Comfort Zone Psychology
You’re reading this comfort zone psychology article because you want to change your life for the better. You’re tired of living a mediocre life, and you’re finally taking action towards your goals. But here’s the truth!
Dreaming is not for cowards. It’s not for those who can’t even find the courage to leave their comfort zones behind. It’s not for people who aren’t brave enough to take that first step out the door. It’s not for people who don’t know the meaning of the word ‘sacrifice.’
We all have big dreams in life. It’s our dreams that sustain us as we slowly trudge through our day to day lives. We look towards the future, so we don’t feel so bad about our present.
We see our lives as having this upward trajectory. We’re not going to stay at the bottom forever. Who wants that anyway? But we all know what the truth is. The vast majority of people are going to remain at the bottom. Far removed from what they’ve envisioned their life to be.
The truth is, we all want to succeed, but not everyone is willing to take action. Success is earned, not given. It’s not going to be handed to you on a silver platter. You don’t get to sit back, do nothing, and get rewarded with your dreams. No, it doesn’t work like that.
If you want to be successful, you’re going to work hard for it. And by hard, I mean really hard. You’ll toil for your dreams for years. It won’t be a walk in the park. You’ll take risks and challenges. You’ll face failure head-on, not once, not twice, but plenty of times.
Comfort Zone Psychology – Are You Getting Too Comfortable?
We all like getting comfortable. We like living and doing things in comfort. In this day and age of instant gratification, we can easily get the things we want.
For instance, with just a push of a button on a mobile app or a click on your computer mouse, you can have your food and groceries delivered to you. There’s no need to stand in line all hot and sweaty.
Thanks to the Internet, you can get practically anything you like delivered straight to your doorstep.
Living in a comfortable bubble
When we get too comfortable, we tend to live in our own little bubbles. At first, we may feel happy, satisfied, and safe in our little safe zone. We’re able to do things that don’t stress us out or make us anxious.
Eventually, however, we become bored and uninspired. We become unhappy. Our dreams get relegated to the back burner. But many people still don’t want to rock the boat even though they’re unhappy. Does this sound like you?
You want to leave things the way they are. You’ve gotten too used to comfort that the mere thought of leaving it to go do something uncomfortable leaves you in a cold sweat. What does it mean for you?
It means you’ve changed. And it’s not for the better, either. Where your dreams once consumed you, you’ve now turned into a scared little mouse. Always afraid your small block of cheese is going to get stolen right from under your nose.
Comfort zones do change
You want to go out and chase your dreams, but you’re afraid that if you do leave your comfort zone, you won’t be able to find your way back. You think it’s going to disappear. But it’s not true. You know why? Because our comfort zones don’t remain constant forever.
As we grow older and have more life experiences, our comfort zones grow with us too.
Think of it this way: What you have inside your comfort zone now used to be outside of it at one point. Look at your home. For most of us, our homes are at the center of our comfort zones. It’s where we go home to sleep, eat, relax, have fun with the family, all that good stuff.
But, have you always lived in that same home? Did you always have the same people living in your home? I’m willing to bet your answer is going to be a big ‘no.’
So, before you moved into your present home, you were living somewhere else. And that somewhere else was also part of your comfort zone.
When you decided to move from your old home to the new one, you probably felt scared. Excited, too, but mostly scared. You were leaving your old comfort zone behind.
However, after a few days, weeks, or months of living at your new home, you suddenly realized it’s become your new comfort zone. You no longer felt scared. Your new home is no longer the ‘unknown.’ You’ve finally settled in. You’re finally comfortable.
See, that wasn’t so bad, was it? There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable. After all, everyone seeks it no matter what their status in life is.
When comfort becomes a problem
When comfort suddenly interferes with your dreams and your goals in life, it becomes a problem. When you get to the point where you let your comfort take precedence over your dreams, then it’s a problem.
Your comfort zone has become a problem. Now the thing is, problems aren’t meant to fester. They’re meant to be solved and remedied. So, when your comfort zone stands between you and your dreams, you need to make the right choice if you want to succeed.
Your Comfort Zone Is Killing Your Dreams
What’s your biggest dream or goal in life? How long have you had that dream? What have you done to accomplish that? Do you feel like you’re getting closer to achieving your goal?
If you’ve been stuck in your comfort zone for a long, long time, then you may find these questions hard and very painful. You’ll probably remember how at one point in your life, you were so full of dreams.
How you were going to become a big superstar, a successful engineer, a famous scientist, or whatever you wanted to become when you ‘grew’ up. But look around where you are now.
