HOW TO LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE (AND WHY YOU NEED TO DO THIS TODAY!)
By Mia Fox
Author, Money Mindset & Manifestation Coach
Oh yes. Your Comfort Zone. What a beautiful word. It sounds like relaxing in front of an open fire, on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Enjoying your beautiful, cozy home with your loved ones, wrapped in a warm blanket drinking a hot chocolate. Right?
Yes, a pretty little disguise for one of the worst, ugliest and most disgusting phenomena, our subconscious mind has on offer for us.
Then, in fact, the comfort zone is our worst enemy when it comes to fulfilling our dreams and becoming who we want to be.
It is not at all like sitting in front of an open fireplace, and far away from a nice cup of hot chocolate.
It is more like being sedated and barely realizing the world around you and sometimes it even feels like being in a cage, not able to breathe. At least that’s how I was for a very long time. Thanks to my comfort zone!
And finally, to step out of it was the best thing I could ever do. And I will show you exactly how you can do the same.
WHAT IS THE COMFORT ZONE
But let’s start with a bit of basic work first. What is the comfort zone and why do we often believe it’s the right place to be?
Your comfort zone is the definition of all aspects of your life which are familiar to you.
This is equally valid for your outside world like your job, your family, your hobbies, your habits, your friends and so on. As well as for your inside world, like your thoughts, your emotions, your goals, your dreams and so on.
It is basically everything you already know. It is called the comfort zone, but not because you feel comfortable in it, you don’t feel anything in it. It is not exciting; it is not fascinating, it is not thrilling.
It is actually pretty boring or at least well known.
Exactly like that old pair of sweatpants you wear on a lazy Sunday, the ones (hopefully) nobody ever going to see (except the pizza delivery boy).
They are worn out, they look terrible, and you know you would feel better in new ones. But actually, they do feel somehow comfy (or you just lazy to get new ones…)
But I guess you get the picture?
This is generated by your subconscious mind, and it is actually a very good thing. At least it was. (Once upon a time…)
Our subconscious mind is still programmed for the times when we have been living in caves and went hunting or got hunted.
It is a survival mechanism, implemented very profoundly in our instincts.
In the early days, we were not only hunting, but we were also hunted by hungry predators who were not picky regarding their protein sources.
That was life in complete stress. (No lazy Netflix and chill with your old sweatpants, girl!)
Living like this did require a lot of energy. It is similar, to trying to manage a full-time job, while taking care of your kids and losing your last five lbs., so that you look great at the Miller’s next garden party.
Living in constant stress is not fun. Not now, nor was it fun back in the days. There were certain places in our life where we could relax. Where we felt safe and where we would be able to recharge our batteries for the next day out there.
For example our cave. We felt safe there because it was carefully chosen to protect us from outside influence such as predators, but also from the weather, other tribes and similar things.
We felt safe there, could rest and prepare. It felt good and relaxing.
So we needed the comfort zone to feel safe and relaxed. It was our survival mechanism. We had to be very careful where we did sleep, drink or eat.
So, in this context, the comfort zone was a good thing.
But only in this context.
In our modern world, that mechanism is horrible, completely destructive and unnecessary.
Compared to back then, we are missing a crucial element, the driving factor from outside.
We don’t have to expose ourselves to a hostile environment which tries to kill us every second of our life. We don’t have to find water to survive or food. At least most of us, and that you are reading this blog, tells me, you are one one of them.
We can just drive to the grocery store and buy healthy nourishing food nothing to be afraid of there.
We could be enjoying our lives, appreciate every new facet without fear. We could explore our possibilities and abilities and live life to the fullest.
But we don’t, because of that damn comfort zone. (nasty B**ch)
We (mostly) prefer to live a boring life in which one day after the other are identical.
Year in and year out.
We get up in the morning, dress up, go to work, come back home, eat, put the kids to be, turn on the TV and shut our brains down.
We have a dull and monotonous routine only interrupted by a day or two in the week where we do a little sport or follow a hobby. (or visit the Miller’s?)
And also there we tend to stick to our habits.
