Is being in your comfort-zone all bad. Most of us believe so.
Many of the established societal definitions and ways to obtain success, happiness, growth, name/fame/ recognition – actually do the opposite [that is, they make us stressed, when we could have had been experiencing joy - while journeying through our lives].
We are often told that life doesn't begin until things are scary and uncomfortable. That in order to success we need to tread along a difficult path and that you need to push yourself to the limit — and beyond — to realize your true potential.
And we start to think and believe that things need to be really hard to be successful.
But what if when you are comfortable and easy - IS THE WAY – for you to succeed and be happy.
It is fact when you can do something easily means you are probably good at them, yet could be hard for most other people, that is a wonderful competitive advantage.
You can build your life and career around your THIS comfort zone, instead of struggling unnecessarily.
Why fight through stress and pain, when you can focus on the things that are naturally easy for you to learn and apply.
For this, you should be spending the majority of your time on the discovering, practicing and mastering AND APPLYING - things that are easy for you and hard for others.
When you are operating from your THIS unique comfort zone, you will be most happy, confident, and productive.
But BUT BUT I am not encouraging you to be in your THAT comfort zone where you are on social media posting selifies, watching TV or playing games on your mobile. And then if you have weaknesses that is preventing you from getting what you crave for – you must break out of those.
Like many aspects of life there are very few things those are absolutely 100% good or 100% bad [including living outside your comfort-zones all the time UNLESS THAT IS WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE and in your full elements.
The secret to having a fulfilling, meaningful and contended life knowing when to be in our comfort-zones and when to go all out to break the limitations of comfort zone.
In this article, I would try to distantly differentiate – when it is best to be in our comfort-zones and when we should be going all out to break out of it.
In the most powerful, most profound and probably the best Personality Tool Enneagram- it says that there are two aspects of our personality and who we are – Our Core or Our Type and Our Traits.
Our core doesn't change unless we go through a significant life-shaking experiences.
But we keep acquiring and letting go of traits to meet our essential professional and other Obligations.
That is why if someone has a phobia of height – even if they try bungee-jumping and do it many times – the internal sub-conscious fear would not go away fully. Off-course If you keep doing it very regularly, you would become comfortable in living with your fear while doing it.
When breaking comfort zones gives undesirable results and outcomes in our lives
- Many people believe the key to happiness is changing who you are[in fact many of us live life trying to be someone, who in our opinion appears to be more successful at work or in their relationships – based on their external projections only] – but the truth is that we can be happy only by being true to ourselves.
- Many of us spent our entire life trying to do something that we hate to – to only create a different impression to others
- Trying to change our nature – especially in big and bold ways creates, uncalled for miseries and stress. Stress is so inflammatory and it's become the root cause of many ailments.
- Many of us are busy escaping from the deficits of our personality by trying to create a facade
- When you are beating yourself, yet not making any progress and also losing the motivation
- When after much struggles and seeking help, you find that it is beyond you to learn these skills – instead identify which skills would give you edge in the future
- Don't try to go for change because you are in ostrich mindset - like, if you're an introvert, don't assume life will be better if you get transformed into an extrovert. Both have two different sides, their own positives as well as their very own negatives
- Don't try to break out of your comfort zones because others are telling you to
- When your internal siren is giving you high decibel warnings
- When you are not clear about the advantage doing something that is causing you very high level of stress
- When you have tried, sought help of others and still find that you are still neither interested or nor getting any benefits of stretching
- You are simply jumping into a scenario, without understanding and creating thorough plan
- It is not the right time - If you don't have the time to fully prepare and follow through, it's not worth moving forward
- It is one of those of many situations in life that are outside our comfort zones but that may not be important to us. Such a situation could be giving public speeches — but Maybe giving speeches isn't an important part of your job, or your life – as long as it is not an excuse for avoiding something that you may regret later
- Stretching your comfort zone when don't need to, would usually add more stress than skill
- When too much anxiety is making you lose focus on the essentials
When to Get Out Of your comfort zone
- When you are doing what you love
- When – whatever you are learning – comes very easy for you
- When you are competing with yourself
- When beating yourself makes you feel thrilled
- When the idea that – you want to do – not only fills you with scare but also excites you immensely so much so that you look forward to doing it
- When your dreams are driving you, to do things those are making you filled with both fear and also with positive-expectancy
- When you are not doing to impress others, but are internally inspired
- When it is as per your values
- Whenever being inside your comfort-zone is causing you lots of loss, pain and discomfort
- Everybody wants to feel safe. And the comfort zone does exactly that
- You fallen prey routine behaviors yet find life empty
- Safe isn't good when it constricts your ability to grow. You can't expect to get better and improve your life if you do the same things day after day
Why to stay in your comfort zone
- Because when we are feeling comfortable it's the place of our greatest contribution.
