It's Not About Your Comfort Zone
Something you hear all the time on your personal development journey is that you need to "step outside your comfort zone". The argument is that you can only grow when you’re experiencing new things, and intentionally putting yourself in environments that cause you to act andthink differently becomes a source for growth.
But this concept is missing something critical. There are many people who are stuck, stagnant, and complacent with a life that is uncomfortable. They’ve learned to tolerate the pains and frustrations and assume that’s just how things need to be. There’s no growth in that. But it’s appealing because it’s predictable, you know what you’re going to get and you can prepare yourself for the fears and pains you’ll experience because you’ve been experiencing them already. It's the difference between the devil you know and the devil you don't.
That’s why growth isn’t actually about leaving your comfort zone, it’s about doing things that are unfamiliar to you. It’s through doing what is new and uncertain that you grow to meet the demand. This is often uncomfortable for people to do because our brains prefer predictability and certainty. Evolutionarily anything new is considered a potential threat, so we’ve developed an avoidant relationship with things that are unfamiliar. But that’s exactly what creates the space for growth - To learn new things, try things differently, and challenge our beliefs and values.
This is what we’re really after when we’re talking about getting outside your comfort zone, and to really open your eyes to this concept I’m going to ask you to reflect on this question - Is there anything in your life that is familiar to you but it’s also a source of discomfort?
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