I know how it feels to live inside the comfort zone and to be stuck in a rut. I lived in an abusive marriage for three years and in an unhealthy relationship for over twenty years.
I remember the feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, skepticism, pessimism, and how it felt to live in despair with no hope for a better life.
I wasn’t afraid to push past the boundaries of the comfort zone and leave both of these relationships in search of a better life.
What is the Comfort Zone
The comfort zone is a mental state of mind in which a person operates to feel secure, comfortable and in control of their life.
People who live inside this comfort zone are not adventurous, big risk takers or life changers. Instead, they live inside the comfort zone where it’s safe and place mental limitations on themselves.
They lack the faith needed to move forward in life.
These limitations can produce feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, skepticism, pessimism, despair, mental depression and often times make you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.
Traits of Comfort Zone Dwellers
People who live in the comfort zone tend to perform daily routines, choose a living environment that doesn’t change, procrastinate, accept being average, form habits, live in a mediocrity mindset and are willing to settle for less in life.
These people never push past the boundaries, challenge themselves to do something different, learn new skills or set new goals in life.
Instead, they hold themselves back with mental limitations and never experience personal or spiritual growth.
#1 REASON PEOPLE LIVE IN THE COMFORT ZONE
The main reason people never adventure outside their comfort zone is FEAR. As humans, we fear change, failure, and judgment from others.
The mental limitations set within your mind can keep you operating in this state of fear.
These fears can plague your mind with negative thoughts (what if I can’t do it or what if I don’t make it). They can cause anxiety, and emotional distress and some people will give up trying before their adventure even begins.
This fear of the unknown takes control over their mind and the mental limitations can prevent them from moving outside this comfort zone. This can make them feel like their stuck in a rut.
The effects of being Stuck in a Rut
Being stuck in a rut can have negative effects on you and your life. If you’re stuck in this rut you might stay in unhealthy relationships, work at jobs you dislike, continue living in places where you’re unhappy, remain in abusive relationships and tolerate others treating you poorly.
Your self-esteem can take a bit hit and you might place a lower value on yourself, feel inadequate and inferior to others. Staying stuck in this rut can turn into sadness and depression over a period of time.
If you experience feelings of sadness or depression on a continuous basis, you could develop addictions to food, drugs, alcohol, smoking and other bad habits.
It can be difficult to pick yourself back up once you’re stuck in the rut. However, it is possible and requires a great deal of internal work on your part to accomplish.
Why you should leave the Comfort Zone Behind
So, why would you want to leave the comfort zone behind when it feels so comfortable?
Breaking out of your comfort zone is the pathway to a better life.
When you push past the comfort zone boundaries and learn to overcome FEAR you will experience personal growth and this will ultimately lead to a better life.
You will be more adventurous, learn to enjoy taking healthy risks and your life will change for the better.
The mental limitations will diminish, you will have more confidence in yourself, your life will be more fulfilling and you will ultimately be a happier person.
It’s really a win-win situation for you mentally and physically.
Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone
The idea of stepping outside the comfort zone can be downright fearful, uncomfortable and overwhelming to certain people.
If you’re a shy person or an introvert it can feel very, very scary, uncomfortable and overwhelming. It could even paralyze you with such fear that it enables you from taking action completely.
It’s extremely important that you work to overcome this fear and the feelings associated with being uncomfortable. The secret is to replace that fear with FAITH and to have confidence in yourself, and the Lord’s abilities to help you.
Then you will be able to do anything you set your mind to do.
If you don’t take action to move forward in life you will always be stuck in the rut, settle for less, feel inadequate and will never get to experience personal or spiritual growth.
The expression “No gain without pain” will defiantly apply as you continue to take steps outside the comfort zone.
Taking action is essential, let’s get stepping!
STEP #1 –TURN THOSE FEARFUL FEELINGS INTO FAITH
The first step is learning to turn those fearful feelings into faith. The definition of faith is a full assurance in the heart or complete confidence in a person or plan etc.
Having faith is not a mental state of mind, its full assurance in your heart without wavering in your mind.
If you believe in Jesus, faith is a full assurance in the heart that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
It’s a slow process and over time, you will start to see the results as you move more and more outside the comfort zone in faith.
You’ll be less fearful and your confidence levels will begin to build when you practice having faith in your heart.
STEP #2 – ACCEPT BEING UNCOMFORTABLE
The second step is learning to accept the fact that you’re going to feel uncomfortable.
It’s normal to feel awkward in certain situations and uncomfortable in strange places or around unfamiliar people.
When you live outside the comfort zone you don’t let uncomfortable feelings prevent you from moving forward in these situations. You learn to deal with and overcome the mental limitations associated with these feelings.
You use your faith and push past the boundaries of the comfort zone
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STEP #3 – DEALING WITH THE OVERWHELMING FEELINGS
The third step is learning to deal with all of the overwhelming feelings.
If you have turned the fearful feelings into faith and have accepted being uncomfortable you’re well on your way to living outside the comfort zone.
The next thing you need to do is to keep the overwhelming feelings at a minimum.
The secret to this step is taking things slowly and not moving too quickly since this can increase your anxiety levels. Increasing your anxiety levels can prevent you from moving forward in your efforts of getting out of the comfort zone.
It’s better to make one small bold move at a time and succeed. Than it is to make several large bold moves at once and fall flat.
These steps will help you deal with the discomfort you’ll be facing outside the comfort zone. If you know of any others, feel free to post them in the comments section below.
Growing Outside the Comfort Zone
The point in going outside your comfort zone is to experience personal growth, to rid yourself of those feelings of being stuck, unhappy and whatever else brings you down and to have a more fulfilling life.
In order to get out of the comfort zone, it’s essential to evaluate yourself and your life.
Is your life heading in the right direction for “you” or are there some changes you can make to your life that will make “you” happier and ultimately more fulfilled.
Take a good look at your life and answer the following questions.
- Are you happy?
- Are you living the life you want or are you living for others?
- What changes would you like to make in your life? Today!
- Is there anything new you would like to learn?
- Do you have an adventure or trip you would like to take?
- What are some personal goals you want to achieve in the near future?
Once you have the answers to these important questions, you can set some personal goals you want to achieve, learn new skills, read self-improvement and personal and spiritual growth information, and take an adventure or a trip somewhere special.
Post your answers or comments below.
Things I have done to Grow outside the Comfort Zone
I thrive outside the comfort zone and want the best life God has planned for me. I’m not afraid to take healthy risks and change life for the better.
In my early twenties, I moved to California with nothing more than some clothes and a few thousand dollars to our name. This was the best move of my life. I found the Lord in a small mission in California.
In my mid-forties, I moved on my own (5 years ago) with my youngest child. This was another great move. I’m happy and have experienced a great deal of personal and spiritual growth during this time.
New Skills learned in life
I learned how to care for others many years ago. I have spent twenty plus years caring for the elderly and developmentally disabled individuals.
I learned how to design websites using online information for free. This new skill has enabled me to create this blog and manage a website for a local, not for profit group. It has allowed me to share my testimony of God’s saving grace with others who are suffering. I pray this blog offers them hope for an abundant life.
The biggest accomplishment for me was learning how to write. You see, I dropped out of high school at the end of eleventh grade. Math and English were my worst subjects too. We really can do all things through Christ which strengthens us 🙂
Praise the Lord!
I would love for you to share what you have done to grow outside the Comfort Zone. Post your comments or feedback below. Thank you, Linda