THE BLOG
09/26/2014 11:59 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How Your Comfort Zone Is Sabotaging Your Success

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Image Credit: Monisha Rajasekaran

Despite what you were taught growing up, being comfortable is bad.

Many people envision a lifestyle where they can achieve success without having to step outside of their comfort zone. This is delusional thinking.

If you want to make progress with your dreams, you have to do things that scare you. Let me show you why.

Living Inside Your Comfort Zone Restricts Action

People marvel at great ideas, but ideas are useless on their own -- they require action to come into fruition. Sadly, most ideas never make it past the conception stage.

We can blame our comfort zones for that.

Here's why: Ideas can be created within the safety of your own home. But making connections with other people and marketing your ideas to the world? That requires getting off your ass and entering uncharted territory. It means putting yourself out there and risking failure.

And that's petrifying. So much so, that people convince themselves they have other things to do instead.

Skip to the 36:10 mark of this Mixergy interview with Sam Ovens where he discusses how some entrepreneurs will find any excuse to avoid doing what's most important.

The lesson is simple. Your comfort zone doesn't care about your success. Its main priority is making sure you don't have to do anything you aren't already familiar with. This is all the more reason to ignore it.

Which leads me to my next point.

Living Inside Your Comfort Zone Limits Learning

I came across this simple but profound graphic recently:

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Image Credit: Barrett Brooks

Contrary to what our brains might tell us, venturing outside of our comfort zones doesn't mean danger is imminent. There's an area that exists between comfort and danger: learning.

We cannot achieve mastery or success without first enduring the uncomfortable "learning" territory.

Learning is where the magic happens. It's where you hone your craft and build the skills you need to take you to the top -- where your dreams lie waiting.

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor," as the saying goes.

The next time you find yourself making excuses for inaction, ask yourself if staying in your comfort zone is worth the price of achieving your goals.

Living Inside Your Comfort Zone Blinds You From Recognizing Opportunities

Part of being successful is recognizing when opportunities exist. But you can't do that if you're used to staying in your shell. By limiting ourselves to constantly doing the same things, we become oblivious to innovation and ingenuity.

Forcing yourself to push past your comfort levels begins an incredible process of discovery. Possibilities begin to emerge. Suddenly, you start to make connections to things you never knew existed before. None of this is possible by remaining confined to our comfort zones. This is only achievable when we dare to step into the unknown.

Final Thoughts

The only thing your comfort zone is really guarding you from is success. Push past the fear. Recognize that achieving your dreams is worth the price of being temporarily uncomfortable.

Think of your uneasiness as a necessary learning stage, where mastery thrives and mediocrity goes to die.

If you enjoyed this article, check out my guide, Stop Dreaming and Start Doing: How To Actually Do What You Love, for free at peoplepassionate.com