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How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Enter Your Growth Zone

Is it a bad thing to have a comfort zone? When is it time to get out of your comfort zone?

What is a comfort zone, really

?

You’ll hear a lot of talk in coaching and counselling about challenging your 'comfort zone’. But what does it mean, really?

Here’s the surprise - it’s not always to do with actually being comfortable. In fact, some people’s comfort zone is decidedly uncomfortable!

Our comfort zone is the way of being that we are accustomed to, for better or worse. Unless we learn to challenge and change it, it’s generally created from the experiences we had as a child.

In this way, a comfort zone is a psychological state where we feel at ease, not necessarily as things are good. But because it is what we are used to and feel we can control.


What’s wrong with being in your comfort zone?

If you have a healthy comfort zone, full of good relationships and activities that are good for your self-esteem, then it’s fine to spend a lot of time in your comfort zone. We all need to recuperate and enjoy life sometimes.

Of course, it isn’t helpful to always be in our comfort zone. A comfort zone means we are not trying new things, not pushing ourselves, and also not learning or growing as a person.

When our comfort zone is a negative

And for many of us, we, even if we don’t realise it, have a negative comfort zone.

An example is if we grew up with parents who were always fighting and didn’t show us real affection. Without realising it we will gravitate towards partners who leave us feeling unloved, telling ourselves, ‘But they feel like home!’ We need to ask ourselves if this is a comfort zone we should be perpetuating, or need to question.

How to recognise your comfort zone

Recognising what your comfort zone is can require brutal honesty and some careful self-monitoring.

It can be helpful to spend a week writing down what you do with the hours of each day, including the choices you make and what each choice/activity makes you feel.


Therapy can be a good choice for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It helps you learn to change the very thinking that holds you back in life. And then uses your present-day challenges to help you make new, more positive actions that can move your forward.


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