24 February | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Good things are on ‘other side’ of your comfort zone

‘In order to grow, you must become accustomed to discomfort. One must learn to venture into uncomfortable places in order to succeed’

The planet and its inhabitants are constantly in a race to get to a location where nobody can go and fulfill their hopes and aspirations. Is it right to pursue your pleasures even if doing so means sacrificing your mental, physical, and emotional well-being as well as your relationships and bonds? Why it is usually claimed that you have to lose something in order to gain something or get to a certain position? Some participants in this race lose their self-respect, mental stability, relationships, and sometimes even their own dignity.

When a baby enters the world, parents do everything in their power to provide for all of their wants and comforts. A father makes a great effort to provide their child with a decent school, college and university education, and all the other necessities. Children get accustomed to their comfort zone as a result of their parents’ love and hard work, as they are consistently given the greatest option available to them—sometimes even before they ask. The family cycle changes to a 360-degree angle when parents’ age due to biological clock effects and their children grow into young adults who must make their own decisions and support themselves.

‘Opportunities make you uncomfortable, seize them’

For that young adult, things grew more difficult since he was never instructed to work hard, go out in public, or pursue his goals. “I insist you to strive. Work, work and only work for satisfaction with patience, humbleness and serve the nation,” this is one of the finest quotation of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the outstanding leader and a visionary statesman, in his advice to the youngsters to skip comfort zone around them. You have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to go somewhere. When a girl who had always been her father’s little princess turned 21, her father turned 62, and their energy levels didn’t match.

The girl now had to go out on her own and support herself, but she didn’t know how the world worked or how socialization would benefit her. She didn’t know how to survive, so she would continue to fail. The dilemma now arises: is it her responsibility because her parents somehow ‘failed’ to teach the young girl life lessons, or is it her fault that she did not do what she should have done? The issue is not so much with practical lessons learned as it is with overindulging in comfort and much pampering. Such a zone will expose their kids’ minds to skewed thought patterns and scarce resources.

So, ‘be uncomfortable’ seems like good advice, but why do so few of us follow it? Because people are hard-wired to avoid pain, I believe this is the answer. Good things are on the other side of your comfort zone, but convincing yourself to embrace discomfort is challenging. When we are uncomfortable, we are wired to seek comfort. But, in order to grow, you must become accustomed to discomfort. Accepting compliments without lowering your head, for example, or signing up for a public speaking lesson despite your fear. Practice routinely once you’ve sought out occasions for discomfort.

At the end, you’ll gradually improve your ability to respond to new and challenging events. Because opportunities make you uncomfortable, seize them. You can continue on without retreating or resorting to a coping method. It’s acceptable to experience dread, anxiety, or other uncomfortable emotions; what counts is that you don’t allow those emotions to control how you behave going forward. The key is to start someplace, and in order to succeed, one must learn to venture into uncomfortable places.