I’m told that I’m good at pushing past my comfort zone. More importantly, I think I’m good at it. I’ve learned to become courageous over the years and do what needs to be done. I’ve ran a Tough Mudder, approached women in public, traveled to new places alone, and jumped into new careers. I wasn’t always like this; I was shy and timid. I guess I began improving this skill years ago when I heard from personal development advice that it’s good to push your comfort zone.
So, I figured I would discuss how you can improve doing that and why you can sometimes benefit from pushing past your comfort zone.
Why does pushing past your comfort zone matter?
Well, there’s a lot of things that can be missed out on if you stay in your comfort zone. Many people have a decent life, not a great life. But because they’re so scared of losing their comfortable life they have, they’re unwilling to risk anything for a better life. For example, I lived in a decent area for a while. I could’ve stayed there like everyone else, even though it was boring because it was safe and predictable. But what kind of boring life would that lead to?
You could be one of thousands of people who remain at their comfy, middle management job because it’s good enough and it pays well. because you’re scared of the unknown, that choice closes the door 4 a much better, more fulfilling, higher-paying job that’s more line with your values and purpose in life. As you can see, being in a place of great comfort could be a deadly thing. Many people fall victim to this trap, choosing to live the rest of your lives in a career or life that’s just good enough or that has trapped them so much in terms of the income it provides and the expenses that they have to pay for their family or their lifestyle, that they close the potential that they could have had as something more high risk but higher reward or just playing better out there that seemed unknown. How many movie stars, entrepreneurs, artist, could there have been if people were more courageous?
Pushing your comfort zone can prevent all sorts of other failures, big and small. Pushing your comfort zone can increase your social skills, networking skills, dancing skills, and dating life. Just like with any skill or experience, it’s natural to feel nervous when you’re bad at it and new to something. Many people never start or stay consistent because they are scared of their failures or rejection. But if they never start, they limit the potential they could have had four more fruitful, Wonderful Life or just more results.
I think the first step you should take towards improving your ability to push your comfort zone is to find baby steps that you can take so that each move you make is gradual. As you start to see more progress and results, your fear subsides and your confidence increases.
Another part of pushing past comfort zone he’s realizing that your anxiety and fear can often build up the activity to be much worse than it actually is. Sure, sometimes it is just as bad as you thought it would be. But you learn that it won’t kill you and you were able to move past it.
Often, the activities doable and more pleasant than expected. I’ve recently had to push past my comfort zone to get my two vaccines for covid-19. I’ve always hated shots and I still find them unpleasant, but every year, I know that it would benefit me. In the last few years, I’ve been lucky since I’ve had good nurses who give me the shot. They don’t make a fuss about it and they do it fairly quickly so that there’s no buildup and less pain. Although they scare me to death, I’m happy to say that and my most recent shots were less painful then I imagined them to be.
sometimes, your comfort zone creeps up on you so that you’re stuck in a place of comfort that you weren’t before and tasks that you used to be fine with or very daunting. The greatest example of this I can remember is when I spent about three months over psychologies winter break at home. I got to a point where I was just so comfortable sitting under the bed covers. Since I was doing it so often and it was so convenient, I just started to unconsciously build up a belief over time that my comfort zone was in my warm snug bed. when it was time to go back to school, it was the most anxiety-provoking, unpleasant time. All of a sudden, I felt worried and fearful leaving the comfort of my bed in the mornings and the unknowns of going back on my own to college and interacting with strangers, classmates or just people I would run into at school. These are things I’ve done before, but over time all of a sudden, the mine had built up this idea that my dad was a safe place and everything else outside was dangerous.
Despite all that fear, after a couple days back at school, a lot of my stress melt it away as I realize that this wasn’t as bad as I thought.
You may not have that exact situation but I’m sure there are plenty of situations that are similar where your comfort zone can just trap you in an environment. Think about the guy who has a decent job and lives in a decent town. He’s lived here and done this job is whole life. Not a good job what town is fantastic, but they’re not bad. He has a lot of things to be thankful for that he’s aware of. He’s got heating and air conditioning for an affordable price, a roof over his head, easy access to grocery stores, decent amount of income to put food on the table, some decent restaurants nearby to visit, a couple good friends do not many, and the job that he doesn’t tap dance to work for the one that you can tolerate and that he can leave feeling alright about.
