Are Your Comfort Zones Good for You?

in Personal Growth   |   posted by Pat

Like me, you probably like your comfort zones, and they can be useful to include in our lives.   What do I mean by comfort zone habit?  It’s a habit we gravitate towards without thinking, routines that minimize stress and provides us with a level of security.   We feel at ease and in control with the familiarity of our behaviors, and they serve a need for us.

Benefits of Comfort Zone

There are benefits to having comfort zones.

  • We acknowledge and appreciate who we are and stop trying to be something different.
  • It reduces stress in our lives, and we all know there is too much stress floating around each of us.
  • We learn what is best for us and how to build a life that provides us with what we need.
  • It’s a place where we feel safe, and this is important in our lives.   We can have adventures, though we still need to come back and relax in our homes.

It is okay to have comfort zones in our lives, as it offers happiness and structure which helps us be more efficient. Our brains don’t have to work too hard.   The question to ask yourself “Is your comfort zone adding joy and value in your life or are you hanging out in your comfort zone because of fear?”

Are You Feeling Stagnant?

When we listen to ourselves, we know when we are in a comfort zone that works for us and provides us with a richness in life, and when we are using our comfort zones to hide, to protect ourselves from new experiences or new people.

Comfort zones have been an essential part of my life.   I stack lots of good habits together to be more efficient and feel good about my life.   YET, I’ve also had habits that block my ability to live a more fulfilling life – too much TV does this.    I’m working on reducing and sometimes eliminating TV as it stops me from learning or spending time with people I love or meeting new people.  It’s a work in progress, and so far I have a 50% – 70% success rate in changing this habit.   Whatever success I gain from this change provides me with a feeling of accomplishment and exploring more possibilities in my life.

Issues Around Comfort Zones

Hanging out in our comfort zones most of the time doesn’t offer the growth we need to move forward and learn new things.  It’s vital for our growth and well-being to try something different.   Yes, we get anxious when we try something new, but don’t you feel great about yourself when you step out and take a risk and do something different.   If it’s a new route to work, you become more aware of your surroundings and see things you didn’t notice in your previous repetitive travel to work.    Stepping out your comfort zone is about – becoming aware of your life.

Comfort zones reduce our best performance because we do the minimum to meet requirements as we are not stretching ourselves.   We are not motivated to do more or better because what we do regularly is what we do.  They say “how you do one thing is how you handle most things in your life.”   If comfort zone mentality is how you want to live, then you will live a limited life and reduce the richness that is available if you are willing to stretch yourself a little.

When you don’t take risks, your level of anxiety is even higher because you haven’t given yourself a chance to succeed in the change.   By choosing to live outside your comfort zone, you build those muscles and find it more comfortable.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Look at your life.  Do the same things over and over again create a boring life?   Do you have a nagging feeling that you are bored or have a great need to do something different, but not sure what?   I remember dating this nice and loving man, and there were times I will do something small to change up our time together because we did the same thing many times.   In some ways, it was efficient as we didn’t have to think of what to do, yet I needed to do something different.

Listen to yourself and start with small changes.   Small changes can make us uncomfortable, but if we want to live a fuller life, we have to decide to be a little uncomfortable.  It’s never too late to make changes so no matter what your age, choose to do something different.  Maybe listen to a different news station, take a different road to work and spend time listening to a dear friend.    If you take the risk to get out of your comfort zone, you will find yourself relaxing more and erasing the boredom or lack of change in your life.

I have a friend whose mother went sky diving at 94 for the first time.   Now we don’t have to venture out like that, but it does indicate that we can try new things, no matter how small the action or our age.

Final Thoughts

Becoming aware of others, yourself, and your surroundings add more richness to your life.  Provides you with the opportunity to see things differently, try something new or bring new people into your life.

When you decide to step out of your comfort zone, you will find it easier to deal with the anxiety and fear each time you do it.

What are your comfort zones?    What same things do you do automatically?   Do you go to the same restaurant, drive the same way to work, do you spend your time with the same people?    When we are in our contort zones, we become anesthetized and don’t see the environment or the people with fresh eyes.

I became aware of this when I moved and had to meet new people; I was more aware of them, then I was of my wonderful old friends.   I was more curious about them and asked them more questions to get to know them.  I listened more to them than the friends I had a long history within my life.

Your Thoughts

Become aware of what you regularly do and ask yourself:

  • Is this habit working for me or am I using it to block out a change in my life?
  • Does the thought of changing a habit cause great anxiety?
  • Think about why you need this habit and what purpose does it serve you.

Women’s Group Topics

A compelling topic to help each other add more fulfillment and joy in your lives.    First, start with acknowledging comfort zone habits and then look at each of them and decide which one would you like to change.   Create a list of small action steps to change the pattern.   Create accountability for each other, check in to see how each of you is doing and brainstorm ways to move forward in the change.

Why not start a CHANGE HABIT Women’s Group.  This group will support each of you towards a life that provides more joy and fulfillment.    It’s an individual journey and so powerful when we get a chance to share it will others.

Be well,

Pat

“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(Pat Brill)

 

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