Have an after work drink with the same people on the same day in the same pub as always. Go to the same place for our vacation, the same time of the year, in the same hotel, eat the same food, in the same restaurants. AS ALWAYS!
This way, our lives go by without excitement, without challenges, without a thrill. All very habitual.
And we end up very miserable. Well at least I did, how about you?
FEAR IS ONLY IN YOUR HEAD
Actually, the comfort zone is indeed a very misleading term. It only appears comfortable in there.
We are striving for development. We are made to improve ourselves, to explore the possibilities, life has ready for us.
We are never really satisfied with what we have. We want more.
- More money.
- More fun.
- More friends.
- More experiences.
- More shoes (well most of us do!)
This is a good thing. We are made like this. And this is generating a huge conflict.
While we are resting on our couch, letting the TV numb our minds, we know that we should be out there. We know that we are wasting our precious lives and we know that we are not making use of our infinite potential.
We know this on a very profound level, and we are still not following our inner urge.
Another, and probably the most important reason, why the comfort zone is actually uncomfortable is this: “It is full of fear!” And this is remarkable, and you MUST understand this: “Fear is only existent IN the comfort zone!”
You can feel fear only from inside your comfort zone. You are imagining how horrible and crazy and frightening it is out there.
Every little endeavor which involves unknown components is frightening.
A little frightening, like that dinner party at which you only know the host. Or hugely scary, like starting your own business because you don’t get along with your boss.
Fear is only in your head. Especially today. We do not have any real reason to be frightened.
The threads are only in our head and completely irrational. So, the comfort zone has no real benefit for you, but very big drawbacks.
So but why are you still staying within it?
WHAT IS AWAITING YOU OUT THERE
Why should you face your fear and get out there?
Compared to what's inside of it, being outside of the comfort zone has all the good in our world waiting for you to experience, leverage and explore.
First and foremost, you are changing your self-image. Taking action, changing your environment and gaining control over your life, is very uplifting. It makes you proud of yourself.
And you can be proud. Because you are doing something, only a few people are brave enough to do. Don't believe it? Then look around you.
How many people in your life would ditch a job that brings in money, just because they feel uninspired? How many people around you just sold everything to start living as a digital nomad, how many people around you left their partner, just because when they have to be honest to themselves they are not truly in love anymore.
Not many I guess? And you don't have to start with such extreme changes in your life. I will explain to you how you can start with small steps that can change your life.
Jerry Rice, one of the most successful American Football players in the NFL, said the following: “Today I do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”
Jerry Rice is widely considered the greatest wide receiver in NFL history, as well as the greatest NFL player of all time. With his attitude, he was able to win three Superbowls and was participating in thirteen Pro Bowls!
He did this despite his body height which is below average for NFL receivers. He had to compete with clearly taller opponents and still, at the end of the game, he was the big man!
I love this quote very much. It reminds me, that achieving everything you want to achieve, starts with a single step or a decision and it makes sense to take this first step or decision as early as possible.
You know, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best is today. So start now.
Every time you consciously decide to do something outside your comfort zone will make you stronger, will give you an uplift, will increase your mood and will result in new experiences.
These experiences will not always be great, or extraordinary. But they will, even if unpleasant, have an impact on your personal growth.
Every single one will bring you closer to being the person you want to be.
You are designed to grow. You are hardwired to strive for improvement.
HOW TO OVERCOME FEAR AND JUMP STRAIGHT INTO YOUR (NEW & AMAZING) LIFE
Why is it even called comfort zone? It should be called fear zone.
And actually, in most cases, it isn’t really comfortable at all. It wasn't for me!
I was living in a different country (in the place I always wanted to live), I had a lovely partner, a house on the beach, my own business, not many things I really had to worry about.
Ok, I have to admit it sounds pretty comfortable. And somehow it was, but only if I was ready to give up my hope and dreams.
But I was not ready to do so. And this made the whole situation feel like a (golden) birdcage, and all I wanted, was to escape from it.
I was so stuck, a victim of my own comfort zone, a victim of my fear zone!
I was so worried about what would happen if I give up the comfort of my safe (but boring) life.
