Have you ever wondered why there is a sustained sense of frustration despite having achieved a lot? Is your quality of life really poor or have you been expecting too much from yourself? My take on these questions is that frustration stems from not having done what we initially dreamed of. Many of us have succeeded in achieving our life goals while many have struggled and failed miserably.
For instance, if you wanted to be a stage actor but chose the path of studying medicine, it is likely that you will harbor a sense of disappointment. This is because you didn’t pursue something you really loved. Despite doing rather well in life as a senior surgeon, you might wonder how it would feel to perform in front of a crowd. This feeling can also be a blend of regret and disappointment that can adversely affect the quality of your life. However, I feel that you don’t need to live with such regrets. Why can’t a surgeon pursue acting as a serious hobby? The answer lies in falling into the comfort zone.
What is Comfort Zone?
This zone resides in our mind. We are all susceptible to fall into it. The comfort zone is not affected by age or gender. It is essentially a state of passive acceptance. Here, you don’t take upon anything challenging. Nothing too drastic is likely to happen here. Once it forms roots, this zone doesn’t allow you to explore life. You are driven by old habits and norms of society. You find solace in following a routine. Taking a bold stance becomes rather difficult. This behavioral state might ensure that you don’t get into too many anxious situations. However, there is a huge disadvantage to it.
You are likely to be satisfied even with an average performance. Toiling hard to achieve your life goals doesn’t make sense to you. As a result, your personal and professional growth is stunted. You become averse to pursuing new skills. Continuing with the above example, as a surgeon, you find relief in sticking to your daily routine at the hospital. Your heart longs to be on the stage but you smother this urge. You can also turn into a chronic procrastinator. Every time you get the urge to pursue your passion, you procrastinate and create self-appeasing excuses like lack of time.
How to break through the comfort zone?
Here are some ways to break through your comfort zone.
You need to introspect. I recommend writing down the things you have always wanted to do. Choose 2-3 activities that are compatible with your personal health and monetary status. Don’t try to take upon too much too soon. This will only take you towards failure and more disappointment. Give yourself a few days to plan how you can pursue these passions/hobbies.
Change Detrimental Personal Habits
I staunchly believe that bad personal habits are the main reason why we become self-limiting. For instance, you check your schedule and realize that you have time to pursue photography over the weekend. However, you don’t have the habit of planning your weekend. You are never decisive about the kind of things you should do in your spare time. Your inability to manage time means you cannot do the things that are realistic and can make you happier. The quality of your life suffers and the feeling of self-pity grows.
You might have turned into a chronic procrastinator without even realizing it. Do a reality-check to analyze where you stand. Make a log of the things you have planned to do in the last two days. Now list the things to which you actually committed. Chances are that you postponed most of these without even trying hard. I recommend enforcing actionable thinking to stop procrastinating.
For instance, if you want to start exercising, write it down as a weekly and daily goal. Let your screensavers and desk become reminders of the goal. Share your aspiration with your family or friends. Plead them to be harsh with you every time you stop trying.
Once you try these measures, the overall quality of your life will definitely improve. You will find a sense of pride in doing things. Even if you fail with the initial attempts, don’t doubt your choices. It is better to try hard and fail rather than live with the repentance of never having honestly tried.