Is Staying In Your Comfort Zone Holding You Back?
We’ve heard a lot about getting out of our comfort zone. But have you ever thought about why you should? After all, our comfort zone is where we feel in control and safe. It’s where we can predict what will happen and how we will feel. There won’t be any surprises, that we can’t deal with.
We all have a comfort zone naturally; it’s the amygdala, or the fight or flight area of our brain that is meant to protect us from any dangers we encounter. It has evolved greatly from our forefather cavemen, who had to be continually looking out for threats. But, this area will activate automatically if any type of threat is perceived, which will look different for every person.
This leads to getting into a comfort zone – our brains and body want to feel safe so it’s easier to stay in a safe space, even when it is not a good place to be. Change is the culprit when moving away from a comfort area.
So why would you feel compelled or even want to get out of your comfort zone? You need to do it because getting out of your comfort zone is the key to your personal growth and happiness. Stepping out of that zone helps you build up your self-confidence and the way you view yourself.
Is being there holding you back for living a fulfilled life and growing in your career, your business, or your life?
The answer is yes. Being in your comfort zone and staying there is keeping you from realizing and achieving what you desire. Staying safely within your comfort zone keeps you from being challenged and you don’t have to rise to any new occasions.
Here are 3 ways staying in your comfort zone is holding you back.
- It’s keeping you from growing personally. When you are afraid of something, staying in your comfort zone keeps you from facing that fear. Then you suffer from it forever or until you do face it. You stay away from situations that would put you in a position of having to face the fear in order to overcome it.
For example, your fear of public speaking keeps you from taking a job that requires you to speak in front of others, even though it’s a step up on your career ladder.
- Your comfort zone is keeping you from being happy. Maybe you struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem issues. These problems can grow unless you take steps outside your comfort zone to begin addressing them. Stepping outside your comfort zone helps you build confidence in your self and see yourself in a better light.
When you are confident and have good self-esteem, you are happier. For example, if you’re not confident in your abilities, you tend to stay in your comfort zone instead of trying something new. This drags down your confidence making you feel less competent and making you unhappy.
- Staying in your comfort zone can make you feel trapped and unhealthy. Often our comfort zone keeps us doing bad habits out of fear. You might want to be more active, run a marathon, feel less aches and pains and go on adventures. But to do any of these things means doing something that is outside your comfort zone.
For example, you want to run a short marathon. It’s always been a dream of yours, but you procrastinate and make excuses why you can’t. You’re too out of shape. You don’t have time. You’re too old. But the real reason is because you are afraid to get out of your comfort zone and begin training with a trainer. As a result, you continue to eat unhealthy, gain weight, lose muscle tone and put your dream on the back burner until eventually, you’re health becomes a problem.
A big problem with moving out of your comfort zone is the resulting emotions – you want to but don’t, which then leads to feelings of guilt from disappointing someone, either yourself or someone else. This, then, can lead to not moving forward as you know how to deal with the guilt; it’s like you are going down a whirlpool or stuck on the hamster wheel. You only keep getting more of the same.
When we stay in our comfort zone, we are holding ourselves back from living a life we love, from being happy and from growing. We end up letting our fears rule and settling for mediocrity. Take one action that will move you forward; challenge any negative or self-defeating thoughts you have around staying in a comfortable area, and see the benefits of what moving forward will bring. You have to ask yourself if comfort is getting you where you want to be or not; that should move you forward but only you have the answer. Which will it be?
If you’re struggling right now, reach out for a free consultation to see how we can help you break free. Check out our blog for other resources.