Time and again we have come across inspiring quotes, articles and messages on ‘the importance of getting out of our comfort zone’ which do charge us up and make us do some crazy things, which makes us feel more alive, something which one cannot find while living in monotony and certainty.
The logic behind getting out of the comfort zone is very clear, we get out of our protected cocoon of known situations, known places and known people, whom we like or have made peace with and the moment we get out from there, we are exposed to a bunch of whole new people, situations and places which question the way we have been living all this while and also question our beliefs which somewhere have made us who we are.
While I say all of this about getting out of your comfort zone I don’t mean to say that that all ‘discomfort’is good discomfort or all of such changes helps us grow and evolve, I am talking about a general scenario. What getting out of comfort zone guarantees is a new experience and that could be bad or good. People tend to learn from their ‘bad experiences’ which involves in growing up which is why getting out of comfort zone is so advocated by most successful people and some wannabe-successful.
What bothers me is that, if we go by the saying that getting out of comfort zone helps us grow and evolve, isn’t the other saying also correct where we have seen people being most ‘productive’ when they are in their comfortable environment and happy? But then again ‘happiness’ is a relative term, to some happiness comes in getting out of their comfort zone and to some happiness is the other way round, so it would be safe to say that this rule of getting out of comfort zone may not be applicable to everyone as each individual’s composition is different.
So what is it that nobody really told you about getting out of your comfort zone?
- It is pretty much like dating two diametrically opposite people back to back. A new space, new environment and everything that you hadn’t lived with in the past and guess what? You are supposed to love it, cause you decided to date it.
- You will try to go back to your comfort zone and look for doors that take you backwards, but in most cases you will just look back for relief/hope and not really walk back, cause you have decided to venture into this new space and your legs are already in this new ocean now, you might as well drown or learn to swim.
- You will question your decisions every 5 minutes, depending on the kind of person you are, people like me question every few seconds. You will convince yourself to believe what you did is right and a sudden wave of thoughts will just put water on the crisp determination you have tried to live on. And this is going to happen more often than you think.
- You will start questioning your identity and Osho/Zen like questions like “Who am I?” and “What do I really want?” and “Am I doing anything purposeful with my life?”and “Where is all of this taking me?” some will get clarity about themselves, the rest will just freak out big time because they may get no answers.
- We are humans and we tend to compare, so you are obviously going to compare yourself to the comfort zone you were living in, and more often than not you will be living in your past than your present and a little miserable.
- We are again humans (and the daredevil kinds, hell yeah!) and we tend to fear uncertainty, so once again instead of living in the present we will live in the future and keep worrying about things which are not even in our hands.
- Taking a leaf from points 5 and 6, what is going to happen is that we may not be able to live in the present properly, thus we may end up screwing up with the moments which the present brings us and we will get negative again if we can’t do justice to them. The smallest of wrong things that may happen today will be a big deal for you today, but only today.
- You will be like that tropical micro-organism thrown into ice cold water, you will shiver, flutter and try to keep your head-up the water, until you adapt and the temperatures start matching.
- You will think about days when the discomfort will end and things will be happy and stable again for you, but you will also fear the fact that what if you don’t ever regain that kind of ‘happy mind-space’ back ever again.
- You will basically behave like a pendulum and be all over the place. You may go and talk to the wrong people or may change your actual self to fit in, in this new zone so that you get comfortable faster.
But hey hey, before anything else for the ones who have lasted this post until now, I want to say congratulations because you decided to do something which got you out of your comfort zone and guess what? wherever you may land up, remember one thing you have ‘lived’so much by just coming out of your cocoon and gathered something so underrated called ‘experience’ which no classroom or any amount of money can get.
Being in a comfortable place after you know you are done there is like, sucking up with your straw on the ice-water that remains after finishing your thumps-up from that glass. You are just getting the flavour of your drink, the fizz is gone, your drink is over. Get yourself a new glass of drink, maybe the same or maybe a different one.
Once again I am not debating over where can you progress better in your comfort-zone or out of it, the whole idea of this was that you may face a lot of things before you make your big jump, try and be prepared so you are not too overwhelmed when that happens.
There are ways to deal with yourself during such times, each one works differently so to each one ways of dealing differ, but what’s universal is to BE AT IT. Be there as long as you can, keep your head up above the water and once you learn to survive, maybe just enjoy the flow for long or get out once again to test new waters. Before you know it, you will be way more evolved, enriched and mentally stronger and most importantly you will be a little closer to yourself. You will get to know the most wonderful person you will ever know a little more better, and that is yourself. It’s worth it.