That’s a lot of things that’s just good enough. if he looked into a situation, he can find a bunch of other things that are just good enough. He has a girlfriend that’s decent but nothing he’s over the moon about. the crime rate is low in his area. he just installed new carpet in his room.
But there’s also a lot of things that aren’t that great but that he can tolerate. Maybe the apartment he lives is Tiny. Maybe he’s bored to death of going to the same local restaurants and Parks. Maybe there’s nothing to do after sunset in this area because the town has nothing to do.
But he never chooses to move out because things are just comfortable enough that he doesn’t want to jeopardize them. He doesn’t want to take a risk that could ruin what you already have, even if it means obtaining more. there’s a chance that all the things that he’s just tolerating now could be fixed. He could move to a place where there’s plenty to do, get a job they get some more money so he doesn’t have to live in a tiny apartment. can you find a city with a lot more outdoor activities and foods to eat that would severely outclass his town. Yet he doesn’t because that would risk what he already has and he is comfortable with what he’s obtained so far.
As you can see here, the Vivid fear of losing what he has already for some unknown of living in some new city where he may or may not like it and The Envision fear of losing everything he’s gotten has stopped him from even considering improving his life. Essentially, one of the most Sinister, under the radar dangers is falling into a comfort zone, especially a mediocre one, and letting that keep you where you are and snuff out any major dreams or aspirations you have.
Now, every situation is unique to an extent. Depending on various factors, maybe it’s okay to sometimes stay in your comfort zone. If someone doesn’t love their job but they’re happy with every other part of your life, is it the most pressing thing to get that person to leave your comfort zone and find a better job? Maybe not.
Similarly, if you don’t have any massive dreams of moving to a big city and experiencing more active door activities and never doing so wouldn’t lead to that much regret, then the loss of not moving would fall on a lower degree on the spectrum of what you would lose by not pushing past your comfort zone.
All I would ask is that you are at least honest with yourself. Some people may tell others or even themselves story that’s not true. But some, truly are content enough with where they are and they don’t have any big potential regrets or aspirations that would be snuffed by staying in their comfort zone.
For me yes, I have a lot of things that I would love to do an experience in this amazing world. Some of them would lead to a good amount of regret if I didn’t do them. So, that often makes pushing past my comfort zone somewhat easy. I’ve driven an hour or two to white water raft and river tube because I’d never done that. I get some anxiety and dread when thinking about driving that far but I did it.
And if I were to end with one last tip, I would say sometimes, you can use some logic to build out a plan where there is little to no downside. Sometimes, you can mistakenly let your feelings make you believe as if there’s a massive downside.
If that person in the example earlier move to a different city or got a new job, he could always move back if he doesn’t like you. Or he could just shop around and look at new job postings and interview for them without committing to anything just yet. That way, at least he can gather more information about what’s out there and what he could transition into.
But it’s easy to just build it up in your head to feel that if it doesn’t work out, you die. Or something bad happens. Or you can never get what you once had back again. Or that if you even so much as start thinking about getting another job, your current job and lifestyle is in jeopardy. But as you can see, that’s not always true.
So ask yourself, what’s there really to lose? For some of the young, adventurous types, this kind of stuff comes easy for them. then again, those aren’t they people probably reading an article like this.
And sometimes, the answer it’s simply that whatever you’re so concerned about is likely not going to happen. And if it is, you’ll recover, often much faster than you think. Some people, for example, are scared of what others would think they say something, do something or get rejected. But chances are, in five years, 10 years, and certainly in the last years of your life, you couldn’t care less what that person thought of you back then. You likely have forgotten about it long ago and have much more important concerns.
We move towards pleasure and away from pain and fear. But it’s important to really assess whether that pleasure was really pleasure and that pain is really pain. In the short term, that may seem like pleasure. But in the long term, you may experience pain, sometimes a dull, never-ending pain because of your decision. Regret isn’t worth it!