How The Comfort Zone Is Ruining Your Life
In the comfort zone, you feel safe. You feel secure, and yes, sometimes even that little fuzziness of contentment. Sure, life in the comfort zone sounds great. Until it isn’t. Because living in your comfort zone limits your experiences of life and stunts your personal growth. Not only is living in the comfort zone ruining your life, it could have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. You see, the comfort zone is an unconscious program. According to Jungian psychology, that could be dangerous.
“The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgement go, is completely neutral. It only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong. To the degree that we repress it, its danger increases.” ~ Carl Jung
That may sound dramatic, but if you know anything at all about the unconscious, you will see that all the mistakes in your life have been for a reason - to liberate repressed energies, upgrade your subconscious programming and expand conscious awareness. Did you know that 90-95% of your decisions stem from the subconscious mind? Long story short: the subconscious mind controls your life and it loves the comfort zone. Getting out your comfort zone enables you to live life on your terms.
What happens inside the comfort zone?
The comfort zone is essentially a subconscious pattern of behaviour. Its purpose is to minimise stress and risk in order to keep you safe and secure. When you’re in repetition mode, your learning centres essentially shut down and you become lazy. Life becomes predictable, you fail to expand your conscious awareness and you remain stagnated. Stagnation is not good for your health, your confidence or your fulfilment of life. Like an Australian billabong, stagnated energies breed all manner of diseases that can cause poor mental and physical health.
We learn more about ourselves when we do something new; face challenges, confront fears. When you know more about your capabilities, you are more prepared to step out of your comfort zone, and when you do, you grow. The good news is you grow more when you fail. So failing is win-win. The comfort zone doesn’t give you any motivation to live life. It makes you lazy. The eminent psychologist Carl Jung said one of the biggest threats to man is laziness. He also said:
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” ~ Carl Jung
Routines may feel like they give you stability and comfort but rigidly sticking to your schedule, personal preferences and social engagements, and routine becomes dangerous. The shadow side of consciousness is the most dangerous thing of all because the Self is the greatest power in the psyche. The unconscious wants you to thrive and helps you reach your potential and when you ignore it, you learn life’s lessons the hard way.
Breaking out of the comfort zone
Personal growth is about becoming more than what you are now. To reach your goals and get to the next level, you need to be prepared to step out of your comfort zone into what psychology calls “Optimal Anxiety”. Optimal anxiety is that state of mind where you feel a little scared but not so afraid that it prevents you from trying. To reach your life’s goals you can’t be afraid to shoot. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the United State’s WW2 President Franklin D., famously said: “do one thing every day that scares you.”
You don’t have to go that far, but stepping out of your comfort zone every once in a while will:
+ Make you more productive
+ Make it easier to adapt to new circumstances and surroundings
+ Make you better equipped to cope with unexpected changes
+ Make facing challenges you come up against throughout life is easier
+ Broaden your conscious awareness and unleash creativity
It’s worth doing things differently when you are given the opportunity. You will need to rely on your warrior archetype. This is the unconscious energy that gives you the motivation and courage to try something new. Be careful not to charge into life-changing challenges head first though. Have a strategy.
Other times spontaneity is the best way forward. Making a snap decision doesn’t give your ego time to overpower you with its safety warning. Sure, you will hear that voice of doubt, but hush it up and trust you’ll be fine.
It can take a huge effort to step out of your comfort zone. Courage, inner-strength and confidence are needed but the more you make that step, the easier it is to face life and grow personally, in your career and in your relationships. So don’t let the bubble of the comfort zone ruin your life. Make it your goal to live on the edge and reach for something different.