A lot of people don’t make decisions about their dreams, or what they want. They always postpone, and procrastinate. This is mostly based on the fact that they’re in their comfort zones – where they’re comfortable not being challenged, and living mediocre lives.
Why are we stuck in our comfort zones?
The main reason though, people are stuck in their comfort zones, is more than the fear of failure – it’s the feeling of discomfort and pain caused by implementing the change. It’s because we find what we need to change unsettling, not the change itself. This is caused by the fact that it requires us to make an effort in a new direction. It is very easy to do the same thing over and over again, which becomes a habit, a routine. So when you have to do something differently, because you are questioning your routine, you feel the pain, the discomfort, and then what? You decided to postpone ‘I will do it later’, ‘Maybe when my children are older’…the list is endless.
So, when you’ve linked change to pain and discomfort, you naturally resist the change, and you see avoidance as a preferred choice. Doing nothing, and not taking action, becomes your comfort zone, especially when you compare having to upset your routine and change the patterns that you’ve already established. This is because it is a natural instinct to stay away from pain, you prefer to stay where you are, and you become comfortable there.
The consequences of staying in your comfort zone
You end up doing the things that don’t make you happy. You know that you have to change something, but you are being held back by whatever reason or excuse. Now, the problem with that is life is too short to waste time living and doing things that don’t make you happy.
You end up lacking direction. You lack vision. You lack responsibility and accountability. You don’t take control of your life. Life happens to you. Things happen to you. People do things to you. And when things happen to you, all you do, is blame. As a result, all you do is just float. It takes no effort for you to do anything because you do not have interest in doing anything. All you are is just a ‘dead man walking’. No pun intended.
The other problem is that life is slipping away fast, and is passing you by while you’re busy doing nothing, and continuously postponing and procrastinating.
Why must you get out of your comfort zone?
The reality is that it is causing you pain and discomfort to be in your comfort zone anyway. Ultimately, by staying in your comfort zone, you get bored, overwhelmed by the lack of excitement and adventure. So, what do you need to do to get out of your comfort zone?
Change your mind set about change
Start by linking pleasure to change. See making the change giving you the benefits, instead of the pain. See change as giving you the results, instead of discomfort.
Stop focusing on other people’s opinion and what they think about you. I said this the other day in my other article – there is no reason for you to concern yourself about what people say about what you do, about your decisions, about your actions. Those are their issues, not yours. The majority of people in your life will always see something negative in what you do anyway. So paying attention to them will not get you anywhere. Rather focus on the positive attributes that other people see in you.
Confront your fears
We all have our own fears. Heights, swimming, crowded spaces, open spaces, creepy crawlies, you name them. Take the time to examine why you have the fear, and look deep down inside you to determine what really causes that fear. Once you have identified the real reason(s), deal with it/them. You will be amazed at what you find…
Be a risk taker
Taking risks in life is not only for business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s for all of us. The problem with being comfortable is that we tend to know what to expect in everything we do. Because you know what to expect, in what form, you don’t get surprises right? But remember that we live in such an unpredictable world where things change every day. You get hit by something that you had not prepared for, and you get thrown off, because you’ve been stuck in your zone of comfort, in your boring, monotonous routine. So, develop a risk appetite. Identify what you want, then go for it. Of course, like business people who take risks, sometimes they do and they fail. But they don’t give up. They stand up, brush themselves off, and move forward. So, so what if you fail on your risk? Go ahead and fail. Then get yourself back up, and move on.
Focus on what you can change
Accept that sometimes, certain things will not go your way. Don’t get stuck in trying to fix what you cannot fix. Don’t be hamstrung by the illusion that things have to go in a particular way, and they have to be in a particular way. You’re setting yourself for frustration and disappointment. The world is a dynamic place, and changes daily, and things go right and wrong daily. Focus on what you can change, and not what you can’t’.
When was the last time you felt excited about the mystery of not knowing what was going to happen next in your life, work, and business, social? If you’re stuck in your comfort zone, it’s probably been a while. Don’t you miss experiencing the exhilaration of doing something out of the blue? Don’t you miss the anticipation, anxiety and those things that make your heart flutter and stomach turn at the same time? Dare yourself, get out there and just do it!
So, my challenge to you? Get out of your comfort zone. Its dangerous place to be, because you will not get anywhere. Take charge of your life and be in control. Live in the moment.
‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ Mahatma Ghandi