Change isn’t a bad thing. Change is uncomfortable. Most of the time we only accept change when it’s the LEAST comfortable option.
Your desire to always be comfortable is limiting your potential. It’s holding you back. It’s preventing you from living the life you want. And by want, I don’t mean the dreams you’ve settled for because they’re comfortable. Rather, I’m referring to the dreams you gave up on because they made you UNcomfortable.
Yesterday, I published a post on goal setting and growth. In it, I brought up the idea that comfort zones are self-made prisons. It is a comfortable prison, of course, but still a prison.
A prison, by its very nature, is designed to keep people in the same place. It limits your freedom behind walls, fences, and guards with guns. Comfort zones act very much the same way. They draw us in with comfort. They sing to us and make us feel safe. They lock us behind bars built of sameness.
Those bars are ephemeral. They aren’t even real. They are a construct built on the belief that where you are is safer than where you could be. Why? Because where you’re currently is known, where you could be is not.
It’s a fairly simple premise. It’s hard to give up the known, even if it’s bad for you, because it’s what you know. That’s the allure of the comfort zone. It promises that nothing will change. It may not be the best thing you could imagine, but at least you know it.
This is why it’s important to see your self constructed comfort prison for what it is. It’s padded walls and lush pillows aren’t even real. They are a trick of the mind meant to convince you that where you are is good enough. It robs you of your dreams and your ambition. It leaves you a husk of your true potential.
So, how do you escape this prison? Here are a few ideas:
- Start: That’s it. Start. Do something. No matter how small a step it may be, take it.
- Embrace Failure as Learning: The opposite of comfort is failing. Or at least that’s how our minds perceive it. If you ever want to escape your prison, then you have to change your perception of what failure is. It’s not a hard stop. It’s an invaluable life lesson.
- Set & Pursue Goals: I wrote a lengthy post on this yesterday (over 4k words) so I won’t go into great detail here, but understand that the best way to escape the comfort zone is to set a goal and then pursue it.
- Seek New Experiences: Actively seek out new experiences that MAKE you feel uncomfortable or introduce you to new territory.
- Take Calculated Risks: Not being willing to take risks, no matter how small, is the warden of the comfort prison. Start off by identifying areas of your life where you feel stuck or stagnated and then take calculated risks to break through the status quo.
- Practice Self Reflection: This is how you STAY out of prison. It’s easy to slip back into your old ways. The ways that landed you in prison to begin with. Pay attention and reflect on the areas of your life that need special attention. Don’t let yourself lapse! Remember, your on probation and it doesn’t to much to send you back.
When are you planning your escape?