Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
By Eric Adler
Many people ask themselves why their lives don’t get better. They go
along, day in and day out, just waiting and hoping to become
happier, more successful and more satisfied with their lives. But,
the answer is simple: Their lives don’t get better because they
don’t get better.
Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you
could turn back time by 10 years? If you could redo some of your
actions or avoid saying some of the things you said, how would your
life be different? Or, what if you had forced yourself to do
something you once didn’t have the heart to do? How would your life
truth is, all in all, everything would be the same as it is today!
Naturally you would correct some of the actions you now regret, but
you would still have to deal with unfavourable situations. Of course
you wouldn’t make the same mistakes you made then, but you would
make different ones. And then 10 years later – today – you would
feel as satisfied or unsatisfied or as successful or unsuccessful as
you are today.
Consider this formula: Who you are and how well do today is the
result of your present personality. If you want to feel more
satisfied in your private domain or if you want to be more
successful in your current job, the best (and only) way to do it is
by advancing your personality. However, this isn’t necessarily an
easy feat. If you decide to take the next step, it will be
challenging – but you will be greatly rewarded.
Everything you know is your comfort zone. You can divide this zone
into four parts: geographical, mental, activity-related, and
Let’s say you are at home in your living room; this means you are
within your geographical comfort zone. If you’re in a place where
you have never been before, you are outside of your geographical
comfort zone. If friends surround you, you are within your personal
comfort zone, and if strangers surround you, you are outside of your
personal comfort zone. If you do something you have been doing your
whole life, like a card game you grew up with, this is within your
activity-related comfort zone, and if you do something brand new,
you are outside of your activity-related comfort zone. If you think
about something you are familiar with, like job tasks you do on a
daily basis, you are within your mental comfort zone, but if you
think like you have never done before, you are outside of your
mental comfort zone.
now comes the critical question, so make sure to answer honestly:
Where do you prefer to be? Within your comfort zone, or outside of
it? Ninety-five percent of people feel more comfortable within their
comfort zone, and you probably fall into that category; this is
why do most people feel better within their comfort zone? The
explanation is simple, yet frightening: Humans are born with an
innate, primary instinct that continues to control our lives, yet it
is no longer necessary to our survival.
very long time ago, humans were only able to survive as gregarious
animals, and therefore, Mother Nature gave us the appropriate herd
instinct: Never leave your comfort zone, because that’s your safe
place. Danger impends when you leave your comfort zone.
This is why most people spend their entire lives within their
comfort zones, desiring more of the same and occasionally wishing
for better. Because you already know everything within your comfort
zone, unfortunately personality development is only possible if you
step outside of it.
you know what needs to be done; how can you step outside your
Let’s take another look at the four parts of the comfort zone:
geographical, mental, activity-related, and personal. First, you
should never leave all of the parts at the same time; at least one
part should remain familiar to you. You either need to be familiar
with the action, the people you are with, the content, or the place
you are in. Staying familiar with one part of your comfort zone will
provide you with support and security to develop yourself in the
Take small steps:
It’s important to consider the size of the steps you take in this
process. Some experts advise big steps, but unfortunately this has
been proven counterproductive. Here’s why: Imagine your comfort zone
as point ‘A.’ Any time you move more than three feet off point ‘A,’
you encounter a padded wall that completely surrounds you. If you
try to break out of the padded wall all at once, you will bounce
back to where you started. After a couple more unpleasant and
non-productive attempts, you will eventually give up.
Unfortunately, the “breaking out of your comfort zone” method is
taught and practiced frequently. You get highly motivated and very
enthusiastic, but after a short time the motivation turns into
frustration and resignation – I can’t do anything about it, I
have tried it but it just isn’t working out. Nobody pays
attention to the padded wall.
only way to be successful in this transition is to take small steps.
It’s important for you to make the new activity, new place, new
people, or new way of thinking your habit – these things will now
belong to your comfort zone. Then, you will make the next small step
out of your already-growing comfort zone. Development takes time.
Once you have taken a small step outside a certain area of your
comfort zone, it’s important you never go back into your old one.
Stay consistent, no matter how unnatural you feel; you have to
follow this rule until you know and feel comfortable with
Here is an easy exercise to help start you on the road to success:
From now on, try to smile anytime and every time. Smile when you
answer the phone, when you pass people on the street, when you read
your e-mails, when you’re exercising! Initially, you might feel a
bit insecure. Your smile may seem cramped and fake, but you have
stay out of your comfort zone. One day, your smile will become a
habit, and you won’t even notice it anymore. As an added benefit,
you will notice a lot of people smiling back!
Follow these steps and your personality will continue to grow and
develop as your comfort zone does – your success and satisfaction
will grow, as well.
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