Freelance comfort zone

Three signs you got stuck in your comfort zone

Autumn makes houses warm and cuddly.

Just like a comfort zone.

It might be limiting if you look at it from the outside: too much rain, too much wind, too many obstacles to do what you truly enjoy.

From the inside it’s perfect. You can finally slow down, stay put and avoid painful pitfalls.

But this comfort is illusionary. Jumping through puddles can be fun as well. There’s no need to limit your life to the warm and safe environment. And the best part is that you don’t need to wait for perfect conditions to be able to take the first step out of your comfort zone.


I’d bet you’ve already heard that growth starts once you leave your comfort zone. As a freelancer, you need to be especially careful not to get stuck in your warm and safe environment for too long. You can’t be forever satisfied with what you have achieved, because chances are the moment you feel too confident, the world around you will flip upside down.

The last two years—from the pandemic, through the war in Europe, to the raging inflation—proved that anything we take for granted may suddenly evaporate.

And that’s why pushing yourself to regularly leave your comfort zone is so important.

But how to recognise you got stuck in your warm, comfortable, yet limiting zone?


Here are some signs that you might be stuck in your comfort zone:


1. You feel that every day is repetitive

Every day your to-do list holds the same items. Every day you end up carrying over a few tasks from one day to another. You work on the same types of projects for the same customers. You feel like you could do your job on an autopilot…

A tedious repetition might be one of the first signs that you’ve got too comfortable. While there’s nothing wrong with a good routine, sometimes you need to shake things up a bit: work from a café instead of your office, talk to a stranger you see regularly in a local bakery, try out a new marketing strategy for your business.

You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you can generate by dropping the drill from time to time. That’s where you can find new opportunities, new ways to grow your business and new methods to instil more creativity into your daily work. 


2. You keep complaining

At first sight it seems you’re doing just fine. Your business generates steady income, you have great relations with your customers and new ideas for the future. But should someone dive deeper into what’s happening under that seemingly successful surface, they’ll notice a constant flow of dark thoughts. You believe you don’t have enough time, enough energy, enough resources to live the life you want. You don’t like the projects you’re working on, and you’re absolutely convinced that you’d be happier in another location, or in another profession.

That’s another sign to leave. To drop your routine and go out of your comfort zone. You can find more inspiration on real-life networking meetings, or by talking to other freelancers and asking for a more objective assessment of your situation. To stop the complaint cycle, you can also learn a new skill, introduce new products or new services to your business, start collaborating with new colleagues on an exciting project.

In this way, your attention will shift to what you can do and create rather than being fixated on what you can’t do or can’t have.


3. You keep rejecting new ideas

I’m so guilty of this one. I love new ideas. When they are mine…

There was a time that to every suggestion about tweaking my marketing strategy, adding new services, or launching a new collaboration, I would come up with more than one hundred reasons why the idea wouldn’t work for my business. Without even trying. Until finally—thanks to the pandemic—I had much more time on my hands and decided to try out all those ideas that I believed would be a total failure.

First on the list was writing a book, which was a huge step out of my comfort zone. With confidence gained in this process, I became more open to new ideas coming from my colleagues, friends, or family. Recently, I finally listened to my husband who believed I should open my YouTube Channel. After years of rejecting this ridiculous idea, I took the plunge. That’s how Locaversity was born. It wasn’t scary, nor technically complicated. Time-consuming? Sure, but I feel that with every episode I create I learn and grow.

With every new idea I decide to implement I’m pushed to go outside of my comfort zone. Even if the project isn’t as profitable or as exciting as I had expected, at least I gain valuable experience for the future. 


So, what’s the new territory that you’ll explore this autumn?





Dorota helps digital brands infuse their content with a local touch. She is a localization consultant, translator specialized in IT, prompt engineer, and a book author. Dorota teaches online courses on localization, writes for her blog and a Medium publication. She also runs a Small Biz AI, a Substack newsletter for freelancers and small business owners ready to discover handy AI tools.