Whether you Believe it or not, Leaving your Comfort Zone is Key to Success
Many of us struggle to step out of our comfort zone. It’s a natural inclination that is wired deep within our brains. We long for familiarity, predictability and security. However, the most successful people in life share a common trait – they have stepped out of their comfort zone and taken risks to achieve their goals. In fact, it is those who intentionally leave their comfort zone and take risks that are set apart from the average crowd. The ability to leave your comfort zone is what sets the outstanding people apart from the rest.
The Comfort Zone
Imagine two circles that are not connected in any way. The first circle is small and represents comfort, familiarity and predictability. It is a life spent in the comfort zone. Living in this circle is like floating down the river; the scenery may be picturesque, but the river is taking you wherever it wants. You aren’t in control. The second circle, however, is much larger and represents the unknown territory that needs to be explored. This circle holds the key to discovering greatness in life. It is a circle full of dreams, rewards and personal growth. However, to reach this circle, we need to leave our comfort zone.
The Negative Thoughts
The fear of leaving the comfort zone is usually fuelled by negative thoughts. These thoughts discourage and convince us that we don’t need to leave the comfort zone.
One common negative thought is ‘I don’t really have to do this.’ When no one else is pushing you towards your goal, it is easy to feel unmotivated and convinced that you don’t have to put in the work. However, this is a dangerous thought that will leave you with nothing but regret.
Another often used negative thought is ‘I’ll start tomorrow.’ While it is okay to tell yourself that you’ll start your journey towards your goal tomorrow, the real problem is when tomorrow becomes an endless cycle that never materializes.
‘Right now is not the perfect moment,’ we tell ourselves. This type of negative thought makes us believe it’s not the right time to start. However, the truth is there will never be a ‘perfect moment’.
“I’ll begin once I have more _____.“ Whether it’s more time, money or resources, this mindset will keep stifling us. The fact is you already have everything you need to get started.
“If I only had ____ , I would surely succeed.” Another common negative thought is that we need something external to lead to success. However, it is the internal factors such as persistence and hard work that drive us towards success.
“I’m not good enough to even get started.” Many of us feel insecure and inadequate to start on our journey. However, this is just a thought created by our brains to keep us from leaving the comfort zone. Ignore it, because you are already good enough.
“This is the last time I procrastinate!” According to research, each time we make an exception, we make the next attempt more challenging. Over time, our mind reinforces the habit of procrastination.
“Today I’ll have fun, but tomorrow I’ll focus on my goals!” If you prioritize pleasure, you will find it hard to focus on your goals. However, if you reverse the order, working towards your goals first and then allowing for some pleasure, you will earn that time off and enjoy it even more.
Once you are able to push past these negative thoughts and intentionally leave your comfort zone, you will start seeing the rewards. Your willpower and discipline are tested on a daily basis. Each day becomes a new challenge but the prize for staying committed and brave is huge. You will start to see personal growth, and the sense of fulfillment that comes with pursuing and achieving your goals.
When it comes to achieving long-term goals, leaving your comfort zone to chase your dreams is critical. The fear of stepping out of our comfort zone is natural, but it’s something that needs to be overcome in order to achieve success.
Remember that the negative thoughts are just there to keep us from moving forward. Don’t let them control your life. Embrace the challenge of life outside your comfort zone and start living your best life today.