If you’re not where you want to be in your life, it may be because you’re stuck inside of your own comfort zone.
It’s easy to do what you’re used to doing and stay within the confines of least resistance, but if you want to make progress in your life, you need to break free from what holds you back. Here are 6 reasons why your comfort zone may be holding you back in life and what you can do to change that.
1. Without Risks, You Won’t Discover Your True Self
Living in your comfort zone is all about doing what is safe and easy: you know the outcome. If you’re afraid to take some risks and do something that scares you, you can never really understand who you truly are. We often learn the most about ourselves when we walk openly into challenges and learn how to overcome them. Despite feeling fear and doubt, we do something anyway and prove to ourselves just what kind of person we are.
We find out a lot about ourselves when we take risks. We discover what makes us tick and begin to see that part of ourselves deep inside, our true self, the one that holds the wisdom and power most of us are unaware of. When you can connect to your true self, you open doors to change, growth, progress, love, and understanding that cannot be found inside your comfort zone.
2. You Can’t Learn Much in Your Comfort Zone
You can’t grow as a human being by following the path that’s already lit. As AJ Leon says,
“Don’t follow well lit paths; grab a machete and hack down your own.”
You learn more about yourself taking the road less traveled. You see and experience things you may never have if you’d stayed with what was comfortable.
Science has confirmed that once you know the best way of doing something and get into repetition mode, your brain’s learning centers essentially shut down.
With knowledge and growth comes an increased ability to do things in your life you never dreamed possible. All you have to do is start hacking.
For example, imagine you always go on vacation to the same city. You know the street names, which restaurants serve the best food, and you may even have some contacts you always get in touch with while there. This is your comfort zone.
Perhaps during your next vacation you decide to not only go to a different city but to an entirely different country. What will you have to learn before you go? You may need to learn some basic words in a new language and check out maps of the city to get oriented before landing.
Once you get there, your mind will have to take in the various aspects of the new culture, people, and architecture. This vacation will force you to learn something new both about yourself and the world around you.
By stepping outside of your comfort zone, your horizons extend beyond what you’ve always known. This leads to new perspectives and perhaps a newfound sense of motivation to do something new each time you have the chance.
3. You May Postpone Your Goals
A scenario that I’ve seen happen time and time again is one where you are faced with a difficult situation in your life, and instead of facing it head on and overcoming it, you take a step back into your comfort zone. This is a major red flag when it comes to your goals in life and not being able to achieve them.
Your life goals are important. When difficulties come up—and they will—you need to be brave enough to keep moving forward. It’s easy to just jump back into your routine, but postponing your goals now will make them more difficult to achieve later on. Find the courage to push through the hard things and you’ll be glad you did later on.
You can read more on achieving your goals here.
4. Routines Make You Lazy
Comfort feels all cozy and warm when you’re in it, but it’s also a double-edged sword. You stay comfortable for too long and begin to get bored, lazy, and content. And then you’re just primed to be another walking, talking zombie: just another spoke on the wheel with no meaning other than maintaining the status quo.
Routine is a part of your comfort zone. It may be satisfying you for now, but meanwhile you’re losing your ability to open up your true self and share your gifts with the world. When you lose that, you lose the ability to create anything meaningful for your life. That not only hurts your life, but those around you, including the rest of the world, which is being neglected by another wasted opportunity to show your true greatness.
5. You May Lose What Makes You Unique
Life is so much more fulfilling when you are constantly learning, growing, connecting, and making dents in the universe by releasing your greatness to the world. When you stay in your comfort zone, all of that disappears. You become lost in the crowd, another krill in a swarm, headed in one direction.
Break out of that comfort zone and you will start to be noticed. You’ll no longer be a follower; you’ll become a leader. You have the ability to set an example and pull other lost souls out as well.
When you start to become noticed, you start to move forward in your life. Greater opportunities present themselves, other people will look up to you, and the world will be a better place with you out there making waves.
6. You’ll Never Discover New Dreams
The unknown is a magical place where dreams come true and life happens. Your comfort zone is a predictable place where dreams die and life stalls. It’s pretty simple when you think about it.
Stay within your comfort zone and keep hoping, wishing, and dreaming of a better life, or take a step into the unknown and create your own version of how you want your life to look.
Once you move away from what you already know, your mind has a chance to look at all the possibilities waiting for it, and you’ll be free to pick and choose your new dreams. This may mean temporary discomfort as you leave an unfulfilling job, relationship, or city, but out of that discomfort will grow new opportunities that you can build your dreams on.
More on How to Step out of Your Comfort Zone
- 10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear
- How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
- This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone
Featured photo credit: Dillon Shook via unsplash.com