One of my biggest fears is regret. I dread looking back at my life and thinking ‘I should have done this or that’. I’ve always thought that to live a fulfilling life, you need to challenge yourself and not get complacent or too comfortable.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a comfort zone is a situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested. This can result in a life that you feel you have control over, which has no surprises and ultimately no room for growth.
While we all want to live comfortable lives, able to pay the bills on time, have a stable job and a happy boss and a family that is well taken care of, it’s very easy to end up not pushing the boundaries. You then find yourself stuck in a rut unable to get any real happiness out of life.
Below are signs that you’re stuck in your comfort zone.
i. You don’t take any risks
ii. You avoid anything that takes away your peace
iii. You don’t utilise your talents
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Let’s look at them in more depth.
1. You don’t take any risks
I once read a quote that went something like if you don’t try anything new, how do you know you won’t succeed? When you’re stuck in your comfort zone, you’re averse to risk taking. You would rather stick to what you know will work rather than try anything new be it a new job or role that makes you apply yourself more, dating someone who isn’t your “type”, staying single for an extended period of time or you have a bucket list with nothing crossed out. You’re comfortable doing only what is expected of you be it at work or at home. In the office, you stick to only what you were taught to do when you joined the company. You don’t look for new ways to make work more efficient or further the company’s goals. And you do the same at home. You cook the same meals over and over again, fail to come up with new ideas on how to spend time as a family, etc.
When you get an idea and you can’t seem to shake off, that could be the universe trying to tell you that that is a good risk to take. You never know if it will take you closer to your goals in the long run.
2. You avoid anything that will take away your peace
When you’re addicted to your comfort zone, you avoid anything that will stress you all in the name of maintaining your peace. Any activity that aims at pushing boundaries will ultimately stress you. But this is healthy stress, according to Very Well Mind is the type of stress that comes about when you do activities that make you feel good, happy or excited.
While you shouldn’t actively look for things that stress you, the bad stress that is, stepping out of your comfort zone will have you eager to try new things and give you that good, healthy stress. It will also give you a sense of peace knowing that you have challenged yourself and are living a more fulfilled life.
3. You don’t utilise your talents
God has graciously granted each of us talents that are unique to us. You might be very good at baking while your sister is an awe-inspiring singer. The difference between people who step out of their comfort zone and those who are addicted to it is that the former utilise their talents. You might be lucky enough to have a job that allows you to use your talents. Kudos to you.
However, if your 9 to 5 doesn’t bring you joy, add colour to your life by tapping into your talents a little bit every day. This will push you out of your comfort zone and make you excited to wake up every day.