Why Leave Your Comfort Zone?… to Grow, to Thrive, to Achieve

Your comfort zone is an amazing place. You know exactly what to expect and you know how to respond. You know the people in you comfort zone, how they normally behave and how you usually respond to them. You may have just happened into your comfort zone or you may have worked hard to get there. You have done these things every day, day after day and that is why they have become your comfort zone. So, why leave your comfort zone?

why leave your comfort zoneWell your comfort zone is truly wonderful. It is great that it exists. It gives you a safe and secure place to be at times and you need that.  When life becomes overwhelming or you just need to rest, you can go to the places you normally go to, do the things you normally do, eat your comfort food and hang out in your comfort zone. But you cannot live there… it is a very limiting place to live in all the time. It can limit nearly all aspects of your life: your goals, creativity and mental and emotional capacity to handle stressful situations, and many more aspects of your life.

6 Great Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone

You Can Reach Your Goals and Achieve Your Dreams

why leave your comfort zoneYour comfort zone consists of all the things you already do. If you want something different, then you have to do something different. If you could reach your goals by doing what you are already doing then you would already have reached them. There is absolutely no way to achieve your goals unless you step out of your comfort zone. That little bit of discomfort and anxiety lets us know we are doing something new, change is happening and that is GREAT!

You Can GROW Your Comfort Zone

There is a certain amount of truth to the saying “Use it or Loose it.” In the case of your comfort zone, if you are not pushing the edges of it, it will tend to shrink. Trying new things, stepping outside your comfort zone, and allowing yourself to experience them allows your mind to become familiar with the new things. After repeating them, these new things soon become part of your New Comfort Zone and it grows. Then you get to try something new again!

You Can Learn to Deal With Change Better

When you leave your comfort zone you experience a certain type of stress and anxiety. The further out of our comfort zone you step the greater the level of stress and anxiety. If you never feel this type of stress and anxiety it can be scary and inhibit you from taking action.

The sad part about life is that sometimes it pushes you out of your comfort zone. You loose our jobs, have an accident, someone close to you gets sick, you need a new car, have to move… those parts of life just happen to you. These events push you out of your comfort zone and it feels bad. Not only are you feeling all the bad emotions of the event – worry, sadness, grief – you are also feeling that type of stress and anxiety of being in a situation you are not familiar with, of being outside your comfort zone

If you have a habit of stepping outside your comfort zone then you are familiar with those feelings. You are actually more comfortable with being outside your comfort zone. You know that you can respond to the situation and take the necessary action which will help you get through that rough spot in your life. You KNOW you can do it!

You Can Stop Procrastinating

why leave your comfort zoneYou have felt it, that pull in that prevents you from doing that task. That thought that tells you that you can do that later or even tomorrow. That is the call of your comfort zone, keeping you in the rut of your life.

Every time you do something you activate certain a neural pathway in your mind. If you repeatedly do something, the neural pathway gets stronger and stronger and it feels easier and easier to use.  Your most commonly used neural pathways are the ones that feel comfortable and make up you comfort zone.

So to stop procrastination you need to weaken the old neural pathway and strengthen a new neural pathway. You need to do step out of your comfort zone and do something different. That’s all that is happening and that’s all it takes!.

You Can be More Creative

Creativity requires stepping outside your comfort zone. Not only is there evidence  that creative minds embraced stepping out of their comfort zone, but it also just makes sense. Being creative by its very nature means doing something different. Doing something different means stepping out of our comfort zone and feeling that bit of discomfort. Feeling that bit of doubt that your new idea will work. No one who has ever done anything new has done it while they were in their comfort zone! So be take a step and be creative!

