You should get out of your comfort zone right now because if you stay in this zone, the future is not so bright for you. (Comfort Zone)
Never stay in your comfort zone, go out, aim for new things, always be on your toes. There really is a lot of misinformation floating around on the internet about this term “comfort zone”.
Let’s talk about this a little bit with you…
Personal development, spiritual growth and life lessons are often found outside of your comfort zone, which we call the safe zone.
You struggle with the challenges of the outside world and dare to make mistakes. Even if your mind is trying to keep you in your safe space to protect you, it’s still up to you to get out. But How?
Safety, Familiarity, Convenience.
These are just a few terms that describe how you can feel when you’re within the confines of your safe space.
As long as you avoid uncertainty and fixate on habits you already know, you won’t have to be judged, you won’t have to worry about the new, will you?
This is understandable as people tend to live by their routines. Understandably, deep down you know that personality development, spiritual growth, and life lessons are often found outside of your safe zone.
Outside of this area, you take the risk of struggling and failing. You are a little hesitant and timid, but you take your chances. Because beauty or life’s gifts often come in the most uncomfortable situations.
The Dangers of Avoiding
One of the reasons for wanting to withdraw into one’s own shell rather than enter unknown territory is the fear of the unknown.
Avoiding situations in which you are unsure can relieve your stress or anxiety in the short term.
But research from 2011 published in the Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology shows that prolonged avoidance behaviour can actually trigger much higher levels of stress.
The researchers tested 1211 participants in their late middle age 3 times over 10 years; investigated the relationship between stressful avoidance, acute and chronic stress triggers, and depression symptoms.
After four years, they found a significant relationship between avoidance behaviour and stress triggers. Moreover, after 10 years, they were discovered to be associated with symptoms of depression.
Perception or Reality
According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of London Academy in 2016, you may find situations where you don’t know the outcome to be more stressful than situations that will have a bad outcome.
In the study, it was stated that a group of participants would be given an electric shock with a 50% probability, a group would definitely be exposed to electricity, and a group would definitely not be exposed to it.
Participants with a 50% probability were exposed to higher stress than those who would definitely receive a shock (not surprisingly, those who would not receive a shock were also less stressed).
On the bright side, those with the highest stress response to the unknown were the best predictors of whether they would be shocked. This showed that stress can increase risk assessment ability.
Researchers have provided numerous real-life examples to which these findings can be applied.
For example, in a job interview you will be most comfortable if you are sure that you will or will not be hired, while you will be more anxious if you are in doubt.
The concern here lies in the uncertainty itself. In other words, in the fear of the unknown.
An article published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders in 2016 examined the criteria that trigger our most basic fears.
Researchers have suggested that the fear of the unknown may be the most fundamental fear behind all other fears.
This uncertainty not only creates anxiety and affects psychological disorders, but is also effective in our daily emotions and decision mechanisms.
After reading the above research, you may wish to dampen this fear completely. “I will step into real life and stop feeling this fear.” you might think. This idea will fail for two reasons:
1) You cannot get rid of fear through thinking. You may think you are brave with all your might, but the only real way to be free from fears is to be exposed to them.
In other words, the way to deal with them is to experience them.
2) You need fear to survive. Although you often feel that it is working against you, it is actually on your side and constantly works to protect you.
Without fear, you may find yourself in the midst of situations that endanger your health and safety. Your stress response serves to protect you.
You may think that the obstacle to facing real life is your stress response.
According to a 2016 study that looked at people’s basic responses to uncertainty, the real hurdle is how you perceive that stress.