Discover the signs your comfort zone is your unhealthy twilight zone and what you should do about it.
Comfort is splendid and enjoyable. Much of our modern conveniences aims at making us comfortable by selling us stuff. And, for some personality types, this is their life mission.
But too much of a good thing is bad. Our personal growth stops. What’s worse, we get comfortable in unhealthy situations. We get comfortable when we accept the situation. Sometimes we mistake comfort for the unhealthy twilight zone.
Why Your Comfort Zone is Unhealthy
The weird thing is that our zone of comfort is a slippery slope that can lead to unhealthy thinking. The Ego naturally disintegrates into unhealthy thought patterns when we are complacent. Unhealthy thinking becomes undesirable behavior. It’s the spawning ground for suicidal ideas, revenge, and many other negative thought patterns. We all agree this thinking is unhealthy.
So, you need how to learn how to spot the signs you are living in the twilight zone of comfort, and how to get out of it. So, our comfort zone is like a dead zone. It’s a comfort twilight zone where we’re not living, it’s just existing. Therefore, it’s important to learn the signs.
Signs You’re in the Unhealthy Zone
1. Conformity ― Surrendering to the Situation
The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.
― Rollo May
In this sense, surrendering means giving up hope. A life without hope makes us conform and fit in. It’s not better, it’s just easier. So, we live a twilight zone existence. As a result, we learn to just get by.
Just because we are comfortable doesn’t mean we are happy. We accept a situation even though it is unhealthy or painful. The similarity brings a level of comfort. That’s because we fear the unknown more than the pain, and that’s why we conform to the situation.
Complacency leads to conformity because it is familiar and comfortable. The comfort zone of conformity feels safe, but it’s a trap. It wastes our most valuable resource, our time. Conformity and complacency are the home of the unhealthy zone.
The Antidote for Complacency
The antidote is to move from conformity to individuality. First, take an honest assessment of your situation. Brainstorm. What are all the options? List as many options as you can. Use your imagination. It doesn’t matter how crazy the idea is. After brainstorming, go back and find those options which are things you can do.
Next, change something in your life that expresses the real you. It could be as simple as wearing two different socks. Or perhaps change the route to and from work. Find something that expresses the real you.
The most powerful thing you can do is to vow to live a courageous life. This will bring opportunities that will have a positive impact on you and the world.
2. Weary and Defeated ― Self-Doubt
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
— Maya Angelou
We become weary for several reasons. Weariness is on the downward spiral. This downward trend often starts with complacency. As a result, our lives become a never-ending series of weary tasks, and eventually, we doubt everything.
We develop self-doubts about our skills and eventually our worthiness. The attack on our self-worth blinds us to this unhealthy cycle. We don’t see a way to reverse this trend. The real defeat is not seeing the lesson this situation can provide. It is a wake-up call prompting us to change direction. If we miss this wake-up call, we continue the downward trend towards depression.
Despite these negative feelings of defeat, it becomes a comfort zone. That’s because it is familiar. Familiarity makes failure comfortable. Just because it’s unhealthy doesn’t mean it isn’t a place of comfort for our Ego. It satisfies the Ego no matter the situation, as long as it is in control.
When we are weary and defeated, we take on the victim mentality, which is the result of this downward spiral.
The Antidote for Weariness and Defeat
The key is to break the cycle. Realize how important it is not to lose hope. Remember to focus on the lessons of failure, but move on. This takes courage. That’s because weariness is addictive. It becomes your comfort zone, your unhealthy zone.
Courage is an interesting thing. It’s a mixture of action, vulnerability, and risk. It takes personal courage because it makes us vulnerable emotionally. It is risky too.
3. Chronic Boredom ― Lack of Desire
Boredom: the desire for desires.
We all experience boredom from time to time. However, when this becomes a pattern of habitual behavior, it’s probably a waste of time. Routines are right for some things like exercise, going to bed, study time, etc. However, some routines are symptoms of boredom. Like spending several hours scrolling social media, for instance.
When the mind keeps busy with mindless activity, this becomes boring. If this mindless activity is our work, which provides our income, then we must become more mindful. Otherwise, the lack of desire will affect our attitude and abilities.
Boredom leads to other unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. So boredom is a warning sign. It tells us we need to make a change. Positive change always begins with changing our mindset.
The Antidote for Chronic Boredom
Most people think doing more is the best way to break the habit of boredom, but this isn’t true. What works better to break boredom is meditation. That’s right. Instead of more activity, we introduce silence. That’s because effective meditation disengages the Ego and personality. These are the culprits behind the mindset of boredom.
This comfort zone will burn up a lot of time. And, rather than feeling guilty, you may have a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction. When you realize the time and effort investment, you’ll see it’s an unhealthy pattern that needs to change.
The fact is, it’s not things you do or the situation which makes us bored. It’s what we experience when our personality is in control. This makes your mind numb. If you don’t know how to meditate, there’s a link above to a simple two-step method anyone can use. So, the next time you feel bored, meditate for even three minutes. Three minutes of silence refreshes the mind and body.
4. Easily Distracted ― Acting like a “Trout”
Focus helps you do something. Distraction makes you avoid doing anything.
Our modern culture narrative is a product of groupthink manipulation. The advertising industry grew out of this misuse of emotional triggers. As a result, there’s no doubt we are all programmed to act like trout. No one escapes the critical mass of advertising. We go after anything that is bright and shiny or which looks tasty.