You Can Strengthen New Neural Pathways and Create New Habits

So the actions we take everyday are the habits we have, the neural pathways we use regularly. A habit is just a neural pathway rut.   Every time we use the neural pathway it becomes stronger. But every time we use a different neural pathway the old pathway gets weaker and the new neural pathway gets stronger. Breaking a habit is, to a large extent, creating a different neural pathway and making it strong. Making it stronger than the old neural pathway. While that may sound hard, it is not. It just takes repetition and practice. Like learning anything you have learned in the past – walking, eating, driving – they seem easy now but at one time there was no neural pathway for that activity and they seemed hard. Breaking a habit and creating a new habit is the same – just build on each event, a little at a time, and make the new habit strong!

You Can Even Age Better

There is also scientific evidence  that confirms that learning new things, growing our comfort zones, as we age improves mental sharpness. It is not good enough to do the things we normally engage in, even if they are mentally active things; you need to do new things to keep the brain working well. It is another case of “Use it or Loose it.” So Use It!

These are some of the great reasons to take to break free of your comfort zone – and there are many more. You NEED to allow yourself that bit of discomfort or anxiety.  It is actually life telling you to get excited because something new is happening. So take that  step outside your comfort zone!

18 thoughts on “Why Leave Your Comfort Zone?… to Grow, to Thrive, to Achieve

  1. I completely agree with what you said about how learning new things keeps our minds sharp and our bodies healthier as we age. There are elderly people who are always striving to still be active and go places and learn new things and their vitality is fantastic. Then there’s others that just sit at home all day, not having desire to continue learning through their life and is seems they just wither away the worst of it. I don’t want to be the latter.

    • Sarah,

      Me too – I hope I never stop growing and expanding. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for visiting!

      All the best,
      Maureen

  2. Great article!
    One of my favorite quotes are “Being comfortable is overrated” it is very true. The only way we grow is by getting out of our comfort zone and do something that we havn`t before.

    I enjoyed the read,
    Thanks,
    Vicky

  3. Hi Maureen! I loved this article about Leaving Your Comfort Zone, and it is exactly the reinforcement I needed right now. Last year was the most difficult one of my life. I lost the person who was closest to me, and had financial mishaps, etc. This year I have been trying to start a new path, and try things that are unfamiliar to me. Thanks for writing this inspirational article!

    • Brittini,

      I am sorry to hear about your loss and the difficult times you have been having. I am so glad you found the article helpful. It is exciting that you are starting on a new path and I wish you all the best.

      Take care,
      Maureen

  4. Interesting post! Very inspiring :)

    I have often hesitated over certain changes I was about to make in my life, but sometimes you have to take that leap of faith and come out of your comfort zone just to see where it leads you.

    If people never took a chance to step outside of their own comfort zone, then there would be lots of unhappy people in the world who would be stuck on the safe path. There are great opportunities out there, all it take is a little step into the unknown!

    • Michelle,

      Thank you for your great insights and for visiting my site. I am hoping to help more people stretch themselves. Thanks again.

      Best wishes,
      Maureen

  5. Great advice here. It’s all about changing habits and believing in yourself – having the confidence to step outside your comfort zone, and then succeeding in reaching your goals gives a wonderful sense of achievement.
    Claire

  6. This is something I keep learning and applying lately and have seen great potential and some rewards so far. The human mind (and body) is an amazing tool that so many of us barely brush the surface of it’s capabilities. If you learn to step out of your comfort zone (though your body will fight you first) and push beyond its limits, you’ll start to see some amazing thing start to happen.

    Great post, thanks for sharing.
    Ty

  7. I, too, stepped out of my comfort zone a while back. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Your thoughts on stepping out of the comfort zone are brilliant – you must have been inside my head! Change is inevitable; it is constant. Those who fight it find they fall behind in life. Please keep spreading the word – you are either green and growing, or ripe and rotting – just like everything in nature. As soon as you stop growing, stop learning, stop embracing change – you remain in your comfort zone, and you are stuck.

    • Hey Pamela,
      Thanks for the visit and for the comment, much appreciated. I love your comment on green and growing – I will have to quote you!
      Take care,
      Maureen

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