- It's where you learn what works for you
- It is where you get your best ideas, answers and solutions
- It's your safe heaven
- It is where you can connect with yours, find yourself, know who you are
- When it makes sense to be in status-quo Zone
How to be in the Right-Zone
- Identify and appreciate your own qualities, strengths and uniqueness as well as the limitations
- Change is easier when it starts from within your comfort zone because that's where you feel secure about who you are and what you want to do
- Start with very small changes and see how that goes – because When you go too far outside your comfort zone, it's hard to come back to the track
- Get comfortable, then try going a little farther. You can return right back to your comfort zone if it doesn't work out - Leave your comfort zone only because you want to
- It is a cause or something that you really care about
- When you're in new situations - New experiences can create the anxiety that puts you in a state of optimal flow, you're forced to look at problems from different angles. You devise creative solutions to evade the DANGER your body think you are in to get back into your comfort zone
- Change happens regardless of whether you welcome it or not. If you practice leaving your comfort zone in a controlled manner, you experience the accompanying anxiety in an environment of your own making
- The best way to improve is to challenge yourself. Fortunately, the more you step out of your comfort zone, the better you get at it. The tasks that you face in the future don't get easier but you become better equipped at dealing with them.
How to Break your comfort zone
- You are well prepared for the task by upgrading your skills, knowledge and practice
- You know what can go wrong [in fact you have identified the worst-case scenario] and have a remedial action plan
- You are mentally tuned to accept the consequences
- You are clear about your WHY, why you are going to do it – that is breaking your comfort zone
- Consider your own personal threshold. Some people thrive on being outside their comfort zones? And others don't.
- And then identify and discover how much you can handle. Don't avoid things outside your comfort zone out of fear but also know yourself and when something is simply too much for you to handle
- You need focus, energy, and attention to grow and develop successfully. And if you're stretching in every possible direction - you won't have what you need to succeed and will likely suffer from poor performance. Instead, pick a few "stretch" activities at a time to focus on
- Balance these with other tasks you're comfortable and competent at, and then allocate in a sensible way how you dedicate your time and energy
- Experiment – as the New experiences—the ones that will actually challenge and change you—should scare you a little, but ultimately, your excitement, curiosity, and intrigue should overpower that fear
- RECOGNIZING GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES you are miising by remaining in your comfort zone
- Accept difficult challenges, more often
- Do what you're afraid of - Create challenges to push yourself in areas you want to improve
- Make a snap decision in an area you are uncomfortable with, after preparing for the worst-case consequences
- Take the first step -IGNORE YOUR FIRST RESPONSE
- Learn to live and love discomfort - Brilliant work, new discoveries, and novel sources of inspiration usually come from areas of unexplored paths, and that unexplored territory often takes the appearance of discomfort.
- Before you learn how to escape your comfort zone, first learn about what it is and what makes it so difficult to break out of - Yes, grit and perseverance will produce results, But only up to a certain point -Your unique comfort zone is the only path to greatness. Your comfort zone is your superpower
- Ask and answer yourself - In what area of my life making positive changes have the most impact and come up with top three things should be done - and do one of them today
- Give something up. Make it difficult. Make it scary. Make it be something you never thought you could achieve – say giving up alcohol, smoking or sweets for a day in the beginning and then in
- Understand the truth about your habits. They always represent past successes. You have formed habitual, automatic behaviors because you once dealt with something successfully, tried the same response next time, and found it worked again.
- Do something—almost anything—differently and see what happens.
- Be who you are
- Express yourself
- Try letting go of your pet-peeves
- Become aware of what's outside of your comfort zone - What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?
- Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome
- Take baby steps - Don't try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.
- Hang out people who are calculated risk takers
- Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses
- Identify how stepping out will benefit you
- Focus on the fun - Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.
- Eat the unusual thing
- Cook something new
- Mix up your music
- Work in complete silence and stillness
- Give up control
- Try something new until you feel comfortable
- Ask the questions other people
- Start conversations with strangers
- Agree to something you wouldn't normally consider
- Get in front of the camera
- Keep a list of growth goals
- Picture the worst-case scenario to put your fear in perspective
- Learn new technology
- Film yourself dancing and share it online
- Go a week without complaining and only use positive reinforcement for people who annoy you
Learn how to say/write/read one sentence in another language
- Do a daily routine backwards
- Pick-up a new hobby that you currently have very little ability to do. Musical instruments, cooking, painting, writing, dancing, etc.
- Go on an adventure and explore a surrounding city or an area you're unfamiliar with, using no GPS or assistance from your phone. Enjoy being lost and getting around only by investigating for yourself, and asking others for directions.
- Learn to tango
- Climb a mountain
- Become a mentor
- Frame Discomfort as Something Positive
- Constantly Look for Ways to Step Outside of Your Boundaries
- Publish something online