The Importance of Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Instead of settling for our conditions and staying in our comfort zone, we must dare to get out of it to really live.
The Importance of Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
Bernardo Peña

Written and verified by the psychologist Bernardo Peña.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

It’s time to move forward. Don’t be a prisoner of conformity. Experiences await you and if you stay there in your chains, you won’t enjoy them. What scares you? Human beings search for safety, we want a stable job, a house, and a happy family.

But what about your own goals? Where is the challenge in life? If you want to be successful, you’ll have to overcome trials, regardless if they make your knees tremble in fear. Life is about learning and we’re all like sponges, absorbing what’s around us. It doesn’t matter how educated we are: We all have something to learn and teach.

Read this too: 10 Successful People Who Didn’t Let Failure Stop Them

What’s a comfort zone?

A comfort zone is defined as a state of mind whose main characteristic is routine behaviors to achieve a constant level of performance without a sense of risk. In other words, they’re behaviors, attitudes, and strategies that we tend to employ to stay in the environment that makes us feel safe.

The problem’s that, although everything seems to be under control, it often leads to a state of apathy and existential emptiness that prevents us from feeling satisfaction or pride in what’s being done. Moreover, in many personal and professional aspects, it hinders personal growth.

Therefore, it’s a psychological and behavioral state of comfort and conformity. It’s about avoiding the uncertainty and commitment that comes with change, even if that change is positive.

Why is it hard to break out of your comfort zone?

Gold fish swimming in a tank.

We react by instincts, dodging possible threats, we want what causes us happiness and yet we run away from uncertainty and failures. The problem is that we stick to a lot of excuses for fear of facing risk.

You’re a mouse that lives in the hole watching everything from the inside and you want to be out there, but you don’t dare to take that step, you don’t want the cat to eat you. The reason? You don’t trust yourself, you’re not aware of your capabilities because you don’t know that if you run without looking back, it won’t catch you.

Why are you living inside your imagination? In it, you travel to the place you dreamed of, you give up the work that burdens you, you struggle to do what you really like, you enjoy every moment, good company, and even solitude.

You’ve done everything to maintain the “perfect life” in everyone else’s eyes, agreeing to what others want, and you simply got lost along the way. Wake up! You’re not a machine; break away from routine and get out of your comfort zone.

1. “It’s what life handed me”

Why are you still there if everything has turned out wrong? We’re so stuck in this rut that we comfort ourselves, saying “it’s just what life handed me.” Playing the role of the victim is something everyone is good at, and we even seek out things that fit into the drama and deceit of it. We reject what will flip things upside down, even if we know deep down that it’s better.

The question is, is this really living? When you stop meeting new people, resort to the same routine recipe, refuse to end a relationship that doesn’t make you happy anymore, and work just to work, the only thing you’re doing is dying, even if your heart tells you otherwise.

Stop with those cliches that have become a burden on your back. Don’t believe it: It’s not what life handed you, it’s the life you chose. Step outside of your comfort zone and make a change. You are the author of your own story; you can change the script if you want, get rid of characters, and make a whole revolution if you so desire. But, don’t be afraid of finding a happy ending by leaving your comfort zone behind.

2. “Now’s not the time”

Are you immortal? Who told you that there will always be a tomorrow? Your schedule is what tells you that you’re not taking risks. You plan out your future in detail and focus on what you don’t have and when you will: “When I have a house”, “when I get married”, “when my children are grown.” What if the time never comes? Life is happening now, not tomorrow. Do it even if your heart is beating out of your chest and your blood is rushing to your head. Because as you wait, you might end up there in the middle of the road not doing anything. You may be comfortable and have a roof over your head. But, if you don’t have a smile on your face, what good does it do?

In short, don’t wait for the perfect moment, because it doesn’t exist. Besides, perfection is the enemy of good. And now’s a good time.

3. Boycotting yourself

A man sprinting down a country road.

It’s time to break out of your comfort zone, to turn your weaknesses into a motivation to improve. Your decisions are your own, stop blaming yourself for not meeting other people’s expectations. Each person is different. Where could you go?

The only person that can push you out of your box is you. If you block your own way, you won’t be able to move forward. Exceed your own goals. If you can imagine it in your mind, you can do it! Start by accepting yourself, taking time to get to know yourself, and then asking yourself: am I happy? That’s where the answer lies. If it’s a no, then it’s time to cross that bridge even if it makes it feel like the world is spinning.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.