Great things never came from comfort zones

Great things never came from comfort zones – Here Is Everything You Need to Know About Your Comfort Zone

Great things never came from comfort zones. If you want to achieve great things, you must push beyond what you think you can do to see your own potential. You must get outside of your comfort zone.

Great things never came from comfort zones
Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone – Neale Donald Walsch

As Albert Einstein put it:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Many people do the same thing over and over again and expect that their life is going to change. But it doesn’t work like that. For change to happen, you need to push yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Great things never came from comfort zones.

What is your comfort zone?

Let us first understand what a comfort zone is in the first place.

According to Psychology Today, everyone has their own “comfort zone,” which is a psychological/ emotional/ behavioral construct that defines our daily routine rather than a physical location. 

Being in one’s comfort zone means feeling at ease, protected, and secure with yourself and your surrounding environment. 

It’s where you are most comfortable – a place where you feel safe and secure, free of stress and danger.

Is comfort zone good or bad?

Perhaps, you’ve developed a habit of remaining in your comfort zone. It’s easy to do.

Many of us tend to get comfortable in our comfort zone, which is not always a bad thing. We all require some level of comfort in our lives. In fact, it’s crucial that we feel safe and secure.

If you are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory, you would know that Safety Needs come second in the hierarchy after Physiological Needs (food, shelter, water – basic needs). So, NO being in your comfort zone is not necessarily a bad thing. 

File:Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs2.svg
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
Source: Wikimedia Commons

So Why is it important to leave your comfort zone?

The issue emerges when we become too comfortable and become stuck.

However, as Robert Yerkes explained in his theory, humans must achieve a slightly higher degree of stress than usual to perform at their best – optimal performance. He called it “Optimal Anxiety,” and it appears that it exists just outside of our comfort zone.

Therefore, it’s also healthy to experience some tension and anxiety every now and again.

According to some studies, a little bit of anxiety can help us stay motivated to achieve our goals. If all you do is stay safe and steady in your own little bubble, you will be losing out on a lot of new experiences, challenges, and opportunities. This is not to say that we need to live with stress because that will lead to chronic stress, which would lead to burnout

But why is it so difficult to push yourself to try new things?

The truth is that your brain would rather remain “stuck” in its current state. It’s more comfortable because it’s familiar. You’re not experiencing stress, and so for your brain, you’re safe. 

I, for one, stayed in my comfort zone for a long time. Why? 

Because even though I felt lost (read more on that here) and knew I wanted more out of life, deep down in my subconscious level, I felt safe and comfortable. Also, I was so afraid of the unknown that I preferred remaining safe in my bubble rather than risk trying and failing (fear of failure) and disappointing or failing my loved ones (fear of rejection). Despite feeling lost, trapped, and unhappy in my life, it was safer and easier to remain stuck where I was.

Until I realized that’s not how we’re supposed to live our lives. We are not designed to live like robots. We are meant to try new things, meet new people, take risks, follow our dreams, fail, and try again until we succeed.

Great things never came from comfort zones.

So the bottom line is that for much of our lives, creating a comfort zone is a healthy adaptation. But when it comes to transition, growth, and transformation, we need to go out of our comfort zone.

Break Free from a Self-Inflicted Prison by Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Many of us live mediocre lives: we get up in the morning, do the same routine, take the same route to work, meet the same people, do the same tasks, come home, eat, watch the same TV shows, sleep, and repeat. And, as previously stated, having a sense of stability is not a bad thing; in fact, we need to feel secure and safe. However, if you want to grow, progress, and achieve the optimal performance you need to make some changes.

I understand! I’ve been doing it my entire life. And when I’m not consciously thinking about it, I start falling into the same patterns again. It’s because it’s easier and more comfortable.

But if you’re reading this blog, I guess it’s because you’re tired of living a mediocre life and want to change. But at the same time, you don’t because you’re comfortable the way you are. The truth is that it is easier to avoid doing what needs to be done than it is to work toward your goals.

But you must understand that your comfort zone is where your dreams die.

As Benjamin Franklin said:

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”

That is to say, by the age of 25, the majority of people have settled into a mediocre life and will live the same day until they die. It’s incredibly painful.

How long have you been living the same life? 

Staying in your comfort zone for too long robs you of the opportunity to grow

People dislike change, and our brains do as well. Our minds are programmed to keep us protected. As such, if you do the same thing over and over again, it knows you’re safe. As a result, your brain will do everything in its power to keep you in your comfort zone (with the intention to keep you safe). 

