Written by Viktoriya Lakhir
Many of us face moments when something in life needs to be radically changed, but the fear of the unknown hinders our plans. An inner voice says that everything is fine, it’s better not to risk, otherwise it will only get worse. We are used of being within those boundaries that provide us with comfort, emotional security and, in a word, the familiar atmosphere of life. This article will tell you what a comfort zone is, why we are used to living in it and is there a way out.
According to Rinard (2007), the comfort zone – is an area of living space that gives a feeling of comfort, coziness and safety. Undoubtedly, calmness and stability are the main components of mental and physical health, but only as long as stability doesn’t turn into an exhausting routine and doesn’t lead to degradation. According to numerous studies conducted by psychologists, a conscious exit of a person from the comfort zone helps to increase his confidence in achieving the variety of goals.
Why Do We Like Being in our Comfort Zone?
Today, there are numerous reasons why people prefer to stay in their comfort zone. Every person is accustomed to follow own beliefs. In research from Borodkina & Demyanova (n.d.), the most common reasons of being in a comfort zone are: fear of changing anything in your life, fear of the new, fear of uncertainty, fear of losing comfort, fear of difficulties and failure. Considering the fact that we are all subconsciously seek to avoid stressful situations and increased levels of anxiety, it is very difficult for a person to be challenged to step outside of their comfort zone.
Benefits of Leaving the Comfort Zone:
- You will become more productive (comfort kills performance, drive and ambitions)
- You will find answers to various questions (numerous challenges to yourself are a great test of your own abilities)
- You will learn how to control yourself and your life
- Self-development (Expansion of horizons and accumulation of experience are the main success factors)
- Increasing self-esteem and self-confidence (You probably noticed that when faced with a problematic situation, you first experience severe discomfort, and then easily find a way out of the situation). This allows you to be proud of yourself, increases self-esteem and self-confidence.
How to Get out of the Comfort Zone?
- Define your comfort zone (Determine in what conditions your comfort zone is more pronounced, where is the line in which you feel uncomfortable)
- Define clear motivation (will help push away the fear of changes and increase the desire to move on to action)
- Define your goal (you must understand what you want to achieve, why you need it and how to achieve it)
- Take it slow (Don’t leave your comfort zone at once! Small steps towards the desired goal, gradual changes are the main key to success)
- Do not let your age drag you down (It is considered that when a person is young, he is more receptive to everything new, however, it’s not true! A person at any age can afford to be happy. The best way to achieve what you want is to follow the principle of better late than never!)
- Consider possible failure as positive aspect (In any difficult situation representing a negative outcome, try to find positive moments. Identify what this negative experience has taught you and use what you learned to increase your chances of success in the future)
The fact is that most of us want to change something in our lives. However, the habitual, calm and predictable way of life does not allow us to achieve our goals. Looking back, you can see thousands of examples of successful people and these are those who were not afraid to leave their comfort zone. A 1908 study with mice showed that increased levels of anxiety when performing simple tasks contributed to increased performance in rodents. However, as the difficulty of the task became greater, anxiety helped only to a certain extent. Also, it should be noted when a certain threshold was reached, the combination of complexity and anxiety led to a drop in the performance of mice. While we all strive for pleasurable sensations, a certain level of discomfort can be surprisingly beneficial. Even the smallest inconvenience can push us to finish the task as soon as possible, improve the quality of its implementation and reach the desired result.
Agresz, P. (n.d.). The comfort zone: What it is and is it beneficial? Tips to break out. CogniFit. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from https://blog.cognifit.com/en/comfort-zone/
Borodkina, E., & Demyanova, O. (n.d.). Comfort Zone: is there a way out? Experimental Psychic. https://experimental-psychic.ru/zona-komforta/
Page, O. (n.d.). How to Leave Your Comfort Zone and Enter Your ‘Growth Zone.’ PositivePsychology.Com. Retrieved July 12, 2021, from https://positivepsychology.com/comfort-zone/
Rinard, M. (2007). Living In The Comfort Zone. ACM SIGPLAN Notices, 42(10), 611–621. https://sci-hub.se/https://doi.org/10.1145/1297105.1297072