Comfort Zone or House Arrest?


Every one of us has our personal comfort zone. We all have behaviors, situations or things that we feel completely at ease with. It’s a bit like a house. In that “house” we have all of our favorite things, in our favorite colors. We have our favorite foods and our favorite people and situations that make us feel the safest. So there we sit, surrounded by all the things we feel totally okay with.

Now, some of those things in our comfort zone may not be positive. We all have the ability to get comfortable with negative experiences and things, as well. We convince ourselves that we can’t change the circumstance, or we don’t deserve nice things or that the people in our lives all have to stay there even if they aren’t supportive or, worse yet, abusive. We’ve all wondered how some people can stay in situations that we ourselves would be terribly uncomfortable with, such as bad jobs, horrible living situations, or abusive relationships.

It can be a “comfort zone” issue.

Once we have our Comfort Zone House, even if it’s bad, it’s pretty scary to leave it and jump into the great unknown. I mean, hey, there’s some good stuff in there too, right? All the things we use to cope with the bad stuff are in that house, too.

Sooner or later though, we might start to think we want something new. It could be as small as wanting to try a new kind of food or as big as wanting to find a different job or possibly pick up and move to a different state. However, to go get that different food, different job or completely different life, you’re going to have to step outside of that Comfort Zone House, because what you want isn’t in there or you would already have it. That’s when we find out just how agoraphobic we’ve become about stepping outside of our comfort zones.

Some people would rather stay only in the confines of their comfort zone than risk even the smallest change. Their fear of what might happen if they put a toe over that threshold keeps them prisoner, sometimes for their whole lives. There are millions of people who simply won’t try something new or a new way of being in their world even if it would get them something they really want.

For instance, a lot of people want to have a closer relationship with their significant others, their children or family members, but to do that they know they have to say they are sorry, admit they made a mistake or open up and be vulnerable in some way. They may even be completely aware of what it would take and they just can’t do it. They cannot bring themselves to change their behavior, because it’s too uncomfortable. To them it’s more appealing to live in the comfort zone of old ways of being than to risk that uncomfortable feeling of trying something new.

But guess what? All the things you feel are missing in your life, all the things you don’t feel you currently have and really want, are outside of that comfortable little house you’re hiding in.

Look around at your life. Take stock of what you have and what you still want to achieve, acquire or become. If you can get the things you want and stay in your comfort zone, great, do that. But if you don’t find them hiding in a closet somewhere, you’re going to have to open the door, step outside the comfort of your self-made house and go for a little walk. Baby steps are okay; you don’t have to go jogging around the block right away. Maybe just a trip around the yard or out to the mail box, you know, something small.

Make a call, open up a little more to someone you care about, try a new food, research how to make a big move to another city, whatever. Just do something small every day to get you to your goal. Step out of that house and maybe, someday, you will find that the little feeling of discomfort you get when trying new things can be included in your comfort zone. I know, weird, right?

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