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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’s probably 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. By not taking risks, you never really 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, or that by doing you don’t know how things will end up, you can never really understand who you truly are.

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We find out a lot about ourselves when we take risks. We find out what we’re made of. 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. It’s almost impossible to grow and learn while stuck inside 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.

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.

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3. If you stay in your comfort zone when faced with difficulties, you end up postponing your life 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 really 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.

4. When life becomes routine, you lose a part of yourself.

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 you begin to get bored, lazy, 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.

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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 get lost by following the crowd.

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 are living within 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.

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6. The unknown is where dreams are made.

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.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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