Where did the term comfort zone even come from? Even more questioning, when did the term "comfort zone" become a bad thing? The meaning of the term comfort zone refers to the area of comfortability someone has about their life.
However, within the last few years, there has been a rise in encouraging those with tight comfort zones to step into what they saw as their restricted areas and live there lives to the "fullest". But what does that mean, living life to the fullest? And if that is something that individuals should strive for, should it not have more than one meaning?
Everyone has different levels of comfortability, meaning that everyone has different areas that fall outside of their comfort zone. Some of those areas may seem silly to some while others struggle to overcome or even recognize these uncomfortable circumstances. Encouraging someone to step outside of their comfort zone may seem like a friendly and harmless thing to do, those individuals who struggle with their discomforts can start to worry that they are not living the right kind of lives.
Take it from someone with a problem with severe anxiety. The more times I am told that I should try new things, things and situations I know will cause anxiety and panic attacks, it makes me feel less than and sometimes causes an anxiety attack just by the thought. Stepping out of that comfort zone is sometimes not an easy task, so if you are someone who wants to cross that seemingly terrifying threshold every once in a while, take baby steps at your own slow pace.
Just like there is nothing wrong with staying within your comfort zone for as long as you see fit, wanting to venture out beyond what normally restricts you is not always a bad thing either. Make these strides at your own pace, but some of the experiences out there can be life-changing.
Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that leaving your comfort zone is the best thing ever and the experiences you have will always be positive and better than you could have ever expected them to be. The truth is, stepping out of your comfort zone could have good and bad effects and situations. But these circumstances do allow you to learn about yourself and grow as a person, and that is something that is definitely worth the risk to take.
It will never be easier. Whether you believe your comfort zone to be mild or over the top, doing something that makes an individual feel uneasy and unsure will always be a struggle. There is no trick to overcome these anxieties and restrictions, so if you are the one who is constantly jumping hurdles over your comfort zone or the one who is content with never leaving their area of comfortability just remember you are free to make that decision. You are free to live life the way you want, no matter how many times you hear, "Get out of your comfort zone every once in a while, will you?" You are the writer to your own story, so feel free to make that next pen stroke in whichever direction you decide to take it.