’Screw this, it’s time to leave my comfort zone’: Some outstanding advice everyone should read
Everyone has their own internal psychological borders, within which they feel safe and comfy. This is what we call our ’the comfort zone’. It’s these borders which make us hold onto useless, broken relationships, a boring job which doesn’t bring any joy or happiness, and even harmful ways of thinking. But life is always moving, and we long for new, fresh, bright emotions, new events and, more importantly, change.
Here is a motivational article on this subject written specially for you. We hope it will be able to help you to find the courage to take a step forward, to something new and interesting, and in turn improve your life.
You might think to yourself: ’What’s so bad about living in comfort and safety?’ Well, actually — there’s nothing wrong with it in principle, except for the fact that staying in your comfort zone can be a real obstacle to self-development and mastering new skills.
If we can get outside our comfort zone, we immediately find ourselves in ’risk zone’. Finding an effective way to get out of the comfort zone and into the risk zone is a necessary precondition for personal development. In general, the younger a person is, the easier he finds it to broaden what he sees as his comfort zone.
How can you understand when you’re stuck in your comfort zone? Well, ask yourself — what is your reaction to any new situation you are facing or thinking of? It might be absolutely different — excitement, curiosity, interest, concern. But an acute sense of fear is the best indication of the fact that you are not at all eager to get out of your zone.
So, how do you get out of it? The best way out is to realise that you have really got stuck in it. You will never get the ball rolling until you admit such state of affairs is what defines your life right now.
It’s important to identify the sphere(s) of your life which amount to the manifestation of your comfort zone in order to break beyond its restrictive borders. This might be your job, business, relationships, city, the apartment where you live — everything that we are used to but do not like any more, everything that just does not suit us. Although we are afraid of change, we do nothing to cope with the situation.
A beast in a cage
Once upon a time, there was a bear kept in a small cage. In this cage he could only take four steps, turn around and take four steps back. He walked around the cage in this highly circumscribed way all day long. The visitors to the zoo felt sorry for the bear: ’He would have been happier if he was free’, they said.
Soon, the cages and enclosures at the zoo were replaced with more spacious ones with plenty of grass in them. The bear even got access to a pool, and the zoo keepers were glad to move the beast to his new ’palace’. The bear was put in a tiny transportation cage, in which, again, he could only move about four steps.
Finally though, the beast found itself in its new airy and spacious home. He looked around and took a step forward cautiously, then another one and another two... After that the bear turned and made his habitual four steps back. He couldn’t comprehend that the boarders of the small cage existed only in his imagination.
In order to get out of the comfort zone, you have to stop being afraid of trying anything new, and to embrace change. Here are a few simple tips which will help you to achieve this:
1. Change small habits
Choose another route to work, change your day routine, drop into another cafe or store to buy something absolutely different from what you usually eat.
2. Meet someone new
This is a great way out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter where and how you make friends with this person. The most important thing is that you simply haven’t met him or her before.
3. Sign up for a course or self-improvement training
Maybe you have always dreamt of learning a foreign language or mastering your acting skills. Just do it — now is always the right time!
4. Learn something new
Playing the guitar, learning to make sushi, painting — all these activities, and literally anything else, can be perfect if you want to expand beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone.
5. Read a book, watch a movie or listen to unusual music
You like rock? Try jazz. You enjoy melodramas? Try thrillers. You adore detective stories? Try poetry. Broaden your horizons. It will expand your knowledge and interests.
6. Make a sudden trip
Do not plan anything in advance. Do everything on the spot. Perhaps, this is easier sad than done. But you will definitely get a new and exciting experience and grow as a person.
7. Visit a new place
Why not have dinner in an unfamiliar restaurant, or explore some parts of the city where you’ve never been before? Fresh emotions are always close at hand. Just take a step forward.
8. Dress in a new way
Change your look and style, and you will find yourself outside your comfort zone. Every girl should at least once put aside her favourite jeans and put on skirts and dresses. And guys are no exception to this rule either! Sometimes it is better to change a cosy sweater for a smart shirt. Refresh your style — you will not be disappointed!
9. Move things around
Look at your home. Do you like the way it looks? It’s probably time to change things around a bit and add some new colours and things. This will also help — your physical, habitual environment is also part of your comfort zone.
To sum up, we would like to tell you a story which we think perfectly illustrates our behaviour when we get stuck in our comfort zone and habitual, stagnant ways of thinking:
Imagine that you’re driving in a tank. You are moving slowly and looking at the world through a very narrow aperture in the front of the vehicle, little more than a peephole. You’re a tank driver — you life is war. Yet through that little peephole you can see other people walking around, falling in love, making friends, arguing, working, relaxing, reading and so on.
You think they’re stupid. What if there’s a sniper aiming his gun right at them? Or if the infantry attack? What will they do? They do not even have any armour! I’d rather stay here safe in my tank, you think to yourself. Sure, it’s hot inside. It shakes constantly. There’s not enough room. But at least I’m safe in here!
And time passes. Life passes by. Here inside his tank, the driver approaches the end of his life, without ever having started to live. Some people, when they have nothing to lose, decide to get out of the tank, but as they have no time left, they get back inside. They’re used to being in there, under their armour.