What is a Comfort Zone?
Webster’s says that our comfort zone is defined as the level at which we function with ease and familiarity. I define it as the fictional safety net we set up to shield ourselves from feeling fear. It’s a cancer, the enemy – and it has got to be stopped. Let me explain…
Think of a thing that instantly gives you anxiety, a thing that you dread the thought of doing – simply because you are SCARED of the unknown. Every single person that reads this has something that will pop up into their head. We want to flee at the thought of “it.” We want to retreat back into that nice cushy safe zone that we’ve each created for ourselves. But here’s the thing: I’m here to tell you that it’s a sham and an illusion. You are no more safe in your comfort zone than outside of it. In fact, all it is doing is holding you back.
Why is it good to be out of your comfort zone?
Getting outside of your comfort zone means you are growing. You will begin to see how much you can learn by escaping your safety net. You develop more compassion toward others (just understanding their own journey more), and you will gain more confidence in YOU. Not only that, you will start to see opportunities for yourself that you never did before!
Unfortunately, if you allow yourself to be in your comfort zone for too long, the world gets more scary. You start believing the myth that the lines you’ve drawn are the only way to be safe. You close yourself off from the world, and you miss out on experiences. And it is IMPOSSIBLE to create or to see new possibilities for your life if you stay in it.
I’ve had so many people tell me how lucky I am that I travel or how they wish they could climb a mountain or that I’m something special (spoiler: I’m not) for moving out of state, when they have the exact same opportunities and physical abilities as me. Instead of committing to getting out of their comfort zones, they convince themselves that they could never create opportunities for themselves because of X. There will always be an excuse until you find the strength in yourself to go for what you want and toss that fear aside.
It Gets Easier.
Once you start getting out of your comfort zone, it becomes a habit. Eventually, you will feel uncomfortable and restless if you’re in that little safety net too long. Eventually, you develop a hunger to learn more about the world (in whatever way your path takes you). You will be a little wiser and well-rounded, and you’ll feel braver when it comes to making hard decisions. Life in general will become less scary – because it’s only life, after all.
So Start Now.
Go do something that scares you. Start small. It’s all forward progress. Maybe it is branching out and talking to a stranger, or checking out your local climbing gym, or applying for that job you wanted. Maybe it’s an adventure in a new country or skydiving. Don’t let the illusion hold you back, and go get what you want! ❤