Who Says You Have To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone?

I love my comfort zone. To me, that’s where the real magic happens.

In my comfort zone, I have my family, friends, work, music, books, movies, bike, gym, park, you name it. Everything I love.

And from that place of safety, I’m more open to trying new things and take risks.

I’ve never believed the idea of that stupid little drawing. You know what I’m talking about, right?

  • “Your comfort zone.” A little circle.
  • “Where the magic happens.” A big circle that stands for the promise of success.

As if “magic” only happens when you step outside your comfort zone; that’s ridiculous. And while we’re at it; why pretend as if your comfort zone is bad? It’s this little pathetic circle displayed against the bigger “magical” circle.

Sure, I’m all about pushing yourself, trying new things, moving forward, growing, etc. But in contrast to many popular self-help people, I don’t believe the comfort zone is a bad thing.

Call me a pessimist. Call me a stoic. But more than anything, I’m merely a practical person.

And practically speaking, you don’t even want to make a huge leap outside your comfort zone. In fact, I believe in the slow road to “magic.”

Where’s The Magic People Talk About?

I’ve found that I do my best work when I don’t worry about money, finding new friends, getting familiar with a new environment, and anything else that is related to always moving around.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I prefer to stay put. Stagnation is a death sentence to me.

I believe that there are different phases to life. Sometimes, you take it easy, work on your skills, your character — you invest in yourself.

And sometimes, you just go out there and take a chance. Life’s too short to be a wimp.

But those two things are interconnected. If you don’t work on yourself, and if you lack self-confidence, you will never take a risk.

For years I wanted to do what I’m doing now. But instead of jumping out of my comfort zone (which was scary), I slowly took on new and bigger challenges.

First, I got two degrees in business. Then, I started a business together with my father. That was in 2010. And after two years of working on that business for six or seven days a week, I started doing freelance marketing work.

Again, after a few years of freelancing and starting (and failing) other businesses on my own, I took a job at a research advisory firm because I wanted to know how it is to work for a major corporation.

And after doing that for a year and a half, I finally decided to write and talk about productivity, career, and entrepreneurship on the internet.

By then, I‘d been doing the things I write about for more than 10 years. And yet, I don’t have all the answers—I just share the stuff I’ve learned.

So it would be ridiculous if I would join people who scream: “If you want to be successful, all you have to do is step outside your comfort zone. NOW!”

Well, have you ever stepped outside your comfort zone? Even just a little bit counts. And what did you find? A leprechaun with a bag of money?

Not going to happen.

That comfort zone shit is just a story. It might motivate some people, but you don’t have to believe it if you don’t want to. It’s just like when people claim you have to wake up early if you want to be successful. Says who?

I believe this: If you step outside your comfort zone, there’s only more work waiting for you. It’s not fancy at all. There’s no magic involved. Just blood, sweat, and tears.

Work Your Way Up From A Place Of Comfort

I think that most people who read these type of articles want to achieve something. Maybe you want to quit your job, start a business, grow your business, become an artist, publish a book, whatever.

And you probably also know that it’s not easy. So why do you make things even harder for yourself by doing shit that makes you very uncomfortable?

Instead, start from the very bottom. Build a strong foundation. Get comfortable before you do scary stuff.

“How does that foundation look like?”

If you want to live stress-free, you need enough money in your savings account so you can live and eat for six months in case things go south—see it as a fail-safe system. Again, that’s my practical mind speaking for me.

Make some calculations and figure your what that number is for you. And don’t even think about taking a risk before you have that money on your savings account.

Also, build a skill set that’s worth something. One of the reasons I don’t care about money is because I trust my ability to find work. Even when I go broke tomorrow, I’ll find a way to get work the next day. I’ve invested years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in my education.

The question is: What’s your skill? How can you add value to the world? What problems can you solve?

Other things that complete your foundation:

  1. Family. If you don’t have a family, create one.
  2. Friends. You can’t be friends with everyone. Stick to a few people who also stick to you.
  3. Yourself. Consciously improve your body and mind. Go to bed a little stronger and wiser every night.

Lastly, don’t try to be something you’re not. If you’re an introvert, don’t pretend that you can work in a boiler room. If you’re an extrovert, don’t pretend you can work in solitude.

Stay close to yourself—there’s no point in pushing yourself so badly that your life becomes miserable.

In the end, we all need comfort: It’s one of our basic needs as human beings. But we also need growth. So whatever you do, don’t stay in your comfort zone for too long.

Try to keep moving forward every day: Even if it’s just a tiny step. No magic. Just effort.

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12 comments

  1. Great article Darius! Having a strong group of friends who always support you (and vice versa) has been key for me. I have few friends, but I know they’d do anything for me. I’d much rather have quality over quantity when it comes to friendships.

    1. Great article! I thik I found my confort zonebecause 5 years ago I jumped the Last confort zona to magic zona ( now a New confort zone)
      My enghish is not Good!

      Marcela

  2. Thanks for another great article — I cannot agree more with you, Darius. Years ago I jumped out of my comfort zone and didn’t get what I desired — but in the process I learned patience and smalls steps at a time. Also that you don’t always get what you want in a certain stage of your life. I also learned that while being out of my comfort zone, I can fake it till I make it!

  3. I wish i could support you more Daruis? ..
    I love your blog and everytime you post something new my dopamine increases !
    that i know something valuable i will read
    ??

    Thank you so much

    I fully agree with you

    There is no magic after you leave your comfort zone

    Magic will happen after you make effort everyday ?

  4. While I realise amoebas are not exactly popular as pets, an observation of their nature and response to changing conditions in the environment has taught us something important about ourselves.

    Place an amoeba in an environment in which it’s subjected to a great deal of discomfort, and it will die. This is not surprising, and the same thing would probably happen to you and me.

    The surprise comes when an amoeba is placed in an environment that provides it with absolute and continuous comfort. It dies, and so once again there is a direct parallel with human life.

    If you or I opted for a life of total comfort, our spirit for life would weaken. Our life force would slowly die. We would become “comfortably numb” (to quote from Pink Floyd) as we while away our time in the comfort of the Sunday afternoon sofa.

    In think that the real point here is that your comfort zone is an important and essential place — i agree fully — but you can’t spend your whole life in the comfort zone if you want to stretch yourself, expand your horizons, try new things, take risks and venture into the unknown.

    It’s a balance, like Yin and Yang. We need both. Except, as with Yin and Yang, people spend too much time living in the Yin (the fixed) and not enough time living the Yang (the variable). Hence the say, “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone”.

    🙂

  5. In the end, we all need comfort: It’s one of our basic needs as human beings. But we also need growth. So whatever you do, don’t stay in your comfort zone for too long.

    I don’t get this…so in the end, we have to leave our comfort zone?

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