Those with addiction often struggle to maintain boundaries. Boundaries represent where you feel the safest and most comfortable. In addiction treatment, you might learn about boundary setting, such as knowing how to say “no,” or recognizing your limits. However, in addiction treatment, you’re also taught that sometimes you must leave your comfort zone to evolve. This might seem like it contradicts boundary setting, but there is an important difference between maintaining your boundaries and leaving your comfort zone. This article discusses those differences and how seeking sobriety can help you maintain that balance between trying new things and respecting your limits.
The Difference Between Personal Boundaries and Your Comfort Zone
It might seem contradictory to teach people how to maintain personal boundaries while simultaneously challenging them to leave their comfort zone in treatment and recovery. However, while boundaries and comfort zones might seem similar and are often used interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing.
A person who doesn’t know how to set their boundaries might not stand up for themselves if a person does or says something that makes them feel uncomfortable. It causes the person to put themselves in harm’s way because they aren’t setting those limitations that protect their physical or emotional safety. A person doesn’t ignore their boundaries as a way to leave their comfort zone. A person who doesn’t stand up for themselves might be in their comfort zone. They aren’t comfortable with saying no or setting limitations in their relationships.
The significant difference is the intention behind the discomfort and the active role you play in choosing that discomfort. For example, suppose a person lets someone do something that makes them uncomfortable or feels pressured into doing something that makes them uncomfortable. In that case, that person is ignoring their boundaries. But if a person intentionally tries something new that they usually wouldn’t and consents to it, they are doing something outside their comfort zone.
Boundaries: Being Your Own Advocate
Addiction treatment programs help people learn how to set boundaries. Learning how to honor your boundaries has plenty of benefits, including raising self-esteem, reconnecting with identity, and creating stronger and healthier interpersonal relationships.
Why You Should Leave Your Comfort Zone in Recovery
Getting help for addiction on its own can be outside of someone’s comfort zone, but there are still plenty of benefits to taking that risk. First, treatment and recovery offer you a chance to try new things and grow as an individual. Leaving your comfort zone can help you do just that.
Leaving your comfort zone is a personal choice. It’s a choice to step out of your comfort zone and seek help. By making that choice, you are given autonomy; you can be in control of your life and where it goes.
Trying Something New
Leaving your comfort zone allows you to experience more of the world. Doing something you wouldn’t normally do will enable you to learn more about the world and yourself. Recovery and treatment give you the perfect opportunity to try something new. If you haven’t ridden a house, try equine therapy. Are you usually not an outdoor person? Adventure therapy might surprise you.
Leaving your comfort zone allows you to learn more about yourself on a deeper level. You might find that, after all, you are an outdoorsy person, but you’ve limited yourself by sticking to your usual, familiar habits. As a result, people tend to underestimate what they are capable of. By learning more about yourself and the world, you can grow and evolve as a person. Take control of your narrative.
Leaving your comfort zone allows you to control your life instead of letting someone control you. Sometimes people think staying in their comfort zone is how they can control their life, but all it does is limit potential. You are in charge of your story. You can choose to make it interesting by trying something you wouldn’t have ever considered before.
It’s Okay if It’s Not for You
Learning more about yourself is the point of stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. You don’t have to like everything you try, but it’s better to take that risk than never to leave what you know. The point is that you tried.
Finding the Perfect Balance
It would be best if you didn’t leave your comfort zone because someone told you to. Instead, it would help if you stepped out of yourself because you want to. Otherwise, it defeats the whole purpose. Don’t do anything that risks your mental or physical health; listen to your gut. Over time, you’ll learn the difference between not wanting to do something because it’s genuinely unhealthy for you and not wanting to do something because you’re afraid of leaving the box you’ve created for yourself. The best way to learn the difference is to listen to how you feel and why you feel that way.
Those who are healing from addiction might not be successful at setting boundaries. In the past, they may have struggled with saying “no” or standing up for themselves. It’s an essential skill to learn, but unfortunately, not everyone knows how to set boundaries. We talk about leaving our comfort zones in treatment and recovery.
These two things might seem like they conflict with each other, but they are very different. You can still set healthy boundaries while occasionally leaving your comfort zone to try something you usually wouldn’t. This difference is based on your role, whether you’re choosing to leave your comfort zone or if someone is making you. You can take the initiative and try new things without disrespecting your boundaries.
To learn more about achieving the balance between boundary setting and leaving your comfort zone, call Villa Oasis San Diego today at (323) 739-8673.