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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

6 Reasons Why Your Comfort Zone Is Holding You Back In Life

6 Reasons Why Your Comfort Zone Is Holding You Back In Life

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,

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“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[1].

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.

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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.

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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[2].

Quick Guide on how to leave the comfort zone at work | People HR Solutions

    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.

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    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

    Featured photo credit: Dillon Shook via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Justin Harmon

    Justin helps people break free from the status quo and start living a life of personal freedom, fulfillment, and purpose.

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    Last Updated on March 2, 2021

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear

    The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

    In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

    Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success.

    1. Become Aware of What’s Outside of Your Comfort Zone

    What are the things that you believe are worth doing but, are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

    Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts but, your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

    2. Become Clear About What You Are Aiming to Overcome

    Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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    How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

    Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your look? Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

    3. Get Comfortable with Discomfort

    One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

    Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

    Here’re some tips to help you: How to Overcome Your Resistance to Change for a Better Self

    4. See Failure as a Teacher

    Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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    Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

    Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Check out these 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On.

    Also, grab The Foolproof Guide To Reaching Your Goals This Year. It’s a free guide that can help you to learn from your past mistakes and failures so you can move on to reach your goal. Get your free guide here.

    5. Take Baby Steps

    Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

    Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

    Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps: The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

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    6. Hang out with Risk Takers

    There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. Almost inevitably, their influence will start to have an effect on your behavior.

    Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful.

    7. Be Honest with Yourself When You Are Trying to Make Excuses

    Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

    Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

    8. Identify How Stepping out Will Benefit You

    What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

    9. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

    Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

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    If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

    10. Focus on the Fun

    Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

    Final Thoughts

    It will seem really scary at first to get out of your comfort zone. But as I said, you don’t need to jump right out of your comfort zone at once, you can take baby steps gradually.

    As you slowly push past your comfort zone, you’ll feel more and more at ease about the new stuff which seemed so dangerous to you.

    Take the first step and I’m sure you’ll make it!

    More Tips to Help You Face Your Fear

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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