As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal. – Robin S. Sharma
According to Life Hacker, comfort zone is defined as a ‘behavioral space in which your behaviors and activities fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk.’
Although it has benefits, like stability, happiness, reduced stress and anxiety, it is not an ideal state to be in. Let’s further explore why:
The Idea of Optimal Anxiety
Let’s bring some science in! In a classic experiment carried out by Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson, it was found that a state of relative comfort brought about a steady level of performance among mice. However, for enhanced performance, something else was required.
It was found that with stress levels slightly higher than normal, performance of the mice could be enhanced. This state was termed as ‘optimal anxiety’ and it surely was not inside their comfort zone!
How Being in Your Comfort Zone Can Prevent You from Achieving Success in Life
From the invention of the wheel to the discovery of internet, no great human feat has been within the comfort zone. It is a trap that makes you feel good, but robs you of the great things you could have achieved.
For a life well lived, staying inside your comfort zone is not a good idea. Here are some damages it can do:
It Kills Productivity
Inside your comfort zone, you will never push yourself to do more. Without the looming deadlines, you will do stuff that is enough to help you get by.
When there is no pressure whatsoever, we tend to lose the drive and ambition to achieve success. This makes us less productive and quite ordinary.
It Prevents You from Finding New Passions
Being inside the comfort zone, you do not try new things. Surely, you cannot know if you like doing something if you have not tried it.
The comfort zone keeps you inside your shell. However, once you break that shell, you have a lot to explore and find out about yourself.
It Stops You from Being Creative
In the field of cognitive psychology, there is a term called confirmation bias. This term describes the human beings’ tendency to seek out information that is in line with what they already believe in. For instance, our belief that democrats are good might (unconsciously) prompt us to view blogs and articles that favor our opinion and discard opposing ones.
Conformation bias is a sign of being in the comfort zone and is the ultimate killer of creativity. It means that we are uncomfortable listening to opposing views which mars our problem solving abilities.
It Stops Your Growth both As a Person and As a Professional
Being inside your comfort zone means you have a monotonous life. This prevents you from getting new experiences and learning new stuff. Without a new perspective on life, you cannot grow as a person and as a professional.
It Stops You from Uncovering New Talents and Skills
When in your comfort zone, you use only a particular set of skills. This means that you do not explore other strengths and talents that you might have.
It limits your abilities and keeps you stuck. To enhance your skills, you need to challenge yourselves. It is only by pushing yourself to limits that you can master new skills and uncover hidden talents.
How to Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
If you have been living your life inside your comfort zone, you might feel discouraged. However, there is good news for you!
With some basic steps, you can step out of your comfort zone and increase your chances of achieving success. Here are some tips:
Try to Face a Fear You Have
From fear of speaking in front of a room packed with people to talking to you boss about a raise, there can be many fears holding you back.
Getting out of your comfort zone requires that you single these fears out and deal with them separately. Set yourself a realistic goal and try reaching it.
Do Something New Each Day
This is one great way of stepping out of your comfort zone. Although you have a routine, 9 to 5 job, there are ways you can do something new each day. From playing a musical instrument to learning a new language, there is a lot of stuff you can try.
With something new to look forward to everyday, your mind is filled with endless possibilities. This means you will be learning and growing each day.
Try To Create Something
Whether it is writing poetry or painting, creating something boosts your confidence. With such authentic experiences, you will be able to define yourself in a better way.
What’s more, you will be able to diversify your skill set. Make sure you challenge yourself to create something of your own. When you share your creative work with others, you open yourself up for vulnerabilities. This is quite important for growth and creative achievement.
Trust Your Gut Instincts
Traditionally, making quick and hasty decisions is not recommended. However, when it comes to getting out of your comfort zone, trusting your gut is the way to go.
Thinking too much means that you make a safe choice, which is exactly what you don’t want when trying to get out of your comfort zone. If your gut tells you to try mountain climbing, go for it!
Do Not Push Yourself beyond a Certain Limit
According to a post in Psychology Today by author Daniel Goleman, the demands of the environment should not exceed what a person can handle. If this happens, it might lead to, what he calls, bad stress.
This is when your brain secretes too many hormones that it interferes with your ability to function normally. Clearly, this is not something we are after when we are looking to get out of our comfort zone.
We at Comfort Zone Trap aim to enhance people’s lives. By helping them get out of their comfort zone, our rich resource helps people live without fears.