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Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of an iT company. still running marathons though.

The Thing With Leaving Your Comfort Zone

comfort zone

I couldn’t be happier with the fact that we definitely live in the self-development era: Wherever you look, you’d perhaps be surrounded by content focusing on just that. We constantly read about self-growth, implementing belief in ourselves and nurturing our strengths accompanied by useful guidelines, manifestations and attention to self-care. Somewhere along the way we certainly come across the topic of the comfort zone – should we leave it, show we stay and what does it tell us about ourselves?

For a long I was an absolute fan of the leaving-the-comfort-zone way of thinking – I consumed content revolving around this idea, finding myself more and more motivated to try out new things that I would normally pass on. I figured it’s the ultimate path toward not only my personal growth but toward my professional one as well – being a CEO oftentimes requires you to take a step forward and submerge yourself in stranger waters, desperately tiptoeing on the bottom in an attempt to seek stability and what’s well-known.

For what’s worth, leaving my comfort zone has certainly paid off – I reached out and discovered talents, strengths and abilities to overcome obstacles I didn’t even know were within me. But then again, I also witnessed something else – sometimes, just sometimes your comfort zone is here to stay in order to teach you a thing or two about yourself and leaving it isn’t always the best way to go. Oftentimes – yes, but certainly not always.

So today’s article is merely my 5 cents on the matter – I want to share with you what good I saw in leaving my comfort zone, as well as when I believe it serves as this nurturing space you should happily choose to stay in. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised that the key here is balance, just like with the majority of life situations.

Uncertainty, Fear and Self-Doubt Could Indeed Be Our Worst Enemies

Ask any successful person and they would tell you that the projections you make in your mind were much worse than reality and that uncertainty, fear and self-doubt could easily be named people’s worst enemies when it comes to thriving and keeping ourselves moving forward.

Ask any frightened person and they would tell you that success comes from luck and simply knowing the right people while being in the right place.

See, fear and self-doubt do this to the mind – they are so crippling that the one who suffers prefers to never even try out new things and explore the world rather than expose themselves to what’s unfamiliar and potentially nerve-racking. So people choose to remain in their comfort zone – it’s this mind-driven place of familiarities when we sit surrounded by the huge walls we’ve built to preserve us from the outer world and its risks, challenges and opportunities. And while it certainly makes us feel calm, protected and unbothered, it also does another thing – staying inevitably in our comfort zone rips us off from exploring chances, learning new skills, adapting to change, pursuing goals and showing up daily to claim what we’re truly desiring.

So once we realize the fears in our mind are a thousand times bigger than what we’re about to witness in reality, it’s then we might try leaving our comfort zone and see what life has to offer to our table. During this journey, we are likely to witness some of the following:

  • Leaving your comfort zone will help you better access your fears and anxiety and work around useful ways to overcome them;
  • It’s likely for you to explore new directions in terms of your personal and professional growth – once you step into the world of possibilities, there’s a high chance you’d stumble upon your next big passion or a plethora of new skills;
  • You’d begin witnessing failure as just a good opportunity to learn from experience and do better next time;
  • Leaving your comfort zone will make you try out things you’ve never done before thus leading to better getting to know yourself and what makes you click;
  • It even promotes self-love and self-care since facing hardships and unfamiliar situations is a great opportunity for you to show up for yourself and be kind, gentle, understanding and supportive of your inner struggles;

As we can see, oftentimes the comfort zone is setting us back when it comes to our life journey in terms of self-growth and personal development. Overcoming what’s been setting us back all along is a huge leap toward turning into the person we’ve always dreamt of becoming. And while it requires plenty of stamina and courage, putting yourself out there is bringing you nothing but endurance, success and a better understanding of who you are as an individual.

A Quick Disclaimer Though – Sometimes Your Comfort Zone Is Actually Your Friend

Even though leaving our comfort zone is a great way for people to grow and develop a multitude of new skills, I’d like to finish this article with a small disclaimer – sometimes our comfort zone is in fact saving us from disappointment or going toward directions that are not truly our most desired ones. For example, nowadays many people may fall victim to the idea of pursuing a specific career path simply because the majority of the people surrounding them are doing it. And while this could be potentially a chance for further exploration, it could sometimes lead to people abandoning their sincere desires and goals altogether simply to fit in.

That said, I believe first carefully exploring what your comfort zone actually is (without frantically wanting to escape it) is the best way to go – this way you can be fully aware of the things you truly want to accomplish and then stop acting out of fear and really pursue them (which comes with stepping your foot out of your comfort zone).

I hope this text has managed to give you a great perspective on the essence of the comfort zone and what could benefit both from leaving it or choosing to stay. Go ahead and share what you think in the comments!


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