Reality Blog Challenge: 10 Reasons You Need to Leave Your Comfort Zone

Great Things Never Came From Comfort Zones sign with a desert background

10 Reasons You Need to Leave Your Comfort ZoneDo you have a favorite comfortable chair? I do. It seems to hug and support every part of my body perfectly. The longer I stay there, the less I want to move from there or do anything.

Of course, I cannot stay in my comfy spot forever. It’s not good for my body and I’ll never get anything done. Leaving my comfy spot is difficult though. I really have to motivate myself to get up.

Being in your comfort zone can be compared to sitting in your favorite comfortable chair. Just as it’s hard to get up from your favorite spot, it can be difficult to leave your comfort zone, too. But doing so is not only necessary but good for you and your career.

Today, let’s look at why you should leave your comfort zone and how you can do it.

Do you really need to leave your comfort zone?

A comfort zone is defined as “a psychological state in which a person feels familiar, at ease, in control, and experiences low anxiety and stress. In the zone, a steady level of performance is possible.”

Another definition states that “a comfort zone is a settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.”

“Barely acceptable results” will not achieve your goals.

Why are you here at Wealthy Web Writer? Your answers probably fit into one or all of the following categories: you want to be more, do more, or have more. Staying in your comfort zone is not going to give you the results you want.

Psychologists have proven that there is a state of anxiety called “optimal anxiety.” Optimal anxiety gives just the right amount of stimulation for us to move forward, make changes, and learn new skills. If the level of anxiety is too low, we don’t progress — we stay in a comfort zone. If the stimulation is too strong and there is too much anxiety, then it also inhibits our advancement.

So yes, you need to leave your comfort zone. Here’s why:

  1. When you leave your comfort zone, you give yourself the opportunity to learn new skills. This means you improve and expand your skill set.

  2. You gain experience.

    Some experiences will be good and some may be bad. Either way, you can choose to learn from them. They will improve your ability and give you the knowledge to do things better next time. With this attitude, no experience will be bad.

    Think of new skills and experience as tools you can add to your professional writer’s toolkit.

  3. You become more productive.

    Have you noticed that when you do something for the first time, it takes ages? As you keep on doing it and practicing though, it becomes easier and takes less time. Gaining, practicing, and refining new skills and experiences allows you to do more with greater efficiency.

  4. Your confidence and courage grow.

    If you don’t face your fears, you will always be afraid and never grow as a person. By facing and challenging your fears and mental blocks, you learn they’re not as scary as you thought they were. If new fears come up in the future, you’ll have the courage to tackle them.

    Here is a simple example from my own life: My grandmother taught me how to knit. That went well. Then we moved onto crocheting. For some reason, I could not get the hang of it. I developed a mental block that told me I couldn’t crochet and would never be able to.

    One day, I thought about all the different people who can crochet. I told myself that if I can read and follow step-by-step instructions, then I can learn to crochet. Guess what? I tried and I learned to crochet.

    That simple lesson gave my courage and confidence an incredible boost. It opened my mind up to all the possibilities of what I could learn and achieve.

  5. You learn to break through limitations and boundaries more easily.

  6. You gain new perspective.

    New experiences and the lessons you learn help to expand your perspective. You can view life and its problems in a new light. This is a skill every web writer needs. You are able to empathize with and understand your prospects and clients better. This helps you to formulate a message that targets their needs and desires accurately.

  7. It becomes easier to deal with change and the unexpected.

    Things you found stressful when you started will not be as stressful with your increased skills and experience.

  8. It’s easier to brainstorm and be creative. Practicing and mastering your skills actually frees your mind up for higher thinking.

  9. All of these benefits lead to change and progress. You move towards your goals.

  10. You will have fewer regrets.

    It is better to have tried something and learned a lesson than to always wonder what could have been.

How do you break out of your comfort zone?

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be very … uncomfortable. For some it is easier than for others. Start with the following steps:

  • Have a clear vision of the writer’s life you want and how it will improve your life. Is your goal to change careers, have more flexibility, fulfill a passion, or improve your financial situation?

  • Next, create a plan for how you are going to get there. Have clear, specific goals and break them into smaller, specific tasks. The way to complete a thousand-mile journey is one step at a time.

  • Remind yourself regularly of the advantages of breaking out of your comfort zone. They far outweigh the benefits of staying there.

    There will be times when you want to go back to your comfort zone. That is normal. Remember your vision and goals and what you will gain.

  • ‘If things don’t change, they stay the same.’ Remember this saying. Ask yourself if you want to feel the same way and be in the same place one, five, or 10 years from now. Regardless of what you do, you will still be older.

  • Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Your optimal anxiety level is as unique as you are. Some people will take big steps, others will keep their steps smaller. Your progress is what matters.

Many of you are probably familiar with the story of the man who  helped the butterfly hatch out of its cocoon, only to be disappointed that it was deformed and never able to fly. The butterfly needed to go through the process of pushing itself out in order to be able to open its beautiful wings and fly. You have to do the same and push yourself to leave your comfort zone.

Are you going to choose comfort or will you take courage and choose change and progress towards your web-writing goals?

Are you in a comfort zone or have you already pushed yourself out? Perhaps you have advice you can share. We would love to hear about it in the comments section below.

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Hayley Michaels

Hayley is a freelance web writer who specializes in health, beauty and psychology. She is living and working in South Africa.

12 Comments

  • This is a really important reminder. I shared it on Google+ because it’s so apropos to my situation, as well as that of others I know. Excellent points about the value of stretching your limits!

  • Hi Randi

    Thank you so much for sharing it and I am glad you found it helpful. Stepping out of my comfort zone is a constant challenge!

  • Great article Hayley. A good point that could be made is that if you’re not constantly moving forward then you’re sinking. Feeling as if you’re sinking is not a very good feeling to have. To move forward you often have to move into unfamiliar and even unknown territory. Both can be terrifying, which I know from intimate experience. Another thing to remember is that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the acknowledgement and control of that fear so that your fear does not control you (another hard lesson I’ve learned over the years.

    I’d write more, but I need to beat my fear wit ha big stick so I can begin to do something I;ve never done before: redesign a website. 🙂

    Best of luck to you.

    • Hi Stephen

      Thank you for reading this post and I am glad you enjoyed it.

      You are right about courage. Sometimes we have to do things in spite of our fears. If we don’t we’ll be stuck, or as you rightly said we will be sinking, which is worse.

      So, get out that big stick and put it next to your computer. Think about all that you will gain and learn along the way by stepping out of your comfort zone!

      Thanks for sharing your comments with us .

      All the best!

  • Nice article! When I got wa-a-a-y out of my comfort zone by moving to Panama, I found my writing improved. Go figure…

    Susanna

    • Thanks Susanna!

      It’s funny how that happens. It’s like fixing a thermostat that has been stuck and then everything starts to work better.

      Hayley

  • Appreciated your article. With my situation, it’s more of the monetary limitations and responsibilities as a full- time, unpaid caregiver that keep me from accomplishing what I need to do, versus what I want to do. You bring up a lot of good ideas. Thanks for sharing, Hayley.

    Martha

    • Hi Martha

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      The situation you find yourself in is a tricky one, and one that I have experienced too. Being a caregiver is not for the faint hearted. I hope that you will manage to find some time and energy to focus on your writing goals, despite your situation. You will give yourself a gift and small boosts if you do.

      Christina Gillick wrote an excellent article that is on the AWAI website in July 2015 titled “How To Search (And Find) Paid Content Writing Jobs”. I encourage you to read it, it’s very helpful.

      All the best
      Hayley

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