Do you like what you see? Is it what you’ve envisioned from a long time ago? Maybe. Maybe not. Only you know the answer.
Breathe new life into your dreams
Do you know why many successful people say your comfort zone is where your dreams go to die? Well, it’s because they’ve been in your shoes before.
Once upon a time, they too were languishing in their comfort zones. But they had dreams, and their dreams took them far away from their comfort zones.
If they didn’t leave their comfort zones, they’d still be where they were years ago, doing the same things over and over. But no, they didn’t settle for that kind of life. Their dreams were more important than their comfort.
Life threw challenges and obstacles at them. But they kept on. They kept fighting for their dreams. Sure, they made mistakes, and they failed countless times. But it did not deter them from their goals.
Their eyes were set on the prize far into the future. They knew what they had to do. And they knew that if they settled in their comfort zone, they’d never amount to anything. They’d never achieve their dreams.
Your true potential
Each of us has the potential to do great things. But if you remain trapped in your comfort zone, then you’re never going to know your true potential.
Imagine a bird trapped in a small cage. The bird knows it can fly, but for as long as it’s caged, it will never know just how high it can fly. That bird is you. You’re trapped within your cage – it’s just disguised as your comfort zone.
The good news is that unlike caged birds, you can actually choose to leave your comfort zone. You’re just not willing to. If you want to uncover your true potential, then you will need to unlock your cage. That’s the first thing you need to do.
Learn new things
With your cage wide open, you can now feel the breeze on your face. You can now taste freedom. You can now go after your dreams. But dreams can be fickle. One minute you see it so clearly, you feel like it’s within arm’s reach. Then the next minute, it’s far, far away.
If you want to accomplish your dreams quickly, then you need to have a plan. Not just any old plan, but a solid, well-thought-out plan. A plan that may require you to learn new things and new skills.
In your comfort zone, you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn and try new things. No, in your comfort zone, you’ve already mastered everything. Trying new things made you edgy, it made you uncomfortable.
But outside your comfort zone, you don’t have such limitations. Outside your comfort zone, you’ll experience a multitude of opportunities that were previously not available to you.
It’s up to you to grab and hold onto those opportunities. They’ll build your skills and your knowledge. They’ll bring you closer to your goals.
Learn more about: Motivation In Your Personal Life
Comfort Zone Psychology – Facing Your Fears
We’ve all got fears, just like we’ve all got our comfort zones. And on your path to success, your fears are going to appear out of the woodwork, one by one.
They’ll try to distract you from your goals. They’ll do their best to scare you, so you’ll go running back to your comfort zone with your tail tucked between your legs.
But you know what? Fears are only scary because you make them scary. Think about it this way: why is it that nobody else is afraid of your fears? Why are you the only one afraid of your fears?
The answer is, they’re yours! Your fears only exist within you. You are consciously and subconsciously scaring yourself. You’re letting your imagination run circles around you.
If you want to reach your goals, you’re going to have to face your fears head-on. There are quite a few ways to overcome your fears. Here are some of them:
Understand your fear
Human babies are supposedly only born with two fears – the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. This is why newborns cry when they’re exposed to loud noises or when they’re set down too fast.
All the other things we’re afraid of are acquired. So, there has got to be a reason for your fears. Try to look beyond your fears and trace its beginnings.
When did you start feeling afraid? And why? Did something terrible happen that it left such a negative mark on you? And now you can’t think about it without cowering in fear?
When you rationalize your fear, you’ll see it will be much easier to deal with it. When you look at your fears logically, you’ll usually find an antidote to it.
To make it easier for you to find an ‘antidote,’ you can write down your fears on a piece of paper. And then beside each fear, write down what your ‘antidote’ is or how you propose you’re going to overcome that particular fear.
This is a simple technique, but it works. Try it, you just may be surprised at what you discover!
Keep yourself occupied
When you’re busy, you don’t dwell on your fears. When your mind’s somewhere else, you’re not going to be thinking about your insecurities and your fears. You’ve got something more important to do.
The best way to keep yourself occupied is to actually go and do whatever frightens you! Take baby steps. The simple act of doing something to conquer your fears may be enough to keep your fear at bay. With every step you take, your courage grows.
Your courage will be inversely proportional to your fears. The more courage you have, the more your fears disappear. When your courage is at a hundred percent, your fears will be totally wiped out.
Stop dwelling on the negative
Instead of dwelling on the negative narrative, focus on the positive. If you’ve been rejected at a job you really, really wanted, it’s okay to feel sad at first. But find a way to bounce back immediately. Don’t dwell on the negative aspects of not getting hired.
