I found this great definition of comfort zone in of all places Wiki: 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. … Casandra Brené Brown, a research Doctor of Philosophy, defines the term as “a behavioral state where a person operates in an anxiety-neutral position.”
I love that phrase: ‘..anxiety neutral state.’ Simply means you love status quo and don’t want to rock the boat either way – toward change positively or negatively. And this place is death to the soul and being able to not only experience life but your self as well.
There are a ton of inspirational quotes that encourage you to get out and do something strange out of character, something you wouldn’t normally do – but getting out of your routine just takes so much work. There’s actually a lot of science that explains why it’s so hard to do this and break out of your ‘comfort zone’ and why it’s good for you when you do it.
It’s important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and when you do, a big deal. What is the “comfort zone” exactly? Why is it that we tend to get comfortable with the familiarity of our routines? And when we’re introduced to new and interesting things, the glimmer fades so quickly? Finally, what benefit do we derive from breaking out of our comfort zone, and how do we do it?
Your “real life” is out there waiting for you. Your real life exists beyond the bubble of your own personal thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Your real life is the sum total of ALL of your experiences, not just the one’s you’re comfortable with. And challenging yourself pushes you to tap into your personal store of untapped knowledge and resources. You have no idea what you’re made of unless and until you venture outside of your own familiar world.
Taking risks, regardless of their outcome, are growth experiences. Even if you make mistakes or don’t get it right the first time. You always have these experiences to tap into in the future. There really is no such thing as “fail” if you got something out of the experience. I like to look at FAIL as – “first attempt in learning”.
Don’t settle for the mediocre just to avoid stepping out of your comfort zone; it’s too big a price to pay. Your challenges and risk experiences are cumulative. Every time you try something new, allow yourself to be open to new experiences – you learn something about yourself and life. As you do this you are also expanding the size of your comfort zone. And once stretched, it doesn’t recoil back.
It may seem overwhelming and daunting to step into the unknown. But instead of thinking of the “big picture”, it may be easier to break down what you want or need to accomplish by making small changes. Small changes accumulate and each change builds upon the last one. Just like stacking bricks to build a building. Soon enough you have a series of small changes leading up to the big picture.
Here are some reason to break through your comfort zone. No matter in education, physical skills and abilities, emotional challenges…
1 – Confidence takes practice
2 – Complacency is a creative killer
3 – It will help you develop needs to succeed
4 – Great things don’t happen with your Comfort Zone.