Our actions are largely controlled by our subconscious minds, the part of our brains that makes decisions and judgments without us thinking too much about them. The tricky part about allowing our “gut reaction” (which is essentially what the subconscious is) control everything is that this part of our minds really loves routine and to keep things the same. It craves familiarity and equilibrium, which is why things feel safe and comfortable to us. We have been here before. We know what to expect.
But, living inside these boundaries of comfort and safety can limit your life in some significant ways that can eventually lead to your lack of success or inability to feel genuinely happy. When you live solely within your comfort zone, here are some of the adverse effects this can have on your life.
6. Your Decisions are Restricted
When you live inside these boundaries, you are limited by what is familiar and known, which means you can’t ever try new things or take chances in your life. And without learning and growth, you become stagnant and unfulfilled. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Allowing your comfort zone to control your decisions keeps you doing the same things and sacrificing your own success in favor of maintaining the status quo.
5. You Don’t Explore Who You Really Are
When you like to keep things as they are, you do not spend time thinking about who you are and what you really want in life, which can limit your self-knowledge a great deal. When you are satisfied with things as they are, you tend not to engage in self-reflection or consider your ambitions or goals, which can lead to a lack of self-awareness.
4. Comfort Zone Prevents You from Becoming Someone New
Have you ever decided you want a new job? Or long to live someplace else? Or just want a fresh look that shares who you are? All of these are examples of ways we desire to transform ourselves at various stages of our lives. And when you allow your comfort zone to dictate your decisions, you lose out on these opportunities to become a different person, to strive for new goals, or to express yourself in new ways.
3. You Stop Seeing Opportunities in the World
When you are bound by the limits of your comfort zone, the possibilities that the world has to offer become much more limited and fixed. Innovation, challenge, and risk live outside of what is currently known to you, so without pushing the boundaries of your comfort, you will miss out on experiences and opportunities that could change your life for the better.
2. Comfort Limits You by Avoiding Fear
We like what’s inside of our comfort zone because it is safe. It keeps us from feeling emotions that we are avoiding, from being open to the ideas and perspectives of others, and from taking advantage of opportunities because you are afraid. Whether its fear of failure, change, or the unknown, living in fear produces anxiety and stress. And the more you give in to this fear, the more it limits and controls your life.
1. Your Brain Needs Stimulation to Remain Mentally Alert
Staying within your comfort zone is not doing much to support your brain’s long-term health and activity. To remain mentally healthy, our brains need to learn, expand, and grow throughout our lives. When we stop learning and become intellectually stagnant, we are more likely to experience neurodegeneration and to succumb to the effects of aging faster. Expanding your comfort zone throughout your life can help your brain retain the neuroplasticity that keeps it strong and robust into your later years.