Wisdom//

Real Growth Begins at The End of Your Comfort Zone

How greater challenges help you grow

somnuk krobkum/Getty Images
somnuk krobkum/Getty Images

If everything is too good, you’re probably stuck not being awesome.

Don’t join an “easy” crowd. You won’t grow.

Many people are so comfortable they’re miserable.

Breaking a habit, trying something new, taking a risk, making new connections, or putting yourself in a totally new situation won’t be easy, but it’s worth it. It’s exhausting but rewarding.

Calvin Coolidge says “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”

Comfort can lead to self-absorption, boredom, and discontent.

You can either be comfortable and stagnate or stretch yourself — become uncomfortable — and grow. Choose the latter.

Go where the demands are high. Go where the pressure is to perform.

Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, Psychologist and author of “Better Than Perfect, says people who regularly seek out fresh experiences tend to be more creative and emotionally resilient than those who remain stuck in a routine.

“Breaking your own mold can only make you stronger and more confident to reach higher levels in your professional and personal life,” she says.

To grow, you have to embrace the discomfort. The transition will be uncomfortable and scary, but daring greatly can push you further than you can imagine.

Stretch yourself. You might just like what’s possible.

Peter McWilliams once said, “Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort.”

Discomfort is a catalyst for growth. It makes you yearn for something more. It forces you to change, stretch, and adapt.

The secret to success lies in the very thing you’re avoiding. Those things that seem to break you down and humble your spirit.

Seek out discomfort. Be deliberate about doing things that push your limits magnificently. Difficulty helps you to grow.

If you want long-term success, stop avoiding what’s hard.

If you’re truly pushing yourself to improve — in any capacity whatsoever — you are uncomfortable.

When you are challenged, you are asked to become more than you were. That means creating new perspectives, acquiring new skills and pushing boundaries.

In other words, you have to expand your understanding in order to be able to overcome the obstacles facing you.

Learning to be comfortable with discomfort is one of the most important skills you can ever have to live a truly fulfilling life. If you learn this skill, you can master pretty much anything.

Getting out of your comfort zone from time to time challenges your mental skills. Mentally active people are constantly building dense networks of connections between their brain cells.

Scientists call that “cognitive reserve.” Continuing to learn new things builds and maintains these connections.

Mentally challenging tasks have the biggest impact on the health of your brain. Be open to new experiences that cause you to see the world and do things differently.

If you master discomfort, you can master just about anything!

“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they’re hiding out in the comfortable zone.” — Seth Godin

Discomfort can be the joyful key that opens up everything for you. You can beat procrastination, start a new habit, learn a new language, make it through challenges and physically gruelling events, explore new things, speak on a stage, and even embrace the minimalist lifestyle.

Jonathan Lethemsays, “Discomfort is very much part of my master plan.”

These tasks may seem more ‘painful’ at first, but you’ll achieve more that can impact your end result. And that will be just the start.

Repetition expands your comfort boundaries. If you practice your discomforts enough, with different activities, your comfort zone will expand to include discomfort. And then you can master your personal bubble.

Think about it. How many things were once uncomfortable for you which you now accept without difficulty?

Unfortunately, many people avoid discomfort. They do everything they can to avoid it. They are just too comfortable to be pushed or bothered to make a change or improve their lives.

This is perhaps the biggest limiting factor for most people, and it’s why you can’t change your habits.

But the good news is, whatever you are feeling discomfort about, there is someone else out there, feeling exactly the same thing. You are never really alone in your discomfort.

Sometimes just knowing that can make us feel more comfortable in pushing beyond the obvious.

Discomfort is a catalyst for progress!

Think of the mind as a muscle that naturally tightens up over time unless it is consciously worked upon. Your personal growth significantly depends on new challenges and activities.

Tackle the fear that has kept you from living your best life. Your mind has a way of rising to the occasion. Challenge it, and it will reward you.

Jerry Dunn once said, “Don’t limit your challenges; challenge your limits.”

Challenge your mind — even making it a little uncomfortable by pushing yourself to learn tasks that may not come naturally. Most things seems impossible until they are done.

Give yourself permission to think and act beyond the usual.

Stepping up when it’s annoying or painful or draining builds character.

Be good at making time for what matters to you — especially when you don’t feel like it.

Closing thoughts

Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional, says Roger Crawford.

Don’t fight the discomfort. It’s what you feel when you are growing.

A little push beyond your safe bubble is exactly what you need to grow.

Finding fulfilment in career, and building a meaningful life might just entail stepping outside of your comfort zone once a day, once a week, or even once a month.

Choose what works for you and enjoy the stretch.

If you are serious about improving your future self, get used to being uncomfortable.

Comfort can ruin your life. Only in a state of discomfort can you continually grow and achieve your greatest potential.

A better life is a healthy balance of comfort and adventure.

Live your legend everyday.

Originally published on Medium.

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