All media communications contain the potential to become an unhealthy distraction. For instance, you can spend mindless hours engaging in TV, video games, and the internet. Unfortunately, even people can become distractions. It’s possible to waste hours just bouncing from one thing to another. It’s simply time-consuming, but not satisfying. Nor does it bring lasting happiness. Afterward, there is always a feeling of guilt. You realize this comfort zone is just a waste of your precious time.
The Antidote for the Easily Distracted
The first thing we need to do is admit we have a problem. Next, cut the use of those things which distract us. If you use people as a distraction, this is a bigger problem. In that case, seek professional help.
Realize the root of this is patterns of thought. We can break these patterns with some time and work. Some things that help are working to improve memory. Mnemonic tools are vivid stories that combine unusual elements along with the data we need to remember. Again, meditation is an effective antidote.
5. Apathy ― Justifying Inaction
The inactive must justify their sloth by picking nits with those making an attempt.
Apathy takes inaction to a whole different level. This is when you try to explain away and justify your inaction. This often runs along with complacency. You convince yourself it’s okay to ignore your conscience. This is how normal people make poor decisions.
We know the right thing to do. But it means going against our cultural narrative. And if we do this, it will move us out of our comfort zone. We must fight against falling back into old patterns of thought to justify our inaction. Apathy is also more than procrastination. It’s a lack of interest.
When you lose interest, you lose touch with our hearth and creative center. This is when life becomes monotonous. Even if you see what’s going on, and know what you should do, you just ignore it. This is happening to more and more people. That’s because there isn’t just one thing wrong with the cultural narrative. There are many things that are broken in society.
The Antidote For Apathy
This is probably the hardest comfort zone to conquer. You don’t just snap out of apathy. Because apathy is like a vine. It gets stronger the longer it grows. So, the longer the vines are in place, the harder they are to remove. It will take time to overcome this mindset. But learning to cultivate a beginner’s mindset can help overcome this inertia.
The way out is with some serious inner work. Start by reading on the subject. Carl Jung has some excellent ideas about how our childhood holds the key to fulfillment as adults. Mindfulness meditation, both seated and moving forms are also great for helping elevate your attitude.
6. Lack of Goals ― No Goals, You’ll Never Fail
It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.
This is the mantra of the comfort zone. If you no goals and you’ll never fail, but this is perhaps the biggest trap. Goals help us avoid many other twilight zone traps and it’s perhaps the easiest one to one which to make headway.
The Antidote for Lack of Goals
Start with small goals. Put them in writing, even if it’s just a reminder on your smartphone. Success builds momentum. Once you can complete small things, then you make the goal larger. You can do this!
We set boundaries and limitations because it’s comfortable. However, nothing grows in this comfort zone. Our culture reinforces this idea to control us. So, goals are a way of combating this message. The antidote is to set simple incremental goals. Above all, always make SMART goals.
Smart is an acronym to remind of the best way to set goals. It’s a part of building good habits.
Smart goals are:
- Realistic and
- Time-sensitive (a specific time measure)
Here are some ideas for setting simple goals
- Make the bed today.
- Smile and say something positive to the first person you see.
- Exercise this afternoon when you get home from work.
- Set a one-hour social media blackout today.
- Find one thing to give away.
- Practice saying “thank you” instead of saying “I’m sorry”. For instance, if you are late for a meeting instead of saying “I’m sorry I’m late”. In place say, “thank you for waiting for me”.
7. Unfulfilled Pleasure-Seeking
Seek not greater wealth, but simpler pleasure; not higher fortune, but deeper felicity.
Some personality types are more susceptible to this lifestyle. The Enneagram type seven, for instance. They aren’t the only ones who can turn to an adrenalin rush to cover up what’s going on. Yes, there is excitement. If there isn’t anything exciting to do, then they slip quickly into depression.
However, activities and adventures are a way to cover up they are unhappy. It’s all wrapped up in the motives for being active. The motives differ between having fun and needing to do it. So, if the motive is to have fun, that’s good. But, if we need to engage in thrill-seeking activity to keep from facing something, that’s unhealthy.
Thrill-seekers are always trying new things. If skydiving becomes boring, they move up to wing-surfer flying. When that isn’t enough they find something higher and more dangerous. They may set world records, but the victory is hollow. These achievements do not lead to fulfillment. Does this sound familiar?
This comfort zone doesn’t seem like one because thrill-seeking or being sacred isn’t comfortable. This is another one where you aren’t comfortable but it is very addicting. Once you start down the road of excitement, you’ll always be looking for the next thing. Unfulfilled pleasure-seeking is one of the major drivers of commercialism.
The Antidote for Unfilled Pleasure-Seeking
The Enneagram Personality Profile is the best tool to help you understand your personality and instinct. This mental tool key to serious inner work. And this tool will show you the connections between thoughts and personality. It can even show you the links between your desires and cultural programming.
By all means, start with learning about the triggers for your personality and instinct combination. Then, attend an Enneagram workshop where they help you drill down to the genuine answers. Most competent teachers use the repeating question model to do this. Without question, this practice will show you what fears you need to face.
It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.
Does one or more of the above situations resonate with you? So your zone of comfort is probably also your unhealthy zone. It may seem like a beautiful place, even though it takes up a great deal of time. Moreover, it prevents you from facing the things you need to deal with so you can grow.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia