Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Everyone has heard the saying, “You need to get out of your comfort zone”, but what does that actually mean?  According to Lifehacker.com, your comfort zone is a behavioural space where your activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that reduces stress and risk.  It’s natural for us human beings to feel safe in this bubble of comfort, but sometimes we see pictures or videos of people doing crazy stuff like skydiving, travelling the world, trying a new sport etc. that we see through social media or hear from our friends and family.  We want to be in that position but we think that it’s too hard to get to that point or to accomplish that goal. It’s said that we think of a goal/idea and it’s there for about 10 seconds, but then doubt and fear kicks in and the idea you had 10 seconds ago is now filled with all the negatives, and the idea gets pushed to the back of your mind, forgotten.

Here are some reasons to get out of your comfort zone:

  • It sparks your creativity
  • Finishing an idