Escaping Your Comfort Zone, Regardless of Your Personality Type

“Are you cozy enough?”

What a pleasant question. Someone cares about your comfort. We all like the nice, warm, safe feeling that comfort allows us. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Taking a break and finding ways to self-soothe and relax can be the perfect thing at the right time for any personality type. There’s nothing wrong with a good long “Ahhhhhhh” as you sink into a warm bath at the end of a workday.

But simple comfort differs from a comfort zone. A comfort zone is a psychological and maybe sometimes even a physical place where comfort insulates people from growth and reasonable risk. Simple comfort is a place of restoration. A comfort zone is a place of limitations.

When it’s time to grow or to do something different, the comfort zone whispers, “Are you cozy enough? No. Well, I’ve got just the thing for you. Step back into this place where everything is as it always has been. Let me tuck you into something familiar.”

Unfortunately, growth rarely happens in the comfort zone.

Personal growth, no matter your personality type, will almost always demand that you step into the unknown and the unexperienced.

Sometimes it can be our personality traits that define our comfort zones and keep us locked in, but only if we use our knowledge of who we are to insulate ourselves. We respectfully advise against that.

We’re all about growth, and we believe that knowing your personality traits can help you define where your growth edge is. With this knowledge, you can leverage your strengths in service of balancing your weaknesses and fostering your growth. It’s not about becoming someone else but rather growing into your best self.

Let’s look at some general examples. We hope they give you some ideas for making yourself a little uncomfortable.

  • An Introverted person might go to a networking meetup or business cocktail party, even though they’d rather be home with a bowl of popcorn and their favorite reality show.
  • An Extraverted person might go to a weeklong silent retreat to get more in touch with their inner selves.
  • An Intuitive person might join the Extraverted person at the same retreat so they can focus their thoughts in the present and experience their life more objectively.
  • An Observant personality type might take an improv class where they have to imagine props and create bizarre scenarios, unlike any situation they’ve ever experienced.
  • A Thinking person might join a therapy group designed to help them discover their feelings through mindful body scans and heartfelt reactions from the group.
  • A Feeling personality type might take a critical-thinking course that helps them sort out what is subjective and what is objective in their thinking.
  • A Judging person might join the Observant person at the improv class to blow up their preconceptions of how things should be and to experience the unpredictable antics of the process.
  • A Prospecting person might join the Extraverted and Intuitive people at the same retreat (this retreat is getting crowded) to learn patience and tolerance for sameness.
  • An Assertive personality type might voluntarily take part in a peer-assessment program at work for a rigorous look at their strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of others.
  • A Turbulent person might stretch themselves by intentionally doing some small and harmless thing wrong each day, just because they can.

Breaking free of the zone, at least temporarily, is an individual endeavor, so make it uniquely yours. Outside of the zone, there is often a treasure trove of opportunities for self-development.

Your Turn

  • What do your comfort zones look like? Do you think they fit your personality type?
  • Are they stopping you from doing or being anything that you’ve always wanted to do or be?
  • What would stepping outside of your comfort zone look like for you?
  • What might help you take that step?
  • Do at least one uncomfortable thing every day. It’s practice, so it doesn’t have to be something big. Take one uncomfortable baby step. But every day. Keep a record of it just for fun.

Further Reading

Here are some things to read that might also inspire you to take some chances: