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    7 Things You Will Never Do If You Stay In Your Comfort Zone

    We all have comfortable places. Our homes are comfortable; the jobs we have been in for10+ years are comfortable; our social circles are comfortable. And as we grow older, our comfort “zone” is where we want to stay. Sure, there will be a new neighbor we will get to know; there will be new stores to shop; we may even become more adept at learning and using new technology. But, for the most part, we settle in for a present and a future that look very similar. This is the way to a safe, but often mediocre and unfulfilling life. If we stay in that comfort zone, here are seven things we will never experience or do.

    1. You Won’t Take Risks

    You will stay in the same job until you retire; you will make every effort to stay in the same neighborhood or one close by, at least in the same town; you won’t experiment with new personal appearances (clothing, hairstyles, etc.); you won’t get a passport and travel to a foreign country; and you won’t seek connections, friendships, and relationships with those who are outside of your cultural environment. In short, your existence will be narrow in focus and viewpoint, and you will become judgmental and fearful of change that is occurring around you.

    2. You Won’t Learn New Things

    The way you have always done “it” is the way you will continue to do “it,” whether that means the way you prepare for your day or where you choose to invest your savings. The world is evolving around you, but you like your routine. Even though there are grand new experiences to have and wonderful new things to learn, you will not engage yourself in those experiences or that learning. Your mindset is that the knowledge you have will serve you well. In fact, it will not. You become a dull and, quite frankly, a rather boring person who others do not find enjoyable.

    3. You Will Not Develop Emotional Resiliency

    When a major crisis or a huge life-changing event occurs, you will not have developed the coping mechanisms to push through it and emerge strong and ready to move forward. Medical and mental health professionals have many stories to tell about a person who loses a spouse and then dies within a short time afterward. This is a person who has remained in his/her comfort zone. Had s/he moved out of that comfort zone in the past and forced him/herself to push through crises and unexpected negative events/situations, there would be a self-confidence that survives and even thrives through this one. Consider the two types of people who respond to the loss of a job. One will evaluate his/her position, make a plan, and do what it takes to pursue a new career. The other will fall into despondency and stay there. Which one has not been out of his/her comfort zone?

    4. You Won’t Inspire Others

    You “play it safe” by never taking risks. Others may care for you, may respect you, and may certainly accept you just as you are. But they will never be inspired by you to reach for greatness. You did not go through that “young and brave” period of life when you developed dreams and passions that led you to achievements that others could admire, even if that achievement was only taking a chance and ultimately failing. We all have our heroes whom we admire greatly. They are never people who stayed in their comfort zones.

    5. You Will Never Know What You are Really Capable Of

    Tough challenges are not embraced by those who stay in their comfort zones. Malala Yousafzai was just a Pakistani girl, aged 15. She wanted an education for herself and other girls in a country in which traditionalist Muslims saw that as an affront to their “brand” of Islam. She was targeted by the Taliban for her outspokenness on the topic, and shot in the head. Her strong will in the face of the physical challenges that lay ahead were a major factor in her healing, according to her doctors. She could have retreated to her comfort zone after that, and no one would have blamed her. But she did not. She has become an international spokesperson for female education and is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, at age 17. Malala knows what she is capable of, because she stepped out of her comfort zone and embraced challenge. Her next challenge? To become prime minister of Pakistan one day. Staying in a comfort zone means full potential is never reached.

    6. You Will Not Overcome Your Prejudices and Biases

    Everyone grows up with certain biases. Most of these are the result of lack of exposure to the “new” and the “different.” Thus, a child grows up not liking broccoli, because his/her parents didn’t like it and never served it. But when children grow up thinking that other people or beliefs that are “different” are also bad or inferior, then there are two choices. That child can grow into adulthood staying within his/her comfort zone or can choose to have new experiences outside of that zone, shed those biases, and have a much fuller life as a result. A rich life comes from exposure, and staying within a comfort zone means lack of exposure.

    7. You Will Never Totally Be in Charge of Your Life

    The people, situations, and circumstances within your comfort zone hold a great deal of influence over you. And when that influence is strong, it turns into power. Only by pushing outside of that zone can you reclaim that power over your own life – the power to set new goals, to make new plans, to court new experience and relationships. Suddenly you, not your comfort zone, is in control.

    Getting out of a comfort zone can be scary business indeed. There are a lot of unknowns “out there.” But a life lived totally within a comfort zone means no personal growth. Take the challenge. Take small steps outside of that zone; come back in when you need to. But with each step out, you will be braver and more excited about life.

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