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How Your Comfort Zone Limits Your Social Skills

Aug 17, 2007
If you are interested in developing leadership skills or business skills or social skills, it's important to understand what is holding you back: it's your comfort zone.

When you pull away from the things, people, and experiences you are familiar with, when you step out of your comfort zone, you are on a path of growth. This growth, to say the least, is forcing you to stretch, and this stretching is uncomfortable.

All critical skills come from leaving your comfort zone.

It would be wonderful if there was a way to comfortably grow. But growth actually stretches our self-confidence to a breaking point. We are no longer able to use those talents and social skills that had become second-nature. We can no longer call upon those who could be relied upon to support us. Instead, we find ourselves suddenly clumsy and with new people who have not yet come to know us and like us.

Here is an analogy:

Imagine that you are living in a small village. You know everyone. You know what to do, and when. This is your safe and familiar world. But your life calls for you to go beyond your village. Outside the village are resources, more money, more education, more things that you need to experience. You are forced outside your village because although it is comfortable, it doesn't have everything you need to survive or succeed in life.

This is how life works. We have our vision, our new purpose, but it is always a little beyond our reach. There is a gap where we are now and where we want to be. And usually, we have a lot of learning and experiencing to do before we can close the gap.

You can have your dream, but not the details on how to make it come true. You can make plans, and some plan is better than no plan, but these are only based on what you now know. As you move toward what you are seeking, new knowledge will appear, and you will have to continually revise your plan.

Discomfort is inevitable. Everything in you is calling you to go back to the way things were, even if they were not that good anyway. "Better the devil that you know," you mutter under your breath, "then the one that you don't know." But these are always false assumptions.

The reason you need to grow is because your life is not really that comfortable. There is something missing in it. What you take to be comfortable is only what is familiar, but it is not what you need at the moment.
Here are some examples:

Staying at home is comfortable; going to a place to work is uncomfortable. Yet unless you make money, you will lose your home.

Staying at your current weight is comfortable; going to a gym and following a strict diet is uncomfortable. Yet unless you lose excess weight, your health will get worse.

Staying single is comfortable; meeting and dating new people is uncomfortable. Yet unless you find a companion, you will continue to feel shy and lonely.

Outside our comfort zone is something that we need to make us more of who we want to be. There is something we need out there that will help us be successful.

We can, of course, refuse to step outside of our comfort zone, preferring to cope with the limitations within its borders. We can opt for contraction rather than expansion, for stagnation rather than growth.

Sometimes, through procrastination, we appear to be doing something about our goals, but, in fact, it is the same thing as complete inaction.

Unless you are willing to face your comfort zone, you will fail to reach your goals, and your power to make positive, life-affirming and expanding decisions will also start to atrophy.

Unfortunately, most people choose to honor their comfort zones, and in the process lose out on the opportunity to be, do, and have more of what would truly enrich their lives. The few who do respond to challenge in a positive way are those who start to experience levels of success they would never have dreamed was possible.

Stepping outside your comfort zone will teach you more than new social skills; it will also teach you how to orchestrate effective communication skills within you as well.
About the Author
Saleem Rana would love to share his inspiring ideas His book Never Ever Give Up tells you how. It is offered at no cost as a way to help YOU succeed. http://www.theempoweredsoul.com
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