Our brain prefers to complete tasks, in the same way, every time. Have you ever gone to work or back home and thought to yourself, “How did I get here?” You’ve driven down this road before, and your brain has learned and adapted to it; you were driving on autopilot.

And that is our brain’s goal – to be energy efficient – to run on autopilot so that it can focus on more important tasks.

In fact, doing things differently puts us in an awkward position; it feels uncomfortable. But to change we must feel a little bit of discomfort at first.

You need to understand that change isn’t anything to be afraid of. On the contrary, you should feel enthused about the exciting opportunities that await you. Staying in your comfort zone for too long robs you of the opportunity to grow. Thus, for you to progress and be successful you must go beyond what you already know.

How will you progress if you become too comfy and rarely try anything new? 

The real magic occurs outside of your comfort zone. Your true life is the sum of all of your experiences, not just the ones you’re familiar with.

10 Ways to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is, well, comfortable. It is, however, a barrier. In that safe place, nothing new or exceptional occurs. Nothing is going to change.

It’s necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone if you want to grow and try new things.

The only way to push yourself beyond your comfort zone is to feel some discomfort. However, with time, you will be able to teach yourself to appreciate this unpleasant feeling because you will recognize the potential it holds.

As we said great things never came from comfort zones. Try the following techniques to get out of your comfort zone:

#1 Mental rehearse

To your brain mental rehearsal might feel as accurate as the real thing to your brain.

According to research, our mind does not distinguish between thoughts about things we wish to happen and thoughts of things that did happen. So, basically, our mind is programmed to fulfill whatever content it hears the most. 

So, you can take advantage of this by mentally rehearsing your actions before acting outside of your comfort zone. The more you practice (in your head), the easier it will be when you have to do it in real life. Because it will appear to your mind as if it has already occurred, and it will not perceive it as a threat, but rather as a normal activity.

This may simply be done in bed just before falling asleep and right after waking up.

#2 Pair something comfortable with something new

Do something new but involve a friend. Bring a friend along to any activity you’re interested in trying. You’ll have support, and you won’t be alone.

For example, ask your good friend, Laura, whom you’ve spent a lot of time with, to accompany you to a yoga class. You’ve got to take a yoga class, and it might be nice to have Laura beside you, learning about how to do a child’s pose.

Another example is that you’ve known your neighbor, Cristina, a guitar teacher, for five years. You’d love to learn how to play the guitar. So, you tell Cristina you’d like to take guitar lessons to see how you like it. You’ll feel less awkward because you already know Cristina and it would be convenient for you to go next door or have her come to your place.

#3 Making one change in your routine can open you up to new experiences

For example, if you generally go to the gym alone and hide from everyone else while doing your exercises, try going to a class once a week where you can meet other people. Or, instead of exercising at home, go for a stroll or jog in the park. Dare to try something new every now and then to avoid becoming stagnant.

#4 Take Risks

Taking risks, regardless of how they turn out, is a form of progress. Even if you make mistakes or don’t do it perfectly the first time, those are valuable lessons to learn from.  In case you didn’t know, FAIL stands for “First Attempt in Learning.” So, there is no such thing as “failure” if you gain something from the experience.

first attempt in learning
Fail meaning – First Attempt in Learning

#5 Take a new route home

Take a whole different route home to mix things up a little. You never know what you might come upon that you haven’t seen before.

#6 Meet new people

Make a conscious effort to socialize with new people. We tend to hang around with people who share our passions. There are, however, many more people in the world who can offer you something new.

You can join some type of group. Physical interaction would be ideal, such as attending a reading club, joining a local community committee, or taking a cooking class.

You have no idea what being a part of this group will entail, but there will undoubtedly be numerous benefits. For one thing, it will make you feel like you are a part of something and will allow you to step outside of your comfort zone by doing and experiencing new things.

#7 Push yourself to try something new

Make things a little more interesting in your life. Start doing something fun and new. Take dancing lessons, begin yoga sessions, go watch a play, go out with your girlfriends, learn a new skill, etc. What matters is that it tickles your interest.

Have the guts to move out of your comfort zone, if possible every week, even if only for a short time. Your life and you will change in unexpected ways.

#8 Change your wardrobe

Over time we all tend to get into the habit of dressing in a specific style that we feel comfortable and safe in. However, changing your style is an effective way to shake things up a little.

