Each of us has our own “comfort zone,” which is a psychological/emotional/behavioral concept that regulates the pattern of our daily existence.
Being in one’s comfort zone means being comfortable, secure, and safe.
It describes the organized world in which we live and helps us to stay emotionally even, free from anxiety and worry to a significant degree.
The opposite of that zone is the “discomfort zone.” It’s a place of uncertainty, unknown possibilities, danger and risk. And, it’s precisely this place where most people prefer not to go very frequently or for too long, unless absolutely necessary.
Actually, they try to avoid it at any cost. This doesn’t mean that they’re afraids or that they lack courage.
It’s just that, as members of society, we all like to feel well and look good: We want to do what we know and feel secure about doing, and we don’t wish to put our lives in jeopardy, we don’t seek danger, we enjoy living and try to take advantage of each day as much as we can.
We all want to make the best out of life and feel satisfied with what we have, for us and for those around us.
However, there are times when going into that uncomfortable zone is not only useful but also necessary if you want to grow as a person or as a member of society.
Reasons to get out of your comfort zone
Why should you get out of your comfort zone, anyway?
There are a few reasons why it’s always a good idea to step outside of your “comfy” existence from time to time.
It will give you the chance to accomplish new things that would have been impossible if you hadn’t crossed that invisible barrier between being inside and being outside your comfort zone. Here are some of the most important reasons:
You’ll almost always find something that you’re actually good at.
By stepping outside your comfort zone, you’re likely to discover new things about yourself and maybe even develop new skills or talents which will help you in life.
You’ll feel more open to change and interesting experiences in comparison with those who live in their safe and secure comfort zone.
You’ll appreciate what you have even more – things like love, friendship, family and material objects – if you’re willing to dare and take a few risks now and then.
By stepping out of your cozy existence from time to time, you’ll gain confidence, courage, personal motivation, tenacity, the ability to deal with fear and countless other beneficial things which you can’t learn when in your comfort zone.
How to get out of your comfort zone
By now, you probably understand that there are many good reasons for getting out of your comfort zone. Yet, somehow, it’s not always easy to do so because it requires courage, confidence and a more or less strong will.
You have to be truly determined to make the first step towards your discomfort zone and not lose heart as soon as things get tough.
The following tips can help you to gradually ease into that uncomfortable place where your personal growth begins:
Take baby steps at first
If you want to try something new, like learning how to play the guitar while you’re 60 years old or trying out for an amateur football team while you’re 50 (just to use two examples), don’t go all-in right away.
It would be much better if you started with something smaller and easier first to get used to that new idea of getting outside your comfort zone.
Even if you don’t become good at it, even if you fail completely and miserably, you’ll still be able to say that you tried.
Train in your discomfort zone
If the new thing or activity which you want to do is something physical and requires a lot of ability and experience (for example parachuting, surfing or dancing), you can still train in your discomfort zone.
Simply start with a few hours of training every day and gradually increase the time spent there until you get to the point where you want to perform or participate.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
If you’re going to try something new, it’s important to not expect too much from yourself right away.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and go at it gently because you’ll only end up giving up after a few tries (just like most people do).
If you still can’t make it work, don’t be hard on yourself, simply carry on with the training until you master the technique.
Put more effort into what’s important
If you want to be able to get outside of your comfort zone, you have to put more effort into things that are truly important. Instead of wasting time on unimportant activities, go for what really matters and cut out the fat.
This way, it will be much easier for you to accomplish great things.
Above all else
Remember that being outside your comfort zone is all about being uncomfortable. If you expect to have an easy time doing it, you’ll be disappointed.
Things are going to get tough and you might even fail or make a fool of yourself more than once but remember that every triumph begins with the first step.
Getting out of your comfort zone is quite tough but it’s worth the effort. If you really want to learn and grow as a person, make sure that you’re always open to new things and challenges. Things will definitely get harder at times but that’s just part of life. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and try not to hold yourself too accountable.
Remember that true happiness only comes when you live outside your comfort zone, so dare to do what matters most and go all-in if you want to be truly happy with yourself in the end!