Comfort is Terrifying
It’s something we all have and frankly find solace in. Our comfort zone. Everyone has one and it’s one that we all love to stay in. When the temperatures get too high or things get too intense we crawl back into our comfort zone. My comfort zone is my best friend. I like doing things that are comfortable for me; things that feel almost too easy to truly exist in a world so complicated.
But here’s the tricky thing with the comfort zone; it’s terrifying.
I came to this realization not too long ago. It is like keeping yourself in comfy quicksand. It doesn’t present itself as such, but when you spend enough time in it, it rears its ugly head.
So what exactly is so ugly and horrible about something that is labeled, “the comfort zone”?
We stay in our comfort zone for specific reasons, and many times we rush to it when things get too tough or are too unfamiliar. We stay there because it is safe, and safety and security are things that all of us want. Within our safe spaces, there is no danger of ever getting hurt or of anything going wrong. Because those spaces are filled with something familiar. Something we are already sure that we like and something we are already sure works. Why would we walk away from something that is so certain, especially in a world filled with uncertainty?
Now, while there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting and seeking comfort, or with one having a comfortable and safe space, the problem arises much like with anything else. Too much of something is rarely ever good. With the comfort zone, the problem is that if we get too comfortable and stay in it for too long, everything continues to move and change around us, while we never do. We stay stuck under the blankets forever, and if life could work that way, some of us would gladly have it that way.
But it doesn’t. And therefore, we can’t.
So what do we do then?
Embrace the change: A large part of why we avoid leaving our comfort zones is this fear that many in our society have regarding change. It is a fear that regardless of how much change happens in our world, we still try to avoid it. But change is unavoidable. It is not something we can stop from happening, and if we try to avoid it we will never get the welcome change that we may have been looking for all along.
Within change, can come some incredible opportunities. Accepting change can take you further than your comfort zone ever can. It can take you to places you truly desire to go and to heights you’ve always wanted to reach. Now with change, there can be welcome things and unwelcome things. Sometimes with those changes, there may be bad things that you may not want. That may make it feel like those changes were not worth it. Those moments may make someone want to jump back under those covers and revert back into their comfort zone. I know there are many times when I feel the same. But those are things that we can’t stop, similar to change. Rather than run from it, we should ride the wave of those rough changes, until it passes. You will become better for it.
Accept potential failures: With everything that we try, there will be things that work and things that don’t. I love writing, and it is my solace. But trying to put my writing out there has led to failures along the road. There are moments where it feels like it would be better to just avoid it. However, trying to avoid any ounce of failure in my writing journey, results in most of my writing just sitting on my computer. I sit stagnant with my writing on my computer and if I were to continue, I would never grow and my goals would never be achieved. That personally sounds far worse now than any rejection I may receive. Failure is something that will always be uncomfortable, but failure is a necessity in every desired journey. But many times, failure is something that can easily lead to something better and something that you may really want.
Don’t view them as failures; They are redirections: Every pathway has a million failures and a million successes waiting for you. That is because things are designed to strengthen us and teach us lessons. It is easy for something that doesn’t go our way to feel like it is nothing more than a failure. But in reality, those “failures” are necessary. Because they will direct us to the place where we are actually meant to be. Every letdown that I have experienced has led to a breakthrough. It has taught me something about myself and about what I really want and desire. Sometimes the things that may feel like failures may turn out to be a sign of where we are not meant to be. Every bad step I take leads me in a good direction. A rewarding direction. And the same can be said for you.
Acknowledge the need for discomfort: There is no such thing as comfortable change. Change is an uncertain thing that can lead to what you want, what you need or something else entirely. Either way, it is something that always feels unnerving; especially when you are first experiencing it. However, no ounce of change or experiencing anything new will feel comfortable. It is something that we need to acknowledge; change is uncomfortable, but this discomfort is necessary. That discomfort is the right thing and will lead in the right direction. Change can feel uncertain, but there is much of life that is uncertain. There is no exact path in life. Even the things we’ve been told are stable have their uncertainties and challenges. The moment we admit to ourselves that we acknowledge this, we will allow ourselves to take a step further to our goals and desires. Soon, this discomfort will likely become comfortable in time.
It is important to acknowledge that much of this is easier said than done. Change is nerve-wracking, and sometimes it is worrying. It takes courage to throw yourself into the deep end of any situation. Do not be too hard on yourself if this takes time. But never stop pushing yourself to get out of your comfort zone.