For instance, you may think that just because you’ll be jobless for a little while longer then you’re going to starve or you’re going to be homeless.
When you dwell on the negative you’re not doing yourself any favors. What you can do instead is to look at the positive side. For instance, you can say that since you didn’t get that job, then maybe it means you were meant for something greater.
That job would have held you back and wouldn’t have contributed to your growth. So, you need to look for a better option.
Putting things into perspective like that will let you see that sometimes our fears can be irrational. And when you think irrationally, you let your emotions and your negativity cloud your judgment. It gets the better of you.
At this point, you should recognize that being afraid of leaving your comfort zone is irrational. Sure, what lies beyond it may be the great unknown, but it’s not all about the ‘monsters’ lurking there.
It’s all about the wealth of opportunities that lie just beyond your wall, opportunities that will never present itself within the confines of your comfort zone.
If you’ve got it in your head that you’re better off in your comfort zone, then you’re never going to accomplish your goals in life. Your dreams lie way outside your comfort zone.
If you let your negativity get in the way, then guess where you’re going to be for as long as you live? That’s right. You’ll be stuck in your comfort zone. You’ll feel sorry for yourself, and you’ll resent everyone who’s ever dared to do things you know you’ll never do.
You’re going to get trapped in a vicious cycle of negativity. And you know what that’s going to get you? Nothing. So, before your negativity consumes you, here are some important pointers you need to follow so you can see the light at the end of your comfort zone.
Focus on what really matters
You’ve got a goal in mind. You’ve created a solid plan so you can achieve that goal. But it’s so easy to lose sight of all that when you’re faced with so many obstacles, and your comfort zone looks so inviting.
Before you totally close the door on your dreams, you need to remind yourself what really matters to you. Why did you choose that particular goal?
If you’ve created a journal for your journey, then you can simply look up your entries or notes from when you started. You would have written down your hopes and dreams, and more importantly, your ‘why.’
Your ‘why’ is what you need to focus on. It’s the reason you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s why you’re taking huge risks and facing all these difficult challenges head-on. Don’t let all these obstacles stop you.
Remember your ‘why,’ and you’ll remember all the hopeful, positive thoughts you’ve had at the beginning of your journey. It will motivate you and give you a good kick in your pants.
There’s no limit to what you can do
Negative thinkers are severely limited by their negativity. They’ll find it hard to do something good or anything noteworthy at all because their negativity is going to pull them down.
Even if they had the skills and the talent to go after their dreams, they’re not going to use it to their advantage. Nope, their defeatist attitude is going to pull the plug on their dreams.
You, on the other hand, are a different story. You know that outside your comfort zone, you won’t have those restrictive walls. You know that by leaving your comfort zone, you can easily uncover your true potential.
When you think positively, you’ll be able to see all the opportunities hiding in plain sight!
Ask any successful person if they had a smooth journey towards their success, or if they didn’t suffer any hiccups or failures on the way to the top. To be honest, they’ll probably laugh in your face.
And they’ll proceed to tell you about all the many mistakes they made, the failures, the countless nights they spent trying to understand what their failures are telling them. Then they’ll tell you that without going through failure, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
Be excited about the future
Negative people have nothing to be excited about. They’re not going to look forward to what the future will bring them. They’ll look for the negatives even if there is none to be found.
They’ll be suspicious of anything that falls outside of their comfort zone. They’ll be the naysayers, they’ll predict doom and gloom for everyone. You wouldn’t want to be with that kind of people now, would you?
If you do, then you won’t be looking forward to your future too. You won’t be looking forward to the time when you’ll finally get to
achieve what you’ve been waiting for all this time.
When you think positively, you’ll still be aware of the dark clouds on the horizon. You’re not going to be delusional that everything’s going to be bright, colorful and perfect when you know it rarely is in real life.
However, instead of honing in on the negative stuff, you’ll focus on the positives, and you’ll look forward to your future.
Comfort Zone Psychology – Expanding Your Comfort Zone
Our comfort zones aren’t set in stone. It’s just an artificial mental boundary that allows us to function in our daily lives without getting anxious and without getting scared. It’s a zone where we feel in absolute control of ourselves.
To achieve our goals, it’s necessary to step out of our comfort zone. But it doesn’t mean you need to leave it forever and never look back. That’s not how comfort zones work.
