Step 61 – What Does It Really Mean To Leave Your Comfort Zone?
“Leaving the comfort zone” became a very common phrase these past few years. It is associated with the idea of breaking free from the life you’ve had so far – with starting new things and changing the old patterns.
Many people think that the most courageous “leaving the comfort zone” acts they can come up with are: (1) quitting their job (2) breaking up with their partners ,or (3) moving to another city or country. I used to believe the same. That was before I realized that you may actually do all these things and still stay in your comfort zone. It turned out that: (1) You may quit your job, but find another one that is equally boring or equally not up your alley as the one you just had; (2) You may leave your partner just to fall for a similar guy or his polar opposite (it doesn’t actually matter) right away; (3) You may leave your country just to end up with your compatriots who think and look the same as you do.
What’s wrong with these pictures…? The first example just shows that you really think that “this particular job” is a problem – not the profession or field you’ve chosen (ask yourself: do you even like it…?). Sometimes you end up in a prettier building, with a bigger paycheck, not noticing that you actually didn’t change that much. The second example shows that instead of giving yourself some time to process how your last relationship changed you and what are the lessons to be learned, you jump onto another guy right away (and the odds that you’ll make the same mistakes are pretty high). Do you even know who you want to be with and what are you able to give…? The third example shows that you don’t truly want to change the country because being surrounded by the same people doesn’t change anything. You’re not seeking a new experience, you are most likely seeking for more money.
My definition of leaving one’s comfort zone is a bit different. I leave the comfort zone to push myself, to see what I’m made of, what I’m capable of and how am I able to change. So if I leave a job, I make sure the job I find has a completely different boss (if it was the boss who was the problem), or a different set of co-workers, or that it just makes me feel good. I just have to see the change for the better. If my relationship ends, I make sure I spend the following months thinking what didn’t working and who is it that I want to be with. I make sure I set up my standards and will not agree on anything less than that. And if I’m leaving my country, I make sure it’s not just for money. I happen to have left my country looking for a different mindset. I just knew that there were bigger things out there, that there were different ideas, different relationships, religions, and ways of thinking. I made sure I met people who are not like me; people who would question my definitions of life and will help me to understand that life is something more that I was taught. I made sure I met people from different religions, skin colors and backgrounds. I made sure that before I make any assumptions, I would listen and open my mind. It took me a while, but now I see how I changed. I’m not the same person and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve changed so much.
What I’m trying to say is this: my definition of leaving the comfort zone is questioning the things you’ve known so far. My country thought me that there was only one way of living and I knew it was bullshit. The truth is that you can design your own life, exactly the way you want to. You just have to be truly open to new ideas. You have to break free and leave your comfort zone of thinking and realize that there is a different life out there. The only downside I see is that I wouldn’t be able to change if I lived in my country. I had to leave it in order to change. I won’t encourage you to leave your country – most of you don’t even want it – but I will strongly encourage you to start questioning things. Just double check for yourself if the things they’ve been telling you are really true. And if they’re not and you want to change something, find this courage to slowly leave the mindset that doesn’t serve you. Seek different answers. The more you open yourself, the more you know what’s right for you. And it might turn out that you want a completely different life for yourself.