Travel Why getting out of your comfort zone is not always a good thing

07:30  15 april  2018
07:30  15 april  2018 Source:   traveller.com.au

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SHARE. Share on Facebook SHARE. Share on Twitter TWEET. Pin to Pinterest PIN. Link. Locals try pile into an overcrowded bus in Bangladesh. Photo: Alamy. Share. Post on facebook wall. Share on twitter. Share via Email. Pin to Pinterest. Share on Google Plus.

There's nothing wrong with being in your comfort zone , unless you get too comfortable and start holding yourself back instead of challenging yourself to learn, grow and try new things . "It’s good to step out of our comfort zone .

Buses careening at 100km/h down the highways in Bangladesh.© Alamy Buses careening at 100km/h down the highways in Bangladesh. There's a realisation that hits you, and by the time it does, it's already far too late. You're committed by then; you can't get out. The only option is just to hang on and try to survive.

That realisation is that you've gone too far. It's the dawning sensation that, on this journey at least, you've bitten off more than you can chew. You've taken too big a risk. You've committed yourself to something that you're not really capable of dealing with.

For me, that realisation dawned, spectacularly, on a road in Bangladesh, on a highway about an hour south of Dhaka, while I sat in a bus and stared in horror at the impending carnage that surrounded me on all sides.

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It doesn’t know the difference between a good new habit and a bad new habit, so it tries to get you to do what you’ve always done, by staying inside your comfort zone . Keep reading to find out why it’s hard to force yourself out of your comfort zone , why you should do it anyway, and things to try.

There's actually a lot of science that explains why it's so hard to break out of your comfort zone , and why it's good for you when you do it. With a little understanding and a few adjustments, you can break away from your routine and do great things .

I'd elected to take this bus trip south to Chittagong with no concerns about my safety, with no inkling that I was putting my life on the line. Sure, it might be a bit rough, I figured. Maybe there would be no aircon. Maybe it would be a bit squishy. It would be slightly out of my comfort zone. But that's the fun of travel, to expose yourself to new things, to experience someone else's way of life.

Locals try pile into an overcrowded bus in Bangladesh.© Alamy Locals try pile into an overcrowded bus in Bangladesh. And then we got out on the highway and I realised what I'd done. Bangladeshi roads, for anyone who hasn't experienced them, are a nightmarish blur of near-certain death, a thousand almost-crashes played in fast forward, a constant stream of traffic that seems to bear no regard for rules, for safety, for the sanctity of life itself.

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I get tired of hearing the statement: step out of your comfort zone . Why is this necessary to be successful? You can call me irresponsible, lazy or whatever, but the facts remain the same – seeking to step out of your comfort zone is not always the best option.

If you're happily all wrapped up in your plushy, 1000-thread-count comfort zone , good for you. So if you want change, you've got to get out of that comfortable , plushy place that keeps you doing the same thing over and over again.

Buses overtake buses, careening at 100km/h towards other buses overtaking buses. They cross inches apart. Pedestrians wander frighteningly close to the chaos. Cars honk and tailgate and overtake in the most insane places. Market stalls flash by so close you could reach out an arm and steal a few mangos.

This trip was out of my comfort zone. Way out of my comfort zone. I sat there in my seat unable to look away, flinching as every bus screamed past us close enough to see the whites of the other driver's eyes, winching as the driver of my own vehicle made another suicidal overtaking manoeuvre.

Someone had filmed us before that trip, a staff member who walked down the aisle of the bus with a big video camera, capturing everyone's faces. I learned later he'd done that not for some sort of promotional video, but to make it easier to identify the dead in the seemingly likely event of a crash. I'm glad I didn't know. It would have only made it worse.

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“I am the most important thing ” is not the solution to make greater good on a bigger scale. Even if we truly care for ourselves only, helping people without the need to return the favor, will give us more in the future. Why would one get out of their comfort zone when they are actually comfortable there?

They were able to become good at something that was completely out of their comfort zone I think people should also realize working for someone else is not always secure. You are 100% correct – getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to push yourself and learn new things .

There's a common assumption among travellers that it's good to get outside your comfort zone, that you should push yourself when you're away, you should do things on your travels that worry you, things that intimidate you, things that scare you. And I 100 per cent subscribe to that idea. I love the feeling that I don't really know what I'm doing, that I'm figuring out something new about the world by experiencing it firsthand.

But there comes a point when you take that desire too far, when you realise that the world outside your comfort zone is sometimes a genuinely scary place, where things go wrong, where people get hurt. And you've just entered it. Voluntarily.

That bus trip in Bangladesh was one such moment for me. Most times, you look back on instants from your travels that seemed scary or intimidating and you laugh, you pat yourself on the back for having taken a chance, you wonder what all the fuss was about, you tell stories about it to your friends like you knew you'd be fine all along.

But I don't feel that way about that bus trip to Chittagong. At no point, even with the value of hindsight, has that felt like a fun adventure to me. At no point has it felt like anything other than an unwanted exercise in narrowly avoiding death.

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Awesome awesome article! All success is create by getting out of your Comfort Zone and into your Success Zone . But, when we think stress is just a natural part of life, or even a good thing , we are able to embrace it instead of being controlled by it.

So I would say to fellow travellers: push your boundaries when you're in a foreign place, by all means. Seek out experiences that are new and strange and intimidating. Glory in the feeling that you don't really know what you're doing, that you're trying something that you've never tried before. Get outside your comfort zone.

But at the same time, bear in mind the world isn't always safe. Sometimes experiences seem scary because they really are genuinely scary. Sometimes you feel like you're in danger because you really are in danger.

In those cases, a little comfort can go a long way.

Have you ever gone too far outside your comfort zone? Have you ever had that realisation that you've bitten off more than you can chew? How did you survive it?

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