But you know what did happen, once I decided to leave my comfort zone (and started living)?
Well, at least nothing really worth to worry about.
Was it easy? No, not really, it took a lot of motivation, support, and the right mindset. But looking back nothing of the fears I had, ever came true. And especially not my biggest concern, that one day I would look back and say to myself: "how could you ever give up this perfectly comfortable life of yours?"
In fact, it is more like one of these ghost houses at a fun fair. Like the ones, you can walk through or sit in a little car which is pulling you along. All dark so you can barely see and with eerie fog and sounds.
With every step, you expect to run into something gross. Or some ghost or serial killer to scare you with a chainsaw or a huge butcher knife.
This is exactly describing the comfort zone.
It tells you not to go around that corner because something terrible is (could be?) waiting behind it. Or never to open that door because you will die a horrible bloody death.
But will anything like this ever happen?
NO it won’t.
Have you seen a ghost house with lights on for maintaining or cleaning? It is ridiculously boring. It looks nothing scary at all. Just some wallboard, some trapdoors and some old fabric hanging from the ceiling.
Same with your fears and anxieties. Once you shed light on them, there is really nothing to be afraid of. You will see.
As soon as you make this first, crucial step, the one out of your comfort zone, it will feel great, and you will instinctively know, that this is the place to be.
Actually, you don’t even have to make the step yet. As soon as you commit yourself to get outside of your comfort zone, fear makes room for excitement, fun, and thrill.
Say Good Bye To Your Comfort Zone Today!
The longest travel starts with the first step.
Talking about travel, did you know that I struggled with fear of flying for many years and did not even board a plane for over a decade?
And that was another huge “fear zone” I left, and I’m so unbelievably grateful for this.
Traveling has become an essential part of my life and actually, I would never be able to experiences my dream wedding and honeymoon (Vegas & Maui) without boarding a plane. Think about what I would have missed out on?
But I did it, and since then I had twice my honeymoon on Maui (and visiting every year since), and I have seen all the beautiful places around the world, met amazing people and just live my dream.
Thanks to saying goodbye to my comfort zone. The comfort zone that made me travel 26 hours by bus, just to visit Poland and Russia. So much to live in "comfort."
So it’s time for you to do the same. Don’t worry, if I can do it everyone can! Honestly, I’m probably one of the most anxious people on this planet. Still...
Start small. Baby steps. I am not suggesting you should sing or dance in the street in your hometown.
At least not yet. I suggest starting slow.
You could, for example, start with choosing another store to do your grocery shopping. Or maybe go for lunch with other colleagues every day. Or try some new food, something you never had.
This maybe sounds silly, too easy? Well if you already eat our in a different restaurant with a different colleague every day, then perhaps start with something different; something that scares you a bit.
But this exercise is more about breaking the habit. Do something different than you would typically do. Before you start doing things that you are afraid of.
Or how about talking to a stranger.
Actually, when I still had the life coaching business with my husband Tom, we had this fantastic challenge that helped thousands of people to change their lives. And on one of the days, we did send people to the mall to talk to strangers.
This maybe sounds a bit silly in the beginning, but it is so powerful.
But some people have been timid. They had to start with just smiling at people, then when they became more comfortable with the situation, say hi, and in the end begin to talk to them.
Others are pretty open-minded but had a problem with the reaction of people. Actually, we got a lot of great feedback about this step of the challenge.
Sometimes when you are stuck in a situation, all it takes is to see some new opportunities. The possibilities to change, and thanks to that you get the right motivation to take a step further. A step out of your comfort zone.
You can totally do this, love! And in case you want some extra support, grab my manifesting book here, this will definitely transform your mindset around!
Author, Certified Transformational Trainer, NLP & Mindset Coach
Hey there! I am Mia Fox, author, money mindset coach, and the founder of the SelfMadeLadies online community, where I inspire women like YOU to turn their dreams into goals and crush them! My manifesting and money mindset books, blog, and online coaching programs will help you to create your own inner coach and transform your life, the way you always wanted it to be! And now it's your turn! Here is how I can help you » Shop My Books!
Follow SelfMadeLadies on Social Media: