Changes Aren’t Made in Our Comfort Zone

push-out-of-the-comfort-zoneAh, the comfort zone. It’s cozy, isn’t it? We know what to expect, when to expect it, and can enjoy the freedom of no surprises.

It’s the life created that feels like a soft fleece sheet we can snuggle up with at any time. Or a room with invisible bars that keeps us protected.

We feel secure and content in our world.

It can feel great …for a while, but then it can start to feel uncomfortable, claustrophobic, scratchy, and too small. When the “uncomfies” arrive, you’re realizing that it’s time to open the doors and seek out something new and different — it’s time to make a change.

Purposely moving forward with change can be (and usually is) scary because we’re moving into something unfamiliar. But without change, nothing will, um, change. How can you learn something new, build your business, or move toward your dream if you don’t step out of what you know to try something you don’t?

Think about the quote from Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.” We can’t expect great things if we’re in settled in with “okay” or “good enough.” We can’t expect to make money for our business if we aren’t doing any sales or marketing.

Moving out of the comfort zone doesn’t have to be a large step. It can be as easy as  deciding to move forward. Then you figure out the next step. Perhaps it’s sharing your goal with a friend (someone to inspire you and help you stay excited). A step could be writing the dream down, then figuring out all the things needed to achieve the dream.

Moving out of a comfort zone could be learning new features on a smartphone, learning a new piece of software, saying ‘hello’ to someone as you pass them on the sidewalk or in the store, signing up for a class, making a phone call, trying anything unfamiliar (food, music, commenting on social media, and so on).

If we stay in our comfort zone, we can miss out on business-building and social opportunities. We can become lethargic, bored, uninspired, and willing to settle. There is so much out there in the world to explore and see and experience – and we don’t need to try to grab it all, just (at least) try things that interest us.

Why not start today? Take a step out of what feels comfortable toward what you desire (and that currently feels uncomfortable).

Lisa_2015Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

15 thoughts on “Changes Aren’t Made in Our Comfort Zone

  1. I could be a poster child for your post Lisa. Without any general plan in mind, I have lived in 7 states and DC, pursued multiple careers: undergraduate and graduate degrees at three universities with part-time work along the way, a four year stint in the military took me to Asia and Europe, a short career in intelligence, speechwriter on Capitol Hill, senior editor for a national trade association, free lance writer, author and publisher for ten years or so, ending up in Silicon Valley as wealth manager for high-tech clients, retired and now writing fiction and traveling.

    At each stop along the way, I made new friends (some still friends decades later), had new experiences, lived in small towns, suburbs, and the nation’s capitol.

    Some transitions had temporary rough spots, but I forged ahead and eventually saw that the career move or relocation made sense from where I was along my life’s journey.

    As I’ll occasionally mention to friends, I’ve come to believe that ‘repotting yourself’ is a healthy and invigorating experience. Don’t expect a plant, flower, or tree to survive year after year unless you give it a new pot, soil, fertilizer, and tender care. We all need to ‘repot’ ourselves along the way.

  2. I’ve been writing for years, but never took a writing class. I think I was simply afraid of putting myself out there in that way; writing the blog on the computer, or sending out stories to magazines is at a remove and somehow safer. But I finally signed up for a writing class at my local library, and I’m both excited and nervous to start this week. I think this experience will help me grow as a writer.

      • It’s been a great experience! I still get jittery when it’s time for me to read, but it’s so worth it to finally just get my words out there. I wish I had done this sooner.

  3. Great post. Thank you. Be prepared to ‘change’ not for the sake of change but in order to grow. There’s a lot of stuff not beneficial to quality of life but also we can choose to change to use what may be useful. Writing …….find you voice. Do not change on what is your unique voice but be prepared to change how you go about letting your voice be heard. Cheers!

  4. So very true! As therapist, I’m constantly encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone – because that’s where the magic happens! As a writer, I’m really feeling the benefits of embracing imperfection and just writing, even if it’s hard. My comfort zone was very much mental and it took reorganizing my perspectives on the different aspects of my life to finally be able to be the writer I want to be. I am that writer! I know that I have so much growth ahead of me, but I finally feel I’m on the path 🙂

  5. So true. I’ve moved and travelled my whole life and it’s never been easy, but it’s kept boredom at bay! Now that I’m more focused on writing, I see that what inspires me most is what’s beyond my usual routines, what can thrill me as I discover things outside my comfort zone.

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