Why is it called the comfort zone? Because its safe and comfortable! Quite self-explanatory. It is like a boat that sits in the harbor, never to go out into the open ocean where it can be toppled over or ravaged by waves and storms. It just sits in the harbor where it is safe and comfortable...
But that's not what boats were built for!...
Its easy to tell a story and then expect the person to go out and kick the worlds butt. You might be thinking : "Yes, but the boat doesn't have feelings, emotions, anxieties, fears and people criticizing them!"
No, it may not have such qualities, but what you may fail to understand is that if you allow your thoughts about what could happen to stand in your way of doing something, then those imaginary (please note the emphasis on the word imaginary) thoughts will have so much power over you that they will dictate how your reality plays out. You are taking some thing, some fear that is not only not real, but is just a figment of your imagination and letting it hold you captive in an imaginary prison.
I must say that I completely understand how powerful the thoughts in your head can be. I, like most people are often crippled by negative thoughts. I tend to have very negative thoughts and I must often snap myself out of it and say : "Hey, that is not real. This moment right in front of me is real."
So back to staying in your comfort zone. Your thoughts will tell you to rather not sign up for the soccer team because you will suck or rather not say that speech in front of the school because you will humiliate yourself. So you listen to your thoughts and because you didn't try you will never have to experience sucking at something or being humiliated. It actually sounds like a damn good plan! That boat in the harbor may have been on to something.
But Wait, There's More!
Whether you do something or not do something, you are making a decision to act. Now if you choose not to do something because your fears tell you not to, then you will act out the plans you are choosing to do instead. Lets use an example. You have signed up for rugby try-outs on Thursday. You are excited and keen. Thursday comes and you back out and choose to go home instead and play your playstation. This fork in the road will now dictate what you will do when you get home, what sandwich you will make and what game you will play. If you decided to go to the rugby try-out, you will be faced with how to catch a ball, how to interact in a team environment, how it feels to push your body. The only difference between the 2 decisions is how reality will be played. You may find that you are quite good at rugby and you make a new friend which brings in more experiences for you like playing in rugby games & hanging out with your new friend. Choose the alternative route of going home and you will get what you generally expect. However, the rugby try-outs will still go ahead as planned. The other kids will create new experiences for themselves. They interact with life and they will learn more about themselves. Maybe one of those kids will go onto to play international rugby, while you keep playing your playstation.
Stepping out of your comfort zone essentially allows you to experience more of life. I was one of those kids who backed out of everything. I even avoided being in photos for the school magazine, so if you look in all my old school magazines, you will never find me. I was like a ghost. Never attained much and quickly forgotten. What if I had tried more, done more, been more. How different would my life now be? I can only hope that you embrace your teenage life more than I did, because mine ain' t never coming back!
There is one great thing I have learn 't along the way and that is : That Success Is Made Up Of Many Failures! People are so scared to try anything incase they fail. Successful people know that when they try and then fail, that they will be better prepared for the next time. So much can be learn 't upon failure. When you can embrace the lessons learn 't from failing, then you will fear nothing!
However!!!... Don't go failing your exams because some dude on a website said you must fail. I am talking specifically about times when you need to be brave and step out of your comfort zone.
Sometimes you will find that the fear that was holding you back, never even came into reality once you stepped out of your comfort zone.
Thanks for reading,