Why Your Comfort Zone is Hurting You (and What You Can Do About It)
You know what’s the worst?
When you suddenly realize that you have been neglecting something for awhile...maybe even a LONG while. Like that plant in the corner of your house that you only remember to water about once every couple weeks? Yep, I’m guilty of that one, too.
Realizing that you’ve been neglecting something important sucks, but the bigger issue came when I realized that I was neglecting one of my biggest life values: connection.
(Disclaimer: Connection can either be talked about in terms of connection to self or others, but I’m specifically talking about my connections with others here.)
What’s even worse is when I realized that what I’ve been spending my time on instead was basically the opposite of connection:
-Tons of alone activities
-Consistently hangin’ in my comfort zone
-Numbing activities (Netflix + the endless Insta scroll)
Please don’t get me wrong, these activities are absolutely okay sometimes, and I would even argue that they’re even occasionally necessary. But as we all know deep down, outside of our comfort zone is where the magic truly happens. And it had been far too long since I’d ventured outside.
The Danger of the Comfort Zone
If any of this is resonating with you…you might be wondering, okay cool…so how do I get out of my comfort zone?
And hey, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been spending some time in these places too. It’s totally okay and normal to retreat to your comfort zone sometimes, but when we’re hanging there too long, it can feel like we’ve overstayed our welcome at the comfort zone party and it’s time for something NEW.
Sometimes, I can trick myself into thinking that comfort zone activities are what’s best for me because they’re easy. And again, sometimes it IS what’s best for me that day. If my energy levels are low or I’m not feeling 100%, comfort zone activities are essential.
But what I’ve learned is that comfort zone activities rarely make the biggest impact on my life in the way that the magic outside my comfort zone does.
And you don’t even have to take my word for it. Think back on some of the biggest moments in your life thus far. Were those moments the result of hanging in your comfort zone? Or were they moments that maybe you were scared and being pushed outside of that sweet little safe haven you’ve created?
It’s a hard truth to swallow (at least it has been for me) that the things that are the best for you are rarely the easiest ones. I know it’s cheesy AF, but I quote that song lyric from The Fray ALL THE TIME. You know the one…”Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” My partner gets SUPER annoyed when I do it, but have you ever heard anything more true? Doubt it.
My Biggest Focus Now
Now, my focus is on connection. And it’s glorious. Because it’s what I’ve been needing and craving for a long time.
Connection is a HUGE value of mine - not just for my coaching business but also just as a human being. When I’m disconnected from the world around me, I find that I’m also disconnected from myself. That’s a state I try to avoid as much as possible.
Part of the issue of facing the facts and prioritizing connection has been some of the stories (yes...fictional stories) that I’ve told myself about why I’m safer hiding in my cave rather than venturing out into the bright light of the world.
My stories? One of the biggest is that I’ve told myself that I’m awkward when I talk to people. It’s an easy story to believe, and if I pick apart any social interaction I have, I can find evidence that it’s true. I can overanalyze until my brain feels like it’s going to explode and probably find a couple things I do that are awkward in conversations. But actually…
This isn’t true at all. This is one part anxiety and one part my inner critic (~hEy gUrL!~) blowing things out of proportion again. Humans are just kind of awkward in general, and I’m no more awkward than most of the general human population. This story is how I keep myself safe and small. Nestled in my suuuuper comfy comfort zone.
Now instead of believing the story and letting it dictate my life, I’ve decided to rewrite the story to the TRUTH. That truth is that I’m actually good at talking to people because I sincerely care about humans and love listening to people talk. And I love connection. Bam. I’m golden.
And let me tell you, the results of rewriting that story have been magical. Has it been easy? UM NAH. But has it been transformative and so so worth it? YES GIRL YES.
The Question You Need to Ask Yourself
Struggling with something similar? Here’s a question you can ask yourself to start exploring your stories and inner critic:
-What story are you telling yourself right now that’s holding you back from your fullest power and potential?
-How can you rewrite that story and start to break free from your comfort zone to get closer to that?