Do you see success stories around you and wonder why they went ahead and you didn’t? Or feel disillusioned with your everyday? Then it’s time to take the hardest step of your life – breaking out of your comfort zone.
In a piece for The Medium, Tomas Laurinavicius, Lithuania-based lifestyle blogger talked about how easy it is to trap yourself in a comfort zone and never realise that the chains which you have forged – in life and at work – are the one which trap you. We bring you some observations from the same. Do share if you feel a connection with these points.
Experience life, grow yourself
In work and life, it’s easy to become comfortable where you are. Going to college, attending classes, a day at work and then spending time with friends and family – becomes an easy routine to fall into.
What few of us realise is that living in this comfort zone, actually gnaws on our own sense of being after a while. We start sniping – whining over the weather, the car that overtook us, people who don’t listen – all essentially curbing to how we could be better, do better and live better, if only…..
What’s the real reason? According to Tomas, there are no growth challenges – the routine doesn’t challenge you to push the boundaries and test your capabilities. And this can be only achieved by breaking out, engaging in new experiences and trying your hand at new skills.
So what is a comfort zone?
A comfort zone is a physical or mental area which contains minimal stress and risk potential. You are familiar with the things and events that may occur because you have experienced it all before. You take everything for granted, you don’t use any energy to get things done. You’re scared of leaving it, even though you may be aware of its limiting affect on your well-being. You’re simply afraid of losing what you have, becoming vulnerable and scared of failure.
Mostly, a comfort zone gives a sense of security – whether actual or perceived. People don’t leave and work on the same hated, banal jobs, continue with the same boring relationships and keep believing that they have achieving all that they are capable of.
Avoiding risks and stress? Stop it:
‘That’s why it’s so hard to force yourself to turn off the TV and go to the gym, that’s why it’s so hard to pick up a book when you can simply watch funny videos on YouTube, that’s why it’s so hard to begin producing something instead of consuming everything. There is risk of rejection, a stress in completing work on time and pressure from the ones expecting good results’, says Tomas.
Prepare yourself for some stress, risk and potential failure so you can face a challenge with a brave mindset and embrace any experience that it will turn to.
Wake up, literally:
Hitting snooze button is just another cheap move to extend the comfort zone and escape the reality, refuse the challenge of life. Digging deeper into the covers could also be a habit because you fear what lies outside – possible rejection and fear of the unknown.
Instead, get up – begin every morning with a review of your life goals and what you’re living for. Figure out your strengths, weaknesses, passions and how you can work towards them. And if you need help – consider a through analysis of yourself.
Take Calculated Risks, Challenges:
We’re not telling you to leave your comfort zone entirely – instead, consider a gradual approach. Extend it little by little and explore new facets of your personality. Learn new work skills, better your networking and improve on your soft skills, so as to make your life more vibrant and interesting.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” — Brian Tracy
Apply the same in your day to day life too – try your hand at dance or music? Try Yoga for the first time ever. Volunteer to help homeless children or even do something as simple as picking up groceries for an elderly neighbour, or even spend time with them. Pick a challenge and show some courage to face the life.
Caution: Know how much to push
Don’t push too much. Yes, an ideal state would be one where we could challenge ourselves all the time, physically and mentally – but that can also push others around into a corner or a panic zone.
Take small steps. Little risks and challenges that don’t require too much of your energy and grow gradually instead of trying get everything at once.
The inspiration for this article originally appeared on Medium, cited to Lituanian blogger Tomas Laurinavicius.