How to Embrace Change and Reach a Whole New Level of Yourself
Keep this mindset in mind for a real growth in your life.
We all heard about the comfort zone. Most self-help articles or self-improvement gurus on the internet will most likely tell you that growth occurs when you decide to leave your comfort zone.
But have you ever thought to yourself, “Why would I leave my comfort zone if I’m already comfortable with myself? Isn’t that the end goal, to reach comfort and stability so I can treat myself to a manicure and pedicure in Paris without worrying about not being able to pay the bills?”
Yeah, I thought that too.
But as it turns out, the real possible danger of “comfort zone” is not the “comfort" itself — but what lies behind it.
Inside the comfort zone, nested a little rabbit hole called the complacency zone. This zone is not necessarily negative; it’s simply a flat, featureless landscape that holds no surprises. Living in this space often leads to feeling unfulfilled, directionless, or lacking purpose.
I think everyone at least once in their life has experienced being in the complacency zone. And it’s normal to feel lost at times. But the important thing is to recognize once complacency creeps in and try not to fall deeper down the rabbit hole.
From my experience as well as the lessons I have learned from others, I believe these 4 mindset shifts can help us to get through it. When we practice them consistently, we will reach a whole new level of ourselves — the real “self” we truly want to be.
1: Seek discomfort and get comfortable with discomfort.
About three months ago, I had just graduated from college.
I started my own business when I was 18 and have been financially independent since then. By the time I graduated, I managed to have 4 streams of income, built a good portfolio, and had a quite good GPA.
I lived my life every day doing productive things, making money… being my own boss, and all — growing bit by bit every single day.
But honestly, what hid beneath the surface was, I felt empty. Yes, even with a fairly “stable” income and being the self-improvement addict I was, there was a hollowness in me. At first, I thought it was just a “normal feeling”, but as you could probably guess — I was in the complacency zone.
I then realized I’ve always wanted to publish my writing online—you know, I’ve always loved writing but I was having a hard time publishing my work — yet I procrastinated since I was busy taking care of my business. But of course, it was just my excuse.
So that day, I decided to just do it. I signed up, wrote, and published.
It turned out, I needed to get some discomfort from the feeling of trying new things — the mystery, the fear of failures, the bittersweet experiences in the form of appreciation and negative comments. I’ve dealt with negative reviews in my business, but people judging my actual “work” in the written words was a new feeling.
Sometimes, reaching a new level of yourself means going back to square one and starting all over again, and that’s okay.
When you embrace discomfort and succeed, you improve your overall skill set and boost your confidence. You open up new opportunities and become a stronger and more experienced version of yourself.
2: Connect with yourself.
Connecting with yourself means to be in touch with the wholeness of yourself, your worthiness, and to talk to your internal dialogue.
Self-evaluate yourself, question your goals, dreams, and how you see yourself — with all honesty. Do it constantly because what you wanted two or five years ago might be different from now.
In college, all I wanted was to be an entrepreneur. I worked hard to reach my goal, sacrificed a lot of things, and even abandoned some of my friends. But goals are supposed to be progressive, hence, once I reach them, I need to create new goals.
I may be a business owner for now, but being at least a “good writer” is my first priority at the moment. And I’m in it for the long haul.
Some people will call me stupid, some will doubt me, and many will laugh at me. But I don’t care. Because trust me, that’s what they did too when I first started my business.
By defining — or redefining — yourself and matching it to your goals, you can see if your “current self” is really what you want or what others want you to be. Know who you are and what your goals are. You’re the one responsible for it — not your parents, not your partner, not them.
3: Take risks and go beyond your limitations.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda
Following Yoda’s advice, I decided to do. I redefined myself from an entrepreneur to a writer.
Of course, it doesn’t mean I suddenly leave the business I’ve built for 4 years — taking calculated risk is different from being stupid — yet, I’m willing to take the risk of getting my income dropped simply because I dedicated more time to writing than catching up with my customers.
Don’t be afraid to take risks. With every risk, comes an achievement, and with every achievement, you move a step ahead.
It can be extremely risky to go beyond our limitations. But remember that we truly grow as we learn to take risks — not by playing it safe. Playing it safe means you won’t fall, but it also means you won’t bounce any higher than you already are.
4: Have patience — but be willing to leap into the unknown.
4 years ago, when I first started my business, I barely had time to breathe. Now, when I start pursuing my writing dream, I barely have time to breathe.
New steps, different goals, but the same state of mind.
The first step is always difficult. But I believe the hardest thing is to keep taking those steps. The ability to endure hardship is a virtue, and that is what we call patience.
“You win when you fall in love with patience.” — Gary Vee
Here, I started from the bottom, all over again. I let myself step into the unknown. And I’m glad I did.
Having patience doesn’t mean you won’t overcome your fear of the unknown. The unknown might be scary — in fact, it is terrifying, but it’s the space where anything can happen.
For me, it was writing online. For you, it might be taking a yoga class, attending a new event, taking part in your local community, making podcasts, planting flowers, learning new skills— anything that involves exploring “the unknown”.
Throwing yourself into the unknown can be very rewarding because you enter the world of possibility, fully surrender to all expectations, and allow yourself to be free of the limitations that you set yourself.
Getting out from comfort zone does not mean you can’t feel comfortable. In fact, when you’re doing what you love, you must feel comfortable, but it doesn’t mean you are not growing. The key is to not stay too long in the “complacency zone”.
Real growth occurs when you decide to seek discomfort, feel comfortable with it, then, connect with yourself as you learn to take risks and pursue your dreams against ALL odds.
You don’t need to seek happiness to be happy, you don’t have to look for comfort to be comfortable. With some patience, if you apply and balance the 4 mindsets above, you can reach a whole new level of yourself—and happiness will do its job to find you.
That is what it means to grow, and that is the beauty of change.