Most people have dreams and wishes. However, the majority of those dreams and wishes remain as dreams and wishes as many people struggle to reach their goals. Frequently because the majority of people struggled about stepping out of their comfort zone in order to turn their dreams and goals into reality.
We know that nothing ever happens in our comfort zone. It’s called a comfort zone for a reason, right? You are comfortable so you must be happy? But as long as you stay in it you will be less and less happy. It’s that space of pushing aside your goals for when the ‘time is right’ or when you have the resources such as more money, time and skills.
Sadly that “someday” never happens. That someday isn’t going to happen because here’s the truth: you will never feel ready in your life to fo anything that scares you. You just gotta get up and do it. Eventually, the life you dreamed of becomes just a wish, a wish and a should, a would have thought or done. Our fear of trying something new and different, putting ourselves out there and going for it keeps us from taking action. We let our comfort zone keep us safe. Safe but unhappy and unfulfilled.
Your comfort zone keeps you paralyzed from attempting what your heart truly desires. You have goals and dreams but you also have fears and doubts about the many what-ifs, what if it didn’t work, what if it was a wrong move, what if you suck! It’s safer and comfortable in the comfort zone instead of getting hurt and humiliated by going for what your heart desires. But what if it will work, what if it was the right move, what if you get freaking good at it. But the most important thing is, what if it makes you happy and what if it was bigger than what you thought it could be. You won’t know until you try.
Maybe you’re afraid of speaking to a large group of people so you don’t go after the next level in your career, even though it is what your heart desires. You keep to yourself and stay in your current position because it is comfortable. Maybe you don’t go after your desire to start your own business because you’re afraid of failing. You stay in a job that you hate instead. Maybe you don’t try new adventures because you are reluctant to meet new people and don’t want to look “foolish”. So you stay at home in your comfort zone.
Some of the reasons you stay in your comfort zone might be from:
- Fear of the unknown and uncertainty
Nothing in life is certain but that should not keep you from getting out of your comfort zone and for going after the life that you want. Everything may be uncertain but it can always be figured out.
“The only constant in life is change” as Heraclitus said. You might not know this but we humans are resilient to recover from each change life will bring us. Also, it is not how the new circumstances will dictate your life, it is how you respond or react to it. You can choose to accept the change or not and be stuck. If you choose to accept you can try coping strategies such as affirmations, meditations, journalling and many others.
- Negative mindset/pessimistic outlook
“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice” is a quote written by J.K. Rowling and a philosophy I also believe in. Oftentimes worrying about suffering is pointless because you may end up not suffering at all. Even if you do that means you suffered twice; first by worrying and the second, the actual suffering.
- Lack of clarity and focus
You can lose focus when you constantly compare yourself and your goals to other people. You get distracted by what they are doing and think to yourself, “They are so much better than me”. When you are looking for the approval of others you might end up doing things that differ from your original goal. It is important to understand that everyone’s journey is different and it is okay to have dreams and goals that others won’t understand. Focus on your own journey.
- Fear of failing (or succeeding)
Don’t let the fear of failure or success stop you from actually starting. You can start setting small goals (these goals challenge you enough but are not so overwhelming to accomplish) to build your confidence muscle.
As for fear of success, many of us have learned that the path to it can involve risks such as getting one’s hopes that can turn to disappointment. Or as Psychology Today wrote, some of us may have experienced verbal abuse and have been led to believe that we are not deserving of success. Whatever it may be, it is important to have a healthy relationship with success. Here’s an exercise they recommend:
- Recall an event where you were successful and excited recently in your life, and notice what you are feeling and sensing. Stay with this sensation for five minutes.
- Now tap into the sensation of a memory of an overwhelming sensation. I suggest not to start with a truly traumatic event, at least not with a therapist’s support. Start with something only moderately disturbing to you.
- Now, go back to visualizing your success story. Do you notice a difference?
No matter what or how it looks like, your comfort zone is keeping you stuck. You’re not growing personally and stop advancing or developing into someone better professionally. You do the same thing day in and out, hanging out with the same people and you feel a lack of excitement in your life as everything stays stagnant. And you get envious when you look at other people’s lives who seem more successful or happier than yours. Getting out of the comfort zone will be difficult but that’s what growth is. Just like a child who has outgrown her clothes, you have to outgrow your old ways and beliefs to be able to step into your highest self.
Your comfort zone lets you willingly pass up important opportunities. Because of this, you might lose touch with your relationships, your health may begin to have serious problems, and you end up living a life of mediocrity. You may be living a life of comfort but it is a mediocre life. Are you settling for just that when you know deep down that you can dig deep into yourself, get out of your comfort zone and live a life full of possibilities and adventures?
Your unwillingness to take action and step out of your comfort zone for whatever reason directly impacts your goals. If you are afraid to take the next step, and never do, you’ll stay where you’re at. If you worry what will happen if you go for your goal so you end up not going for it, then you won’t ever reach it.
When you see yourself struggling to achieve your goals it’s often because you are stuck in your comfort zone. You are afraid of change, of doing things differently and being someone different.
Ask yourself: Is it so bad to change? Are you willing to stay comfortable but live a mediocre life or are you ready to step into the unknown and create new exciting adventures?