Humans have a habit of coming to a halt when things feel familiar and they are at ease and in full control of the environment. They experience low levels of stress and anxiety in such a psychological state. This is called the comfort zone. It is a self-imposed boundary that people are in and though it is okay to feel good about your personal achievements, when this holds you back and keeps you in your ‘zone’, there is a need for change. You might wish to do more with your life and skills, but may be unable to challenge yourself and blaze the trail on what you think is safe. So if you’re not where you want to be in your life, it’s probably because you’re stuck inside your own comfort zone.
So what is stopping us from moving out of this zone?
This vital and natural part of growth tells us to remain in our zone of comfort as it is tranquil and definitely the easier option. Fear’s role in this equation convinces people to remain stagnant on the path even when laurels await you at the end of the tunnel. Change brings in fear and apprehension and an inexplicable fear of the unknown.
It might seem very real, however, remember that this fear is based on an assumption that things may go wrong. It is built on ‘may’ and not ‘will’. It is only when you are able to overcome this fear that success comes your way.
So, how do you overcome it?
TAKE THE FIRST STEP
Every small step out of your comfort zone prepares you for the next one. When you consciously decide to get over the fear and move ahead, the uncomfortable slowly becomes comfortable and pushing your boundaries become easier. You need to crossover and explore the unfamiliar by reaching out to people, following your passion or even starting that venture that you’ve been putting off forever. It could even be a job change that brings you closer to your goals.
Every job has a comfort zone, be it management, sales, service or training, among others. A person might be comfortable doing a set of tasks for the job, yet may not be ready to take on more. It could be communication, travel, pitching or even a simple conversation with peer. One may refuse to push past a boundary that puts you in an uncomfortable situation. This is how you get into the trap. You are selling yourself short and this prevents you from true success and happiness in life.
You need to test the limits of normal that is defined by people and you can begin this by acquiring knowledge. The more knowledge you have about something, the easier it is to overcome the fear psychosis that is associated with it.
In my own life and career, I have but few times taken the ‘first step’ and got out my then comfort zones. Success is not guaranteed, however if you haven’t tried you will never know what could have been. So, I encourage you to give it a shot – be it going on sabbatical to pursue full-time studies, being an entrepreneur leaving a 9-5 job and fixed pay cheque, writing a book, committing to learn a new language, adopting a travel & work lifestyle etc… anything that you are passionate about.
Don’t let fear and anxiety hold you back. Discover your true potential. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.