People can become creatures of habit. We do what feels comfortable to us, and it is easiest to stay in that comfort zone. For some people, they love the spotlight and performing, playing sports, or generally being in front of people, and that is where they are comfortable. Others may be comfortable with a specific skill, sport, or discipline, no matter where it takes them. Still others love school and excel in anything having to do with academics, so they put their time and energy there, staying where it feels comfortable. Some people feel comfortable in small groups of people, others feel comfortable playing video games or spending time with family, and still others don’t feel comfortable being around other people at all.
No matter where you fall on this spectrum, it is always good to recognize where your comfort zone is. As a person, you will undoubtedly grow more when you are able to push yourself and grow and do things that you are not naturally comfortable with. While there are some with areas that just naturally call for stretching, you are always your best person when you are willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
Where is Your Comfort Zone?
The first thing is to identify your comfort zone, which shouldn’t be that hard. Make a list of the places, people, and situations where you feel most comfortable. That list may include family, friends, writing or creating art, or certain places like home or school. This list is your comfort zones.
Next, make a list of the things that you would prefer to avoid, like taking tests, going to the doctor, or even dealing with certain family members. This is the area just outside of your comfort zone, the area that makes you a little anxious or makes you stretch to be in.
Lastly, make a list of the people, places, or situations that terrify you, that you would avoid at all costs. For some people, this might include public speaking, having dental work done, or being involved in a confrontation. However, for people who are more outgoing, it might include being one-on-one with someone, talking about emotions, or dealing with family issues. This area might be called your “red zone,” as it probably feels completely off-limits to you.
Why You Have Limitations
There are a lot of reasons that go into shaping our individual comfort zones. Our personalities play a big part, our families, and our life experiences are a few others. You might also have an anxiety disorder or other mental health issues that create further limitations as to what you are comfortable doing.
If you think that mental health or even substance use issues are impacting your comfort zone, then you can seek help for them from a medical professional. Getting help for your mental health is crucial for every aspect of your life, but it will also help you to have a healthy comfort zone. Whether you need treatment from a medical doctor, a therapist, or residential or outpatient facilities, you will be the best person you can be when you are able to address your treatable limitations.
Why Push Your Own Limits?
If it is called a comfort zone, why would you push yourself to go outside of it? The answer is simply living your best life. You are your own best self when you push yourself to grow and learn and expand your horizons in every aspect of your life. You will be more successful in school, at work, and in all of your relationships when you are willing to step outside of what is naturally comfortable to you and stretch and grow. You will also be able to help others better when you strive to push yourself and your limits.
Choosing Where to Grow
Where you begin to expand your comfort zone is up to you. You don’t have to start by pushing yourself to do something that makes you want to vomit just thinking about it, like singing a solo in front of all of your classmates or running a marathon. Start in that area just outside your comfort zone, someplace you would maybe like to be comfortable, but aren’t yet, such as going to a social event where you don’t know that many people. Once you learn to stretch, you can keep expanding what feels good for you.
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
Once you know how you want to stretch, then do it. Talk to someone about emotions, go to school and face that test, talk to the family member that drives you crazy, try out for the school play or the football team, ask someone you like for their phone number, or even give that public speech. Start with little things and expand until you are able to fully step out of the comfort zone you have been hiding in.
When you are able to look beyond your comfort zone and find new ways for you to grow and stretch, you will become a better person. Whether you need to find treatment for issues that are contributing to your own limitations, or whether you just want to be your best self, you can become more by stretching and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Learn more about getting out of your comfort zone by calling Embark Behavioral Health 1-855-809-0409 today. Expand your horizons as you expand what is comfortable for you.