I get tired of hearing the statement: step out of your comfort zone. Why is this necessary to be successful?
A comfort zone is a nice place. It’s where I have my television, my computer, and my headphones. My comfort zone is also a place that is highly guarded and I am familiar with all its corners and turns. Honestly, I want to stay in my comfort zone because this is where I feel most successful.
They tell me, “In order to get anywhere new in life, you have to leave first – you have to step out of your comfort zone.” But, I don’t believe this is true. Why can’t I have a place that makes me comfortable and able to find success in life as well? And by success, I don’t mean a load of cash flowing out every window, and I don’t mean fancy cars lining my driveway either. Because success to me means being happy, and I am happy in my comfort zone.
So, am I successful according to society?
I guess that depends on how you define success. The primary idea of success for traditional human culture revolves around money. Money rules the world, you might say. There are so many people who will do almost anything in order to get money. Then there is notoriety, and there is status – these things are also coveted by the success hunter. But, again, what is the true definition of success?
Success (n.): the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose.
Now, look at that. Let that definition sink in for a moment. Where do you see the words, “making money”, or is there a single mention of “being famous”? The pure meaning of success has to do with fulfillment, and this can be achieved in any form or fashion depending on what you desire the most.
So, should you step out of your comfort zone or should you stay there where you feel most fulfilled by your surroundings?
I think you know the answer to that question, but if not, let’s look at a few points.
I read motivational articles sometimes, not so much to “transform” my life, but to augment the life I already have. I read many things, including those irritating little step out of your comfort zone training posts. I do this because I want to see their point of view and counter that point of view with my own. Here are a few examples:
“The real life is out there”
I hate this so much I cringed when I read it. I get what they are saying, I really do, but why is my comfortable, quiet life considered less than one where I have to be outgoing?
I am some hybrid or ambivert or something of that nature, and I like who I am, to be honest. I find my life just as real as some forceful interaction with other human beings. I write, I am satisfied and I don’t step outside my comfort zone at all. I am so comfortable it would make you jealous.
“Don’t settle for mediocre”
I live in a rural area, void of heavy crime and I can open a window to hear birds singing. I am so comfortable here, and I do what I love. Did you get that? I do what I love! I am far from settling for mediocre, I am reaching for success in my writing career.
If I was to step outside my comfort zone, I would be attempting something that I am really not all that interested in, anyway. When I apply for writing jobs, I am quite comfortable about the whole situation. Maybe I stepped outside my comfort zone a bit years ago, but now, I am quite okay with how my life is. It’s not settling, it’s thriving.
As for you, do what makes you happy, not what others consider mediocre and less than the best. They wouldn’t notice the difference.
“You need to face change”
Whether or not I’m good with change has nothing to do with leaving my comfort zone. If things change, I had much rather deal with them while comfortable then while stressing to force myself into the new situation. If change is coming, it cannot be stopped by being uncomfortable, and if change must be, it will happen regardless of what I am doing. Leaving your comfort zone to embrace change means adding stress where stress is already there due to the change. What sense does this make?
The idea of change can be a bit convoluting, so let me give you an example:
There are two opposite choices to make, and I am sitting on the fence. I was told to step out of my comfort zone in order to embrace change. Apparently, sitting on the fence was my comfort zone, and in order to embrace change, I must jump in one direction or the other.
In my experience, change will come whether I leave the fence or not, whether I know what to do or whether I don’t. Sometimes, believe it or not, decisions have to be made without my input. Sometimes it’s okay to not know what to do. Sometimes, “gasp” and heaven forbid, things just have to flow naturally into place.
You can call me irresponsible, lazy or whatever, but the facts remain the same – seeking to step out of your comfort zone is not always the best option. Sometimes embracing your own happiness and peace of mind is the only way to be true to yourself, the only road to success and the only mode of fulfillment.
I’m shutting it down, now.
Want me to leave my comfort zone? What is your reason and argument for that? My experience in sales vs. networking has proven to me that there are more stability and success in working behind the scenes, building your portfolio and promoting your work. You want to peddle your shoe polish and vitamins, go ahead. I will just wait till networking brings me another client.
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