Your Potential Is Dying If You Don’t Learn How To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
There’s a double standard that most people are seemingly not actively resolving that is going on inside their own mind.
This human contradiction is that we yearn to live our lives to the fullest; wanting to experience as much as possible, make our present the most fulfilling it can be to have the most wonderful memories to look back upon, and yet we’re lacking in the sense of actually getting out there to do any of that.
Let’s be clear, life isn’t just going to magically become what you want it to be, that’s something you have to build yourself.
There’s an important danger that you need to recognize with spending too much time in that bubble of yours, and that’s feeling disconnected from the world - the real world.
Feeling that way is a crucial impact to your life and any possibility of balanced fulfillment and exploring your immense potential.
But let’s dig a little deeper and ask why this happens; why is it so easy to get stuck in our areas of comfort, why we become disconnected from the world and are okay with it - or at least indifferent towards it.
Maybe then we’ll get some answers on how to step out of that pesky comfort zone.
Why Do We Want To Stick To Our Comfort Zone So Much?
It may seem a bit redundant to ask such a question, I hear you saying. “It’s because its our comfort zone! It’s in the name!”
That’s true, and most humans inherently want to be comfortable and happy, but understanding the built-in allure of staying in our bubble will help us explore the options to get out of it.
To answer this question, we’re going to be using some of the knowledge of brain behavior proposed by American physician and neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean in his hypothesis.
MacLean discussed the notion of the ‘Reptilian Brain’ - which is the name he coined for the Basal ganglia, a part that’s close to the center of the brain.
In the most basic terms, it’s our fight or flight response and danger sense.
Now while most of today’s neuroscientists have rejected MacLean’s hypothesis of how the brain evolved, this notion of the reptilian brain and its effect on human behavior still sees use by some psychiatrists to explain certain human behaviors.
One of these is our comfort zone.
Basically, we consider our bubble a safe space, a place of no harm, somewhere easily recognizable to us where we can fully relax our ‘danger radar’.
Remember that long ago we had to always be aware of possible predators or dangers, lest we risk death.
We have a very good radar for danger, and it’s part of the reason why we’ve gotten as far as we have as a species.
But our comfort zone can easily get out of hand without conscious understanding of the self and self-control.
The reason for this is because it can leave us lax, lazy, and even unwilling to go out and do what is good for ourselves - like applying for new jobs to get away from a dead-end one - which means we’re already down that path of feeling disconnected from the world.
The idea here is that your reptilian brain considers everything that’s outside your bubble to be a danger and chance for you to get hurt.
Since for many of us now-a-days have our safe space consist of a screen and an internet connection, the disconnection from real life can feel like it’s not even happening.
An online life gives the illusion of being social and engaged with others, without the physical manifestations involved that are needed for healthy human interaction.
Here’s a simple and basic comparison; ask yourself if a virtual hug gives anywhere the same level of comfort that a real one does?
Now, did you know that a hug has freaking physiological and psychological benefits?
This is just a basic example of what we’re talking about.
Everything in moderation, even your comforts.
Why You Risk Your Potential By Staying In Your Comfort Zone
Exploration and curiosity have been the driving forces of expansion for humanity as a whole.
But even when you take a magnifying glass and look on the individual level, you’ll see that we need the exact same things to find purpose.
If we don’t explore, we can’t truly say we saw as many potential options for ourselves as possible. The manifestation of the problems of staying inside your comfort bubble are easily recognized when you think about anyone you know that is staying in a relationship that is no longer good for them.
My best friend stayed with a girl that cheated on him, and his reason for staying with her didn’t fully convince even him. But he still did it because his bubble consisted of her, their relationship, and their apartment, and he succumbed to his reptilian brain being averse to change, even when it came to removing someone that betrayed him from his life.
But even if you’re single and not ready to mingle, the risk of your potential and becoming disconnected from the world stays the same.
By not stepping out and exploring, you risk not finding a reason, a purpose in life.
The Japanese concept of ‘Ikigai’ puts it into a single word; a worthy and wholesome reason that gets you up and moving in the morning.
If you still don’t understand what this concept is talking about, maybe this will help explain it better.
A purpose is the greatest way to explore your potential, it pushes you to learn new things on the path to your goal. It make you go outside your comfort zone because no way will your purpose in its entirety exist within that tiny bubble.
It’s time to get out there.
Even if you don’t think you can take that first step out by yourself, there are those out there willing to help.
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