Your comfort zone is exactly that: comfortable, familiar and predictable. It’s where you feel safe and face almost no risk. It’s your fortress in which you hide away from life’s struggles, challenges and opportunities. And while you may love that warm and fuzzy feeling of curling up on your couch, eating takeout and watching re-runs every Thursday night, you’ll still know, deep down inside, that you’re not getting the most out of life.
One of the best ways to grow and experience what life can offer is to try something new. But for many of us, “new” is unfamiliar and unfamiliar is uncomfortable. So, we willingly trap ourselves in the incapacitating cage of a monotonous nine-to-five grind.
We become disillusioned as our boring days turn to boring nights. When things become routine, our expectations drop. We no longer expect to live bold, exciting lives. We no longer look forward to our futures because we’ve spent so much time in limbo, doing the same, mundane things every day.
No one but you can pull you from this vicious cycle. No one will cater to your needs and provide a feeling of satisfaction for you at the drop of a hat. Most importantly, no one can live your life for you. It is your responsibility to challenge yourself and make things interesting — one of the best ways to accomplish this is by leaving your comfort zone.
Many people have the tendency to build this task up in their heads and refuse to move forward out of fear of rejection, failure or just a bruised ego. The majority of the time, your ego will only hold you back. It’s what stops you from approaching that beautiful girl or sexy guy who’s sitting across the bar. It’s what stops you from applying to your dream job that you’re not quite sure you’ll get. If you allow yourself to do so, you’ll find that when you take your ego out of the equation, life becomes much simpler.
The best way to make the process of leaving your comfort zone seem like less of a daunting task is to eliminate your ego. When you shift your mindset from focusing on the endpoint to the process of delving into the unknown, you learn so much about yourself. Don’t allow your world to crumble if you don’t have instant success. Understand that struggle is character building and a normal step in development and progress.
If you put yourself on the line and things don’t turn out the way you planned, you still haven’t lost anything. Emotions are fleeting, but experiences can last in our memories for a lifetime. The more experiences we have, the more we will ultimately know. Weigh the benefits of working to accomplish what you desire in life against the comfort you retain by not going after it. When you consider potential actions this way, it becomes more attractive to choose the less comfortable, more rewarding path.
The more you expose yourself to uncomfortable situations, the more comfort you will have when making the uncomfortable choice. It will be difficult at first, but don’t get discouraged. Being comfortable with the uncomfortable will grow with time. Once you take that first, scary step, you’ll likely discover a vault of untapped potential.