How Your Comfort Zone Can Prevent You From Finding True and Lasting Happiness
Although the words "comfort zone" sound as though it is a good place to be, the reality is that, by remaining there you keep yourself from growing and discovering those things that bring you deep and lasting happiness. Those who are willing to push their boundaries are able to create a meaningful and satisfying life, and you can too.
Do you regularly engage in habits you know to be unhealthy such as overeating or playing games on your smartphone rather than working out? Do you still smoke cigarettes even though there is overwhelming evidence of the harm, and societal acceptance is on the decline? Do you remain in an unsatisfactory job year after year because it "pays the bills"?
These are all examples of how people are hurt daily by remaining in their comfort zones. The list goes on and on, and you are likely to find multiple examples in your own life. The comfort zone encompasses every aspect of your being, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
In and of itself, the comfort zone is neither good nor bad. It is one of three zones, the other two being just outside, where you experience an optimal level of anxiety as you push yourself to try new things and the third a complex area of discomfort. Examining the actions within your comfort zone will likely reveal a combination of healthy, neutral and harmful behaviors.
All of the harmful and many of the neutral behaviors are the areas of your comfort zone that prevent you from attaining true happiness. Examination reveals that these familiar actions provide immediate pleasure in most cases though the long-term result is detrimental to the person and potentially others. Healthy behaviors may have short-term discomfort, such as running on the treadmill when you would rather lounge on the couch, and long-term positive results.
Lurking behind all of these poor choices is fear, quite often fear of the unknown. You know the results of behaviors within your comfort zone. The cheeseburger will taste good, or the couch will be relaxing and let you watch the latest episode of your favorite reality television show. On the other hand, you do not know what will happen if you begin to have a salad with your meals or take up yoga.
Your comfort zone includes all of your negative self-talk as well. Imagine letting go of those repeating tapes and replacing them with uplifting internal empowerment messages. Sound scary? It is, and that is why so many people self-sabotage their lives.
You have the choice to not be one of those folks. You can make a commitment to yourself to begin identifying and changing those familiar behaviors you know to be destructive. Recognize that you will experience discomfort along the way. Others may not like the changes you are making, and attempt to goad you into reverting to the familiar patterns.
Multiple benefits await you on the other side of that discomfort. You will be more productive at work and home and have the ability to cope with unexpected changes more easily. Your creativity levels will increase, and your abilities to harness your mental creative powers will rise. As you experience success, you will find it easier to attempt further changes to benefit your long-term health and happiness.
Simply by reading this article you have already acknowledged the necessity to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. If you want to experience true happiness and long-term health, embrace the concepts explored here. The results will enrich your life in vast and unexpected ways.
Andrea Taylor is the Coaching Support Director at Life Coach Hub, a site that networks life coaches with individuals looking to make improvements in their own, personal and professional lives. The site provides useful information about life coaching – what it is, how it works, if it’s the right choice for you and advice and tips as well as a platform where coaches can network, start or further develop their own businesses. Visit Lifecoachhub.com to learn more or connect with your own personal life coach.
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