Are you the one who often quotes:

  • I can’t do.
  • can’t
  • can’t
  • can’tuse computers.
  • can’tplay sports.
  • I can’t speak in public.

It implies that you are too cozy in your comfort zone. You find it difficult to step out of your comfort zone. We need to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone.

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

How do you define the comfort zone?

Your ‘comfort zone’ is a place where you feel a sense of familiarity, stress-free, certainty and security. By stepping out, you are taking a risk, exposing yourself to the possibility of stress and anxiety. But it is not at all bad.

I would like to draw a leaf from my life…I have been a music lover since childhood but never expressed myself that I wanted to learn music or make a name for myself in the field of music. It was not a done thing in those days. Academics kept me occupied all my student life and work life. Time elapsed and I nearly forgot about my love for music. In Hearts-of-Heart, I was always fascinated by Indian Classical Music and loved listening to classical concerts. In the process, I could learn the names of some popular raags, etc. nothing beyond that. My fascination persisted. I always dreamt of singing a classical Bandish or Tarana wearing the best of Kanjiveram Saree with a big sindoor bindi etc. before a live audience. It was indeed a very farfetched dream as did not know M about music, forget classical singing.

Many years passed by, and I completely gave up on this dream, until Covid 19 forced us for a sabbatical. A chance to land on the details about musical Guru, I joined her classes. She was kind enough to take me into her fold…hence started my journey of learning classical music. It was a huge effort on my part to step out of my comfort zone (read: writing) and charter on an unknown territory.  After incessant hard work of three years, I am inching towards living my dream…

Indeed, the journey was probably frustrating, going by the complex nature of classical singing. Many times, I thought of giving up, as it was quite outside my comfort zone. I felt insecure, uncomfortable, or ridiculous. The task was difficult, I may have been frustrated at attempting to gain progress. Due to this feeling, chances are that we rarely take up activities that are out of our comfort zone.

I was always thinking that everyone else was singing better than me. This made me feel frustrated more. I am going to call this phenomenon the Frustration Barrier. This is the barrier that keeps you away from trying new things and going out of your comfort zone. It is also the same feature that allows you to quit far too early when you do not immediately “get it”.

The problem with the Frustration Barrier is that it is usually temporary. Once you break through the barrier, you can start enjoying the learning process and have some fun. More importantly, breaking through this barrier gives you access to a huge amount of personal growth that occurs whenever you do things that are out of our normal frame of mind.

The comfort zone is a psychological state in which a person feels at ease because they are not being tested. Inside the comfort zone, you do not typically engage in new experiences or take on any challenges. You only participate in familiar activities, making you feel “in control” of your environment.

Have you ever wondered what makes successful people, successful? What is it that distinguishes them from unsuccessful people? Which is their biggest quality? What is their actual merit? What I have found is that I will illustrate here…

One major thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful people, is the ability to handle this barrier. Unsuccessful people give up on it too soon, successful people manage to break through the barrier and as a result, can enjoy the process of learning new things and gaining the benefits that come with being skilled in that area. Also, these people are generally much more “developed” as human beings as they have had a much richer variety of experiences from which they can use in their life.

To achieve success, you need to step out of your comfort zone, set – up a disciplined regimen, and develop a steely willpower to make a cut in life!

Say, you are not “fitness” oriented as you enjoy your lazy mornings with your cup of coffee or playing with your pet. You are in a “comfort zone” but in hearts of heart, you want to be fit. You are aware of the benefits of a healthy mind and body. But you are having trouble doing exercise or joining a gym. As this is something outside your comfort zone. Now you need to join a gym and make your first steps so easy that you can succeed just by showing up.

Now that you want to start exercising, make your first step just to show up at the gym for half an hour daily.  Do not worry if you are not getting the best workout, all you must do is show up! Regularity and consistency will fetch you great results, not too soon but over a period. This is the impact of jumping out of your comfort zone. If you are not able to do this, you may be in a troublesome situation later.

We all love to be in our comfort zone, but as humans, this is not the place to be in. Opportunities become possibilities if you sweat them out.

You need to appreciate that while some things will be out of your comfort zone, there are going to be incredibly few things that you cannot do. Simply trying these things, and using the previous methods to reduce the “Frustration Barrier” might allow you to realize that you can do some things you previously felt were impossible for you.

This way you will be HappyHo!