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Journey to Thrive: Stepping Beyond Comfort for Growth

Hey everyone! Penny here! I have been wanting to type this post for a very long time now. We started hearing about the term 'step out of our comfort zones.' I know that I've probably seen billions of reels or posts on Instagram about this, and psychologists recommend that we step out of what is comfortable and familiar to us. But I was questioning myself: why? Can't I just grow in this familiar environment? 


As a human instinct, we tend to stay in places that are familiar to us and our nature. Such instances would be our home country, the neighborhood we have been living in ever since we were born, and our primary school friends. Stepping out of our comfort zone is scary and daunting for many of us, since this is in our nature. Yet, the real growth happens when we face our fears—when we take the first step into the unknown and face our fears.





Real growth does not happen in the ‘’comfort zone’’. But why is that? 

Because, as humans, we need to thrive. We are constantly adapting to new situations all the time. In order to thrive and flourish, we need to continue to grow in different environments and this happens as a result of evolutionary psychology. 


What is evolutionary psychology?


The human mind is shaped by the need to solve problems that our ancestors faced in their environments, such as finding food, avoiding predators, forming social alliances, and reproducing, and that there are evolved psychological mechanisms. These are innate, domain-specific systems in the brain that evolved to deal with specific types of information and tasks. Examples include mechanisms for language acquisition, mate selection, and social cooperation. Evolutionary psychologists argue that there are universal psychological traits shared by all humans that are the result of our shared evolutionary history. This means that we all have an intrinsic drive to thrive for several interconnected reasons deeply ingrained in our evolutionary history, psychology, and social dynamics.

 

  1. Survival Instinct: Thriving is closely tied to survival. Throughout human history, those who thrived were more likely to survive and pass on their genes to future generations.


  1. Adaptation: Humans are incredibly adaptable beings. Thriving involves not just surviving but also adapting to changing environments and circumstances. This adaptability has been key to our species' success in different habitats around the world.


2. Fulfillment and Well-Being: Thriving encompasses more than just meeting basic needs. It involves experiencing a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and overall well-being. Pursuing goals, achieving success, and contributing to something larger than ourselves are essential components of human flourishing.


3. Social Connection: Humans are social creatures. Thriving often involves strong social connections, whether it's through supportive relationships, belonging to a community, or contributing to society. Positive social interactions and a sense of belonging are vital for our mental and emotional well-being.


4. Personal Growth: Thriving is synonymous with personal growth and development. Humans have an innate desire for self-improvement, learning, and mastery. This drive pushes us to continually strive for greater competence, creativity, and self-actualization.


5. Meaning and Purpose: Thriving is intrinsically linked to finding meaning and purpose in life. Whether through meaningful work, fulfilling relationships, or spiritual practices, humans seek a sense of purpose that gives their lives direction and significance.




In summary, we have a fundamental drive to thrive because it's essential for survival, adaptation, fulfillment, social connection, personal growth, meaning, and happiness. It's a holistic concept that encompasses various aspects of human existence and contributes to our overall well-being and success as individuals and as a species.


The process is not easy. First, we step into the "fear zone," where we might feel like we lack confidence or get affected by others’ opinions. But, in the meantime, we begin to learn and enter the "learning zone," where we discover more about our true nature and learn new skills. Then we find ourselves in the "learning zone." In this zone, we extend our comfort zone, we acquire new skills, and we might encounter more challenges, but we learn how to deal with them. The real growth happens afterwards, in the "growth zone." This is where we thrive, achieve our goals and dreams, and find our true purpose.




If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to take things one step at a time. For someone like me dealing with social anxiety, even simple tasks like visiting a local café can feel overwhelming. But I remind myself that each small step brings me closer to my goals. Whether it's savoring a cup of coffee or soaking in the fresh air, these moments boost my confidence and remind me that these small achievements are more important than anything.





Remember, growth isn't just about achieving external milestones; it's about embracing the journey, confronting our fears, and discovering the strength within ourselves. So, dare to step beyond your comfort zone, for it's only there that you'll find the true essence of living.


Until the next post! 


Penny x

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This is such a great post! I was always aware that you can't grow in your comfort zone, but it was so interesting to read the reasons why. I definitely agree that one step at a time is the key, and you often end up making more progress than you realise xx


Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/

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Diomayra
Diomayra
May 28

Wow what a fantastic post! I love the last sentence of the article "dare to step beyond your comfort zone, for it's only there that you'll find the true essence of living." It is so true we find the true meaning of life once we let go of fear and step out of our comfort zones.

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This post about growth is amazing Penny. In order to grow, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone. I find when I have the guts to do that, my confidence grows and I thrive! x


Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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