“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” - Neale Donald Walsch
It's just as crucial to stay in your comfort zone as it is to leave it from time to time. Your comfort zone isn't confined to a specific location, contrary to popular belief. It has no physical boundaries. The truth is that we create our own comfort zone in our heads. With that in mind, shouldn't it be simple to break out of it? Unfortunately, "no" is the answer. It's a lot more difficult than that.
There's a reason why we call comfort zones. It's because everything within this zone is familiar to us; we know everything like the back of our hands. We don't have any problems with it. It doesn't bother us much. It's the place we normally go when life becomes too much for us to handle. It's your 'normal' environment, where you have complete control over everything and know that nothing will jump out at you and scare you to death.
All comfort zones are beneficial. However, it becomes a negative when it prevents you from living life as it was designed to be lived.
Consider a turtle hunkered down in its shell. You're the turtle, and your safe haven is the shell. You want to attempt something new but are hesitant to do so. Your pals beg you to try something new and exciting, but you refuse. Your shell is your home for the rest of your life. That's all there is to it. As a result, you don't get to experience life at all. You're merely existing within your shell.
It's true that you can be happy in your own skin. However, like with most things in life, you must work to maintain your level of happiness. And you'd have to get out of your comfort zone in order to do so.
Consider the case of a married couple. Everything appears so thrilling and perfect when you're newlywed. However, after a few months or years, you discover that you've both grown far too comfortable with the life you've created, and you're no longer happy. Your relationship is no longer developing.
You repeat the same actions over and over again, day after day. Your everyday routine, like your marriage, is monotonous. Unhappiness begins to accumulate.
You'd have to do something unusual to prevent this. You and your husband are both taking each other for granted, and you will have to work hard to restore your marriage's happiness. Maybe you can both take up dancing classes or plan something exciting for your days off. By stepping outside of your comfort zones, you can rediscover each other.
Other strategies to get out of your comfort zone include:
• Remind yourself of your goals and aspirations.
Don't let your comfort zone get the best of you. You know what you want deep down, but you're terrified of the risks and unknowns that await you along the path. Planning is a realistic way of pursuing your ambitions while limiting the risks.
Make a detailed plan for getting from point A (where you are currently) to point B (your big dream). It will be much better if you can split it down into milestones and mini-goals. This way, you won't feel like David chasing down Goliath.
Each milestone you reach puts you one step closer to your dreams. Just relax and enjoy yourself. If you set a daily, weekly, or monthly goal, you'll be surprised how far you've progressed from your comfort zone!
• Face your fears with courage.
Just because you're stepping out of your comfort zone doesn't guarantee you'll be entering the lion's den. The outer world may appear chaotic, but if you spend enough time in it, you'll discover that it isn't so bad. There's some sort of structure there. All you have to do is open your eyes and see the signs and patterns.
Ask yourself what your greatest concerns are when planning your epic escape, and then work out how to overcome them. Perhaps you're terrified of public speaking because you hate the idea of people laughing at you.
To overcome your fear, consider this: you have a vital message to deliver, and the only way people will hear about it is if you go out and tell them. Otherwise, they'll live in blissful ignorance for the rest of their lives. You might also convince yourself that half of your audience is in the same boat as you. They, like you, are terrified of public speaking.
So, as you can see, your issues aren't all that serious. Break down whatever your fear is until you can understand how silly and unimportant it is in the larger scheme of things!
• Try a new skill
In today's world, learning a new skill is a must. Employers like it, coworkers value it, and most of all, you're not limited to just one skill. For you, learning new talents will open up a whole new universe. Sure, it'll take some time, but if you keep doing the same things over and over again, you'll inevitably fall behind. You should learn as many relevant talents as possible if you wish to succeed in life. To put it another way, you can never have too much talent.
• Start a discussion with someone.
Our parents taught us as children not to talk to strangers. But it doesn't have to continue into adulthood. We're more informed, and we're smart enough to know who we should avoid and who we should associate with. Perhaps you've gained a new coworker. He or she appears to be a shy person. Rather than hiding in your cubicle, go out and say "Hello!" and introduce yourself. That person will be grateful for your kindness, and you will feel good about yourself as a result.