Successful people still have their comfort zones. They didn’t totally abandon it when they were chasing their dreams. They still went back to their comfort zones when they felt fatigued and needed to go back to the familiar for a bit. But they didn’t allow themselves to get trapped in there.
What they actually did was, over time, they expanded their comfort zones and turned the previously unfamiliar to something familiar and comfortable.
The unfamiliar becomes familiar
The first thing you need to do to get out of your comfort zone (so you can expand it later on) is to actually take a step forward. It’s pretty common sense, you can’t get out if you don’t take the necessary action, which in this case, is taking a step.
It’s like when you first attempt to go out in an unfamiliar, chaotic place. You go to the windows, push the curtain to the side to survey the scene outside.
Once you see it’s safe, you go to the door and open it. But you don’t just go right out taking big confident steps like you’ve been doing it forever.
What happens instead is when you open the door, you look outside again before you step out. Then you take a little step forward. And another step and another. All the while keeping your senses tuned for any sign of danger.
The more steps you take, the more confident you become. After a hundred steps or so, you’ll realize it’s not so bad and you let your guard down a bit. After a while you get to know the neighborhood, you start befriending your neighbors, you start settling in.
Did you see what happened there? In the beginning, you were afraid to go out because you didn’t know the community. But after a while, that community became a part of your comfort zone.
You left your original comfort zone (your home) and expanded it to include your new neighborhood. See, that wasn’t so scary, was it?
Fight the good fight
It’s absolutely normal to feel intimidated when you’re in unfamiliar territory. That’s just the way our DNA is wired. When faced with uncertainty, humans have a fight-or-flight response. We either stand our ground (fight), or we run away (flight).
In the course of chasing our dreams, there will be many instances when we’ll have our fight or flight response tested. To reach our ultimate destination, we’re going to have to fight more often than when we run away.
In some cases, running away may be the smart option. Especially if the obstacle in front of you is an absolute monster and you’re going to get destroyed if you don’t run.
But the point is when you run away you need to come back and pick up where you left off. You’re not supposed to abandon your journey to success.
Ultimately, however, you need to have a fighting spirit if you want to have the slightest chance at success. In most cases, you really need to stand your ground. You need to be brave enough to slay and conquer the dragons standing in your path.
Every little bit of ground you gain from your victories will become yours. You absolutely deserve every inch. And naturally, what you’ve conquered will form part of your expanded comfort zone.
Continue challenging yourself
Growth comes from challenging yourself to learn new things. When you conquer your fears, you learn something new, you learn that your fears were nothing more than a figment of your imagination.
When you take risks, whether you succeed or fail, you also learn something new. When you succeed, you determine the correct formula to success. When you fail, you learn what you should avoid doing next time.
When you feel like your life has stagnated because you’ve been in your comfort zone for far too long, then you should challenge yourself to explore and experiment. For every win and every skill you master, your comfort zone grows and expands with you.
Leap Of Faith
Getting from your comfort zone to your dreams will require you to take a giant leap of faith. You literally don’t know what’s going to happen on your journey – whether you’re going to succeed or fail.
Even if you’ve meticulously planned all the steps you’re going to take to arrive at your destination, there’s no guarantee that everything’s going to go according to your plan.
You can only do so much – there are far too many external factors that come into play between where you are and where you want to go.
Believe in yourself
When you take the leap, you need to believe in yourself. You need to trust that you can do whatever it is you’ve set out to do. Otherwise, what’s the point of taking the leap in the first place? If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will? The answer is, no one.
So, before you even consider taking the leap, ask yourself if you believe in yourself. If you don’t, then you need to go back to the drawing board. Figure out what you need to do so you’ll have more confidence in yourself.
Do you think you don’t have the right skills yet? Then find out how you can acquire those skills. Maybe go back to school or look for relevant jobs that will help you get those skills.
Or maybe you think you don’t have the right mindset, the right attitude to succeed at something so big and so important. If yes, then you should consider signing up for self-development courses – there are tons of them you can choose from.
Once you’ve got the right mindset and the right skills and knowledge, then go ahead with your action plan and take the leap!
Comfort Zone Psychology – Conclusion
Our dreams and our goals give us direction in life. It tells us which way we should go and which roads to take. Remember, however, you can’t get to your destination without stepping out of your comfort zone first.
Comfort zones are important, too. But we shouldn’t let it stop us from chasing our dreams. Gather the courage to get out of your comfort zone. Go and follow the path that will ultimately lead you to success.
I hope this comfort zone psychology has given you a better insight and kind of a roadmap to reach your goals and achieve your dreams. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.