Why Living Life Cooped Up In Your Comfort Zone Is Killing You

by Gigi Engle

It seems like we’re always saying we want to get out of our comfort zones, take a bite out of life, challenge and change ourselves. But we rarely ever do.

It’s one of those finicky things that sounds great in theory but, in practice, is actually very difficult.

Think about it: Getting out of your comfort zone implies tearing your world apart for the sake of new experiences.

It’s something we all aspire to do, say we’re going to do and then never really follow through with.

We stay inside of our manufactured little boxes and never stray too far. It’s easy to get comfortable and not want to disturb our sense of peace.

Breaking down the walls means a world of discomfort in the name of growth. It’s not even guaranteed to work.

Something terrible could easily happen, and then you’ve gutted your entire life for no reason at all.

How do you even come back from that?

That kind of wariness makes staying in the realm of the familiar very simple. Nothing needs fixing if it isn’t broken, right? Just stay in your comfort zone, and everything will be OK.

The problem is: Staying inside of your comfort zone is actually killing you.

The willingness to leave the boundaries where they are is absolutely poisonous for creativity, and monotony is the most common disease there is.

It’s easy to slip and fall into a routine and to just stay there, withering away in a sea of sameness.

But doing so is even more treacherous.

Creativity is the key to a fulfilling life. We are creatures who need to make things in order to shape and change our world, in order to give our lives meaning.

When those mental pathways are blocked, our existence becomes a hallow shell, a black-and-white, watered down life. It’s empty and bland.

We need inspiration, and inspiration can only be born from taking risks, from jumping into the unknown, from traveling into uncharted territory for the sake of adventure. Inspiration is intangible and mysterious. It's the stuff giving the world its color.

To create is to live, and staying within your comfort zone isn't just keeping you from creating -- it’s keeping you from living.

You can’t learn who you are.

Without testing yourself, you can’t learn about yourself. The truth about your identity is revealed when you're faced with trials. What you're willing to face is what makes up your character.

If you can’t even figure out who you are, can you really know about anything at all?

You’ll never know what you’re capable of.

You can never truly know what you can do if you never test yourself. A robust, meaningful life is a byproduct of the most grueling hardships.

Only when you force yourself to face your demons will you understand how resilient you are.

It’s the scars of emotional pain that give us the most character. Without tests of character, there is no character.

You’ll fail to think outside of the box.

If you don’t break out of the box, you'll never know the world outside of it. When you leave the familiar and push yourself to do things that feel uncomfortable and strange, you expand your mind.

If you think inside of a small space and never attempt to learn about the crazy, interesting, colorful world around you, you’ll never truly live.

You’ll be permanently trapped inside of a cage. Your mind will slowly disintegrate; your world will become shallow, and your life will have zero meaning.

The best things in life are unexpected.

The most amazing, exciting and beautiful things are the most unexpected. They come in the form of risks. When you take a chance and accomplish what you set out to do, victory is a million times sweeter.

If you know everything beforehand, your life won’t only be boring, it'll be empty. There’s no spirit or vibrancy in life without a little chance.

Excitement is what keeps our minds fresh.

New experiences keep us alive and alert. When you’re constantly faced with things unknown, you’re constantly forced to assess certain things and events.

You have to think about things in new ways and solve problems by unconventional methods.

When you find yourself forced to figure things out, you refine and redefine your understanding of life.

With each passing, exciting experience, we get a little bit closer to being the people we want to be.

We’re sharper and more focused.

Your perspective will always lack creativity.

If you don’t venture outside of what you know, your view will always be two-dimensional.

You’ll never get the kind of depth you need if you stay inside of yourself and never seek adventure.

If you don’t nurture your creativity, it will wither and die. You need to challenge yourself and mold things out of nothing.

Even if it’s hard, even if it hurts, you have to uproot yourself to get any clarity.