a year, or 5 years and see how much you’ve grown, changed and achieved, then you need to get your act together and embrace the awkward, uncomfortable and scary!
I’m guessing that you’re looking for a few ideas on how you can achieve this, since you’re here and reading through this post.
So here are some things to think about!
1. Do something that scares you
That big thing you’ve been dreading; a job interview, trying out for a team sport, asking someone out on a date, travelling somewhere new or signing up for a half-marathon. These are all examples of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and each of them could have amazing results.
Stop thinking about it, and just do it. Try using the 3-second-rule: if there’s something you want to do, don’t overthink it, just push yourself to go for it in under 3 seconds. I
2. Think bigger
Don’t just set goals, set ambitious goals! Once you have at least one goal in mind, you can begin to think about the best way to get there.
3. Don’t fear failure
If you try something new and don’t succeed, then learn from it and try again. If you don’t, then you’re guaranteeing that you’ll never get there
4. Try something new
Why not have a go at things that you wouldn’t consider before. Try new food, listen to a different genre of music, volunteer for a charity event, have a go at public speaking… the list goes on.
You may not fully enjoy them in the end but hopefully, you’ll learn and grow from the experience. This may lead you to discover something that you hadn’t experienced before. Once this becomes a habit, you’ll really surprise yourself at how open-minded and confident you will become. Put simply, try to become one of those people who will ‘try anything once’.
5. Start seeing change as a good thing
Sometimes we don’t even realise we’re in a rut until we look back and see that we’re in the same position that we’ve been in for a long time. It can take a large upheaval to force us to change, and this involuntary push out of our comfort zone can actually be a blessing in disguise.
If the old ways are working just fine then there’s no need to change, right? Not exactly! There’s always room to improve, and all you have to do is keep looking for little ways to get better.
Can we truly be happy if we stop pushing ourselves? What are we actually missing out on by doing this?
A life without challenge is boring! I’m sure we all dream about the ‘easy life’ but in reality, it would be incredibly dull and repetitive. Think about it, if everything was easy and handed to us on a plate, then what would be our purpose? Those little everyday challenges should be viewed as opportunities instead of hardships, and the big ones as a chance to change for the better.
Don’t forget, every day we look up to people who have pushed themselves massively out of their comfort zones! Actors, athletes, performers, people who we view as successful; they didn’t just wake up one day and acquire their skills. They worked hard, pushed themselves and probably spent more than a few hours each day feeling uncomfortable!