I’m not suggesting that you put on something that isn’t you or that you don’t feel comfortable in. However, if you’ve always worn black but have always wanted to try on a colorful outfit but have always hesitated because you didn’t think you could pull it off. Now is the time to act.

Get out of your comfort zone and wear whatever you want. And don’t worry about what others think. You’ll feel slightly out of place at first, but then you’ll feel great. 

#9 Fear your fears and do it anyway

One of the main reasons you’re stuck in your comfort zone is your fear of change and failure.

Perhaps you want to travel the world but are concerned about losing touch with family and friends. But what if it makes you a better person and allows you to appreciate them more, resulting in a stronger relationship?

Our fears, as previously stated, keep us from reaching our full potential. Remember, great things never came from comfort zones. You are aware that you are unhappy with your current circumstances, but you are too afraid of the alternatives to make a significant change in your life. However, to grow and achieve your goals, you must face and overcome your fears.

Make a list of the fears that are preventing you from making the leap outside of your comfort zone and figure out how to overcome them.

Recognize the fears that are holding you back and do it anyway!

You’ll be glad you did when you finally land your dream job or achieve your goals.

#10 Take tiny steps

Make a commitment to yourself today to take small steps toward your goals. You don’t need to stress about the ultimate goal. You just have to do one step at a time.

It’s just like Will Smith said:

“You don’t try to build a wall. You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say ‘I’m gonna lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid,’ and you do that every single day, and soon you have a wall.”

Assume that your life is a wall and that each day you must put one brick, just one brick. Don’t worry about completing the entire wall; instead, focus on the brick that needs to be laid today. You do it today, tomorrow, and the next day, and you’ll realize you’ve created a great wall.

So, take the most minor step you can that would feel like progress. Continue this process and eventually, you’ll reach the endpoint and achieve what you set out to do!

Building the wall one brick at a time

Great things never came from comfort zones

Great things never came from comfort zones. You will never see growth if you choose to stay in your comfort zone. To be successful and improve, you must go beyond what you already know. Success is found outside of our comfort zones.

Great things never came from comfort zones.

Change isn’t anything to be afraid of. Instead, be intrigued by the exciting opportunities that await you. You must go beyond what you already know to be successful and progress.

It will be intimidating to be introduced to new hobbies and experiences. You’ll probably have moments when you’re unsure or confused. However, the further you are from your safe zone, the better and more creative you become. When you leave your comfort zone behind, carving out a good life for yourself and your family will be easier.

So, even if it’s only for a short time each week, dare to step out of your comfort zone. You and your life will change in unexpected ways.

When fear arises, remind yourself that you’ve been through many challenges and maybe even injustices in your life but the most important thing is that you’ve always survived each one.

Recall times when you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone. What were your thoughts on it at the time? How did you deal with it at the time? What did the new experience teach you?

Accept that stepping outside of your comfort zone will be uncomfortable at first but in the end, it will be rewarding and exciting.

In your comfort zone, there’s nothing but comfort for you. There’s a lot more to life than that! Remember, great things never came from comfort zones.

Great things never came from comfort zones

Final thoughts

Unfortunately, for many people, the weekend is their only highlight of the week. They barely get through the week, and their only reward is the weekend (which they often don’t get to enjoy because they have so many errands to run), and then it’s back to work. And they persuade themselves that they are happy or that this is a normal part of life (which it’s a lie cause it does not have to be).

If you’re genuinely happy with your life that’s great, but if you’re not, you should definitely get out of your comfort zone and start doing what you need to do to achieve your goals.

Ask yourself these two questions:

  • Would you be proud of yourself if today was your last day, or would you regret not doing more?
  • What would your life be like if you took a risk and went outside of your comfort zone?

So, if you’re tired of living a mediocre life and want to make some changes, but you don’t because you’re comfortable the way you are. Understand that change isn’t anything to be afraid of. 

You must go beyond what you already know to be successful and progress. Your true life is the sum of all of your experiences, not just the ones you’re familiar with.

It’s necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone if you want to grow. Remember, great things never came from comfort zones.

The only way to push yourself beyond your comfort zone is to feel some discomfort. However, with time, you will be able to teach yourself to appreciate this unpleasant feeling because you will recognize the potential it holds.

Read more: Are You Stuck in the Past? Here are 15 live at the moment quotes to Turn Your Life Around Right Now

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