“If you wanna live life on your own terms. You gotta be willing to crash and burn” –Mötley Crüe
Comfort-zone is becoming the 21st century syndrome.
Getting out of your comfort-zone is essential to starting any new experience. But isn’t the real issue getting out of your comfort-zone? Or are unfamiliar experiences the issue in general?
So why do we have so much fear of learning from new experiences, of having new experiences, of undertaking new experiences? The less familiar an experience is the more it scares us, and the more we try to avoid it like Covid-19!
We try to do whatever it takes in order to not leave our comfort zone. We even blame whoever tries to encourages us to do so.
For us, experiences need to be reoccurring. A bunch of routines. Everything needs to be calculated in advanced and even predictable. The irony of life is that we still end up in situations that we will not have not predicted!
When we go out, we need to have dinner at the same restaurant we have been going to for 10 years because we trust the chef that works there. We don’t trust any other chef. And we know the menu by heart. We don’t want any surprises tonight!
We don’t want to meet new friends. A new friend may disappoint us, and we don’t want to take the risk. You never know…
We live in a marriage where anything that is so-called: love, respect, connection vanished a long time ago. But the idea of starting all over again is terrifying: what if there’s no better option for me? What if this’s the last women/man on earth that would love me? A bad marriage is better than ending up lonely and sad.
For us, comfort zone means security, happiness and success.
If that’s indeed the case, then why is it not preventing us from feeling occasionally sad and even angry for no apparent reason? Usually, we project this anger on someone else. Why all of this insomnia? Why do we take antidepressant pills that only make things worse in the long run? Why do we feel like something is not right?
Want to know what’s even worse? Comfort-zone prevents us from learning. It’s science! According to a study by Yale University, the comfort-zone prevents the learning zone in the brain from functioning efficiency.
Now, do you hate getting out of your comfort zone because you have a fear of emotions? A good friend who was also a companion on the path of change once wondered, “Doesn’t feeling mean being alive?” Aren’t those emotions signs from God that had helped our ancestors survive in such difficult conditions? Isn’t it thanks to the strong emotions they felt that we exist today?
If it is really true that emotions, and specifically « negative » ones, are bad, then why are we “hungry” emotionally even when we have the slightest chance to feel something? why do we feel so proud when someone pushes us to overcome our f***** fears? Why do we feel so bored in a job that we hate even if the salary is satisfying? Why do we gain more confidence after each new experience?
However, when leaders had exceeded their limit zone they had had fewer excuses than us. They have this charisma that attracts others instantly. They’ve had more success than us on every level. We admire them. We are even secretly jealous of them.
Fear of failure and comfort-zone:
There are hundreds of people like this who surround us. Normal people like you and me who try to get out of their comfort zone every day, and who endeavor to go through all the experiences in life even the ones you may consider “negative”.
But wait a minute; didn’t they have fear of failure?
Fear of failure; Oh my goodness! Now this one in particular, is the worst of them all; If everyone can witness my failure, then it’s even 10 times worse. I mean yes, I do hate my job, and my boss is a d***. But how do I know that I will find another one if I leave this job? The job market isn’t at its peak during the pandemic.
If we only we knew how many opportunities we miss in life because of the fear of failure…
Those ideas never stop. They torture us. They harass us. They limit us, but deep down, in this deep place of truth and serenity, we know we are great. We know we can do better, and more importantly, we know we deserve better.
But we have so much fear of change. We don’t know how to change. We don’t even want to know, or maybe we believe change is not for us. As if we simply have a “non-changing” gene!
Sometimes, our ego refuses to accept the idea, and this is why: changing or improving ourselves may mean we have to accept the idea that we are not “good” enough, or rather we aren’t as “good” as we thought we were. It’s the ego’s delusion.
Yes, all those ideas, beliefs, perceptions, and questions. I know them very well, because I myself was victim of this for a long time. I used to act upon those screwed-up “principles” every day. I used to make my life decisions based on them. It had been a long time before I knew the secret behind them. It’s not that simple, it’s so deep, so heart-felt in us, so unconscious that we even had forgotten where they came from.
If we don’t do anything about those “principles”, then they may lead us to “Niagara Falls-syndrome” :
Many of us are living with what Tony Robins calls, “Niagara-Falls-syndrome”, where we follow a stream of life without knowing which way it will take us until we suddenly find ourselves between a couples of trajectories. So, we follow one of them without thinking.
We don’t feel we are in control, but we continue anyway. On day, the noise of the water wakes us up, but it’s already too late. We are already 5 meters away from an inevitable fall. This fall could be financial, emotional, psychological or physical. However, this fall could’ve been avoided if we had made better decisions earlier…
At the end of the day, experience is nothing but a reference to all the decisions we have made in our lives; feed-back. In fact, life itself is full of feed-back. The errors we make are nothing but lessons, and those lesson are so precious that everything we have learned so far, is thanks to those errors.
“One never steps in the same river twice” – Heraclitus
Unfortunately, since childhood, our parents have tried to make us understand (and even believe) that errors are something bad; something to be avoided. But who can claim that he/she would have understood or learned anything without those errors?
Get out of your comfort-zone, for god sake!
It’s only when you exceed this «limit-zone» that you feel real, you reinvent yourself, you control more of your life, and you live in the present moment. Even if you’re afraid; even if it does not really work out as you have wished; even if you feel vulnerable.
We then feel happy; we sleep like babies at night! Since we have expanded our personal boundaries, and we know, next time we will have NO FEAR!
Just think about it for a second, hadn’t it been thanks to those new experiences that you grew up? The first day that you had walked on your feet; the first day you had gone to school; the first time you had jumped in the water; hadn’t you been terrified? Yet, you did it anyway! Those had been a few of your first successes in life. Honestly, how do you imagine your life had it not been for those first experiences?
Here’s what you’re gonna do: You’re gonna make a list of all the experiences that you are avoiding. Commit to trying at least one of them each day. Believe me, it will have an incredible effect on your life.
Whether you want to learn a new language but you hesitate. You hate your job but you procrastinate when it comes to starting your own business. You decide to lose weight, and every day you tell yourself that you are going to join a gym. But each time you come-up with some bullshit excuse for why you can’t do it, or you want to get in touch with a therapist/life-coach but you don’t know why you still haven’t acted yet.
NOW IS THE TIME!
So what are you waiting for my friend? Hurry-up and get out of your comfort-zone.
YASSINE BARNAOUI is a freelancer, Blogger and certified life coach specializing in self-help (self-improvement) and a health coach in Nutrition. Originally a biologist with a Master’s degree in health and nutrition from the science faculty in Tetuan Morocco, he’s a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner and he holds a technical certificate in Computer Management. He was able to successfully coach dozens of people. Read More…