Exiting The Comfort Zone

Let’s face it, humans are creatures of comfort.  We like things that are familiar to us.  But we also have an innate desire to want more out of life, and if we don’t always push the limit we feel a certain level of dissatisfaction.

If humans don’t use their potential, they will always feel a little dissatisfied, which is why people move jobs, learn new things, and work to change things about their lives.

Instead of rising to the most important thing to do, we naturally tend to fall to what’s most comfortable right now.

Getting used to a little discomfort is a skill that we can learn.  Contrary to the popular belief that if we’re always in the comfort zone we’ll be happy.

One of the key aspects to changing your life is about getting out of your area of comfort.  What do we mean by this? If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.  It’s only in your zone of comfort that all the things that you always do get done.

If you continually push the limit slightly, you’ll be able to move to higher heights and achieve more.  It’s like a car that has always been in first gear, when you get out of your comfort zone you make it to second gear and beyond.

Avoiding Uncomfortable Things

Comfort and pleasure go hand in hand, it’s a feeling, and so discomfort is a feeling too.  We know something is uncomfortable because something within us says something which we don’t like very much, it’s a kind of a disliking of something.  Even though it can sometimes be quite subtle.

All the industries and marketing for products and services are obsessed with the comfort, pleasure, and preservation of our physical body.  This gets reinforced and we feel that we need to have the item for our comfort and pleasure.

We often avoid the things we need to do most.  We procrastinate about all kinds of things in life for a variety of reasons.  But they all start from the uncomfortable feeling.

The Benefits of Exiting the Comfort Zone

Why do people prefer to eat sweets, high fatty food, and other unhealthy foods rather than fresh fruit and vegetables?  It’s not that hard to eat fruits and vegetables, but let’s face it we’re much more likely to have unhealthy stuff.

The difference between where we are and where we want to be is only a little discomfort. And it usually comes down to getting used to something.  Once we get used to it, we may still feel a little discomfort, but we’ll still make it in the end.

This might not apply to everyone, but for most people some discomfort is actually really good for you.  If we let our desire for comfort dominate our lives, we won’t get much done at all.  This is the danger of always looking for comfort.

Suggested Exercise: Transforming the Uncomfortable into Comfortable

The aim of becoming good at the uncomfortable is to bring it within the comfort zone, so you can then say it’s just another thing that you can now do.

Here is an exercise you can do to become better at overcoming the fear of the uncomfortable:

  1. The first step is to find something that you want to do.  Find something which isn’t too challenging for you.  For instance, it could be writing for 20 mins, meditation, eating healthier foods, taking cold showers, or going for a daily walk.
  1. Next is just to do it for a short period of time or a small action which you agree on.  For instance, you could say that you’ll eat 1 piece of fruit every day, or go for a walk for 10 minutes daily.
  1. Then try to push the boundary of your comfort zone a little.  So if you can easily walk for 10 mins, perhaps try 30 mins.
  1. Part of overcoming the discomfort is to enjoy the process.  Watch your inner critic complaining but try to relax into it and become at ease with it.

About Aneesh Alidina

Aneesh is a Coach, Explorer and Creator.
Aneesh creates content on various topics including Deep Coaching, Business, and True Productivity.