Life always begins one step outside your comfort zone.
Sometimes it seems like all your friends have done it – they’ve moved cities, changed jobs, got divorces, hiked across the country, went skydiving, started new sports…they’ve broken out of their comfort zone!
What is a “comfort zone” anyways?
It’s that comfortable routine that we enjoy everyday – it’s what we eat in the morning, our commute to work, the people we talk to and jokes we make, and the snacks we eat before bed. It’s the creature comforts we work to live for, to give us a sense of security and accomplishment.
Sounds great! But doesn’t it get a little bit boring after a while? We go on vacations, take weekends off to leave the city and date different people. But there are those people out there that really leave the comfort zone stratosphere. They make travel videos, take puzzling career paths and make spontaneous decisions. Although we enjoy our creature comforts, we have an admiration for these kinds of people, a tickling curiosity of what it would be like to live a day in their life.
Well, why haven’t we? These are the things people say when they are asked why they haven’t left their comfort zone yet. You could call them “excuses”…
1. “I don’t know what to do”
A lot of people live heavily scripted into their comfort zone. They are happy to say that they haven’t left because they just don’t know what to do. Well, there are a lot of things to do! Thankfully the internet is chock full of guides, advice and professional opinions from people who have been leaving their comfort zone for a long time.
Breaking out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean hitchhiking through Nepal for two months. It could be as easy as joining a dance club or going on an unmapped road trip. It’s an opportunity to explore new feelings and conquer new fears.
2. “Maybe next time”
A popular excuse for people who may be prone to laziness. The “maybe next time” vernacular has been stopping people from exploring their full potential for years. In the world of comfort zones, there is no “next time.” There is here, now, start preparing for it, and go for it. If we waited for the “right time” or the “right feeling,” nothing might ever get done. That is the magic of the comfort zone. It is to be left during moments of spontaneity and bravery – or else there will be no next time.
3. “I don’t have any money”
This may be true, but it may be confused as well. You might think that it takes $20,000 to exit the comfort zone for a bit, but it certainly does not.
Having some extra savings is nice and comfortable. When you have a steady job and income, it feels good to save for the future. But if you do have a bit of savings and are feeling adventurous, I implore you to explore the outer bounds of your comfort zone by doing something you’ve always wanted to do. The best thing about money, is that it always comes back as long as you’re working.
Alternatively, if lack of money is an issue, recall that it does not take much to have some fun. A short trip to the big city or a road trip with friends to the countryside is a great time to do something different on a dime.
4. “If I wasn’t so worried I could do it”
It’s true, we are scared of a lot of things. The reason it’s called a comfort zone is because it feels good. We’re happy to be there. Doing anything for our first time is a scary thing, but we do it, we practice and continue to do it, and eventually it feels natural to us.
Same goes with escaping our creature comforts. Fear and uncertainty keeps us in it. We fear rejection, failure and “not doing it right,” all of which are fabricated in our heads. We worry about what people will think of us if we fail, even though we don’t even know those people.
We’re afraid to not impress people that don’t matter to us. The point is, it is silly to let our anxieties control the quality of our life, and we need to control that. Do it in small steps. Of course everyone was nervous the first time they went overseas, but without doing it they were never able to see their reaction to it and see how easy it was to overcome.
We know you’re worried, but we believe in you too. Try it out and see what happens.