I am willing to bet that most, if not all, of us have spent time in our comfort zone. We spend time in our comfort zones not because we are afraid of stretching ourselves but because everything in our comfort zone is predictable and safe. It is a place of low stress, minimal anxiety, a worry-free site, and excellent relaxation.
The security offered by being in your comfort zone is alluring; it is the perfect place to chill. No fuss, no muss, no need to disturb perfection. Who could blame you in such a situation?
There are pros and cons of being in your comfort zone. You will often hear of the negatives of being in your comfort zone. Of course, like everything else in life, what you do in excess has consequences. Too much time in one's comfort zone can create an inaccurate representation of the real world and hinder growth potential.
Outside your comfort zone is the opportunity for personal growth. It challenges you to consider possibilities outside of what you already know. Therefore, the further you go beyond the borders, be it physical or mental, that you have created, expect there to be some level of anxiety and even self-doubt.
Indeed, the anxiety and self-doubt you experience as you leave your comfort zone can make you question your decision to go further. The temptation to return to your comfort zone is ok. No, this is not a contradiction if you learn to treat your comfort zone as your home base—where you can plan for your next opportunity to broaden your horizons.
Returning to home base is not a step backward. It is not detrimental because whatever potential you are attempting to realize will require much effort, diligence, self-discipline, and perseverance. Analytical Psychologist Carl Jung's self-realization is a dynamic process where you will continue to learn new skills about yourself throughout your life. Each new skill you acquire prepares you to take another step.
Further, your desire to flourish relies on your past and present behaviors directed toward your future goals. Importantly, learn to pace yourself so you do not become overwhelmed with too much change at once as you adapt to being in different zones.
Your comfort zone is simply a place for respite. Learn to treat it that way, and you likely benefit from challenging yourself to learn new skills that enhance your potential to achieve your future goals.
Empowering Minds. Inspiring Lives.
Ryckman, R. M. (2000). Theories of personality, (7th ed.). Wadsworth.