The Psychology of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

 Via Unsplash
Via Unsplash

Not many people like change. Change is hard. But change is good. Change is inevitable. It is through change that we grow, and learn, and evolve. So we need change, and the best way to cultivate change in our lives is to break out of our comfort zone… at least, every once a while.

For many, the simple thought of breaking out of the comfort zone might provoke feelings of unease.

Asking someone to step outside of their comfort zone is essentially asking them to (voluntarily) place themselves somewhere they’ll feel insecure and vulnerable. Most of us have been wired to fear vulnerability and any other situation that makes us feel exposed.

The comfort zone is the place a person feels in control. When a person is outside of their comfort zone, they lose a sense of control over their lives, and this is particularly hard for people who suffer from perfectionism or just general insecurity.

However, people don’t operate at their best when they are within a comfort zone. The comfort zone breeds complacency, which breeds familiarity and begets mediocrity. People are at their best when they are ‘just’ outside of their comfort zones.

Throughout Scripture there’s a consistent theme – men and women of God who are pushed outside of their comfort zones.

Spiritually and psychologically very subtle things occur when a person is pushed out of their comfort zones. When a person is pushed out of their comfort zone, they quickly realize that they can’t rely on themselves. Being in unfamiliar territory is a reminder that we need God. It’s a reminder that we cannot trust in ourselves. It’s easy to forget these things when everything is stable. But then we are pushed outside of our comfort zones we are reminded that we need a higher power to help us.

Being pushed out of a comfort zone helps us grow. It stretches who we are and broadens our perspective of the world.

Being thrown completely out of your comfort zone quickly dismantles pride. The “need to be in control” and pride are linked… but pride quickly diminishes and is replaced by humility when a person no longer feels in control.

Below are two things you can do to break out of your comfort zone.

First, start to pray radical prayers. Instead of asking for the things that you normally ask for, start praying and asking for more. Pray big prayers. Big prayers require big faith – so stretch your faith by beginning to pray big prayers.

Second, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and lead you into new things. Perhaps there are areas of your life where you feel at ease, but you are yearning for more. Ask God to open the doors so that you can experience more – and when the doors open step through them fearlessly – in faith.

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