Being in our comfort zone is living in a safe cozy secure place, such as eating your favorite comfort foods, which makes you feel completely safe and calculated. It’s also boring and drab, the same as yesterday, and nothing new to look forward to tomorrow.
So remaining in our comfort zone means we don’t grow or develop. We settle for the predictable, nothing new rocks our boat, we remain stoically complacent. The issue with living a life that’s safe and secure is that once we begin to grow older, we wonder what if.
So the key is to take baby steps, begin setting small reasonable achievable goals that will force you into new daring experiences. There are compounding reasons to expand your horizons, to go beyond the life you currently live.
To Know Your Various “Zones”
We constantly live our lives going in and out of our various zones, as we’re surrounded by several concentric circles that we deal with daily.
Where we reside most often is in our comfort zone. There are no surprises, life is mundane, and there’s no more to surviving than just the everyday stresses of life.
We’re good at our jobs, our life at home is secure, our friends and family are familiar and safe without conflict. We pay our bills on time, do the same routine entertainment, our lives are sheltered.
Once moving out of this comfort zone, there’s another circle which is known as our “development” zone. This is where there’s new experiences and challenges that awaits us, provided we have the motivation and the courage to pursue them.
To Step Out
These might be actions such as going to night school for a new career, developing new abstract ideas which will stretch our current comfortable boundaries. These risks might be moving to a new part of town, skydiving, or finding a new relationship.
Then there’s the “panic” zone, an area where you won’t dare or imagine yourself ever going to. Just thinking about it elevates your stress and anxiety levels.
This might be doing things such as taking out your retirement fund to start a new venture, or it might be moving to a foreign country, where the culture is completely different and you don’t know anyone.
You Become More Proactive
We’ve all felt this guilt in the workplace. We’re at an extremely high comfort level in our current job, so there’s no pressure or stress to make any changes. We keep busy so we don’t need to do anything that’s unfamiliar or new.
What this results in is a lack of ambition and motivation, and what this lack of incentive results in is we’re not getting any better, that we remain exactly where we are.
The job remains static, the raises are minimal, the performance evaluations just gets a passing mark, we see others getting promoted.
But once we push and then decide to improve ourselves somehow, what we’re doing is working harder to meet these new challenges, and there’s always greater rewards once we do so.
We work harder, find better improved ways to work smarter, and with the increased productivity we get recognized more.
Experiencing A Growth Spurt
Learning something new is what we should all strive for, as knowledge gives us better information which helps us navigate our life much better, allowing us to form new opinions.
Once choosing to escape our comfort zones, can result in some pretty amazing experiences, pave new roads, reactivating while getting our thought processes moving forward.
Expanding Your Comfort Zones
You’ve tried out a brand new experience, you’ve developed or created a new method that others think is great and works. You’ve survived the process and thus succeeded.
It’s completely energizing and fulfilling. This is when that new idea or experience has now become a part of your comfort zone. You then want to experience that sensation again.
So you’re now willing to entertain new similar ideas and try them out, to run with them, to run it by others. Each new experience you master expands your comfort zone, which also flushes them out your development zone during the process.
It’s also okay at times to retreat back into your original comfort zones, as you can’t go forward all the time as it becomes too stressful and exhausting. So step back whenever you need to.
There’s New Motivation
What experiencing success does is makes you feel invigorated, and you want to experience that good feeling again. There’s an actual brain chemical reason for this.
Once we feel good, what we instantly increase is our levels of dopamine in the brain, which is the feel good substance which becomes addictive. What we want is to reward ourselves again, so we seek out new experiences wanting that fix.
You Learn To Decide Better
Once you push yourself out of your comfort zone, what that means is you’re making a firm judgment and decision regarding your behavior.
Once you begin to make more firm decisions, what you’re gaining is valuable practice to improving the process of making positive changes.
In the past, you may of have been hesitant as the beast of procrastination bites. You’re no longer afraid to make changes which would of taken you out of your comfort zone.
Fewer Regrets When Growing Older
We’ve all heard or read of stories, accounts of what the aging wished they did in their lives, which would have contributed to a better more fulfilling life.
The most common reply is that they wished they would have pushed themselves out of their comfort zones and attacked their “bucket” lists, completed their wish lists, and experienced more of life. The good and the bad, resulting in fewer regrets.