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Goals and Success

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Photo by Nathan Shipps on Unsplash

How many times we have encountered the term “Comfort zone”? It was like a prison that each of us should breakout in order to see our innate potentialities and capabilities. It was always referred as a bridge that we need to cross if we wanted our life to be more meaningful and exciting.

However, despite the prominence of this term and the idea behind this term we often choose to stay within this zone. We still decided to do something that won’t awake or disturb the person we are right now. We are too busy making all the lies and excuses for us not to breakout of the prison and not to cross the bridge, we keep on trying to avoid and see the person that lies at the end of this internal hindrances that we created for ourselves.

Let me ask you this, “How many times you have to regret going out of that comfort zone”?

You losses more than what you gain from not doing something new. You will ride the loop of boredom that keeps you tangled and restricted by doing the same things over and over again. Until you realized that the time has already pass and you are still there.

WHAT IS COMFORT ZONE?

I found the answer from Psychcentral that explores the idea of Comfort Zone. Below is the excerpt of what I found:

The term “comfort zone” was originally coined by Alasdair White, a Business Management Theorist, in 2009. Popular definitions of what a comfort zone is go something like this:

“A comfort zone is a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person, and they are at ease, and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress. In this zone, a steady level of performance is possible.”

In short comfort zone is the environment that you are in control wherein you feel less anxious and stress. And when you started feeling anxious and stress, that’s where the magic happens.

White went on to work closely with John Fairhurst to formulate their White-Fairhurst Performance Hypothesis which states:

“All performance will initially trend towards a steady state, particularly after a period of performance uplift, and that steady state will then develop a downward curve leading to a significant performance decline.”

We are like on a rollercoaster ride of life that when we reach the peak of what we are doing, and become too comfortable, we tend to develop this downward curve the leads us to gradual decline in how we do things. The point where it starts declining is the point where we started to become comfortable with what we are doing.

WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR BODY WHEN WE GO OUT OF COMFORT ZONE

Our brain is the central nervous system of our body that sends signals throughout our body. That Feelings – good or bad – are caused by the release of chemicals caused by our thoughts or our surroundings. When you’re comfortable and life is good, your brain can release chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which lead to happy feelings.

According to contiki.com, the following things happen to our brain:

“When you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with a situation, you can experience negative feelings, such as:

a) anxiety
b) fear
c) stress

These feelings inhibit the release of the happy chemicals, and cause the release of other chemicals from your brain like adrenaline and glutamate. Our body releases these chemicals as a preparation for dealing with a potentially harmful or undesired situations. They cause our senses to be heightened, our hearts to race and our bodies to sweat. This chemical release varies in severity based on how far outside of out comfort zone we really are.”

The sudden rush of our body and typically can be felt with the strong pumping of blood from our heart and the discomfort that we feel whenever something is not right show a visible sign of going out of our comfort zone. This shows that it does not just happened within our brain but all throughout our body.

BENEFITS OF GOING OUT OF COMFORT ZONE

1. Gives you a different perspective of life

“Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end…because in the end, it shows you a whole new world.” – Manoj Anora

Doing the same thing over and over again makes us too fixated on the things that we believed. We are anchored on the things that we believed is the correct thing to do but restricting us from growing. We held ourselves prisoned in our comfort zone that we forgot to enjoy things.

How many times you regret something you didn’t do because you fear that people will judge you? Maybe a lot.

But going out of comfort zone, allows you to see a different side of life. A life full of opportunities rather than life of full of fear of failure and regret. We often don’t have any self-compassion that we become pegged to what we believed.

When you embrace going out of things that you fear, that’s the time that you started seeing a different person in the mirror. A person you wish you were before when you were hiding on your comfort zone, a person who is willing to be the victor of his/her own life rather than a victim of his/her circumstances.

2. Learning new things and developing your passion

“Dare to learn, to be different, to set your goals, to move out of your comfort zone, to be persistent.” – Unknown

Trying new things is the enemy of our comfort zone. We always avoid things that we don’t know as we believed that it is not for us. How many times you have judged yourself that you can’t do something? You wanted to do something and yet you were your own first critic.

Isn’t it ironic that you admire people who are athletic but don’t one to be one as you believed you are not. You never tried something new because you think you can’t. Each skill requires effort and always starts with zero, each person who loves what they are doing now started from doing the simplest things, strumming their guitars, pressing their piano’s keys, heating their pans until they’ve reach where they are today.

Each passion that was developed by people we admire came from a simple statement. “Let me try that…”

Now, how many times you’ve stopped yourself from trying new things?

3. Gives you more control about your life

“To the degree we’re not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control of us than we have over ourselves.” – Peter McWilliams

We always play the victim of our own circumstances but actually where are the result of your own choices and decision in life. It is ironic that the more you stay at your comfort zone (which is defined as the area that you have the sense of control in your environment), the more you will feel out of control of your life.

This is mainly because rather than moving along with life, by trying different things and challenging yourself. You become idle and immobile by letting things happened to you. You never challenge yourself and just go what is “comfortable” to you.

Do you feel like that everything is getting out of control? Maybe it is time to make a change and do something different. Do something that you don’t normally do, maybe with that you will feel like you are the captain of your own life and not just the victim of your circumstances.

4. Gain more confidence

The more you try something new, the lesser you become afraid about it, and the more you become confident. Can you still remember the first time you tried cooking? (If until now you haven’t tried cooking go to number #2, maybe that might change your mind)How difficult it is now as compared before?

Everything is difficult at first but as you keeps on doing the same thing over and over you starts to be better at what you are doing. You became more confident in doing it. Remember that the reason you are afraid of doing something is because you haven’t done it before. Repetition and familiarity ease your fear that results to confidence.

Going out of your comfort zone is one way to be confident. You might feel the tons of anxiety and stress at first but as you progress these doubts and anxiety subsides and starts to introduce the kind of person that you aspire to be.

Conclusion

How long will you live inside your house? How long will you hide yourself from the actual experience that you should have. All the things that you deserve and have to do always lies behind your comfort zone.

At the end of the day, what will you choose? Be a prisoner of your own comfort zone with life full of regrets or go out your comfort zone with life full of opportunities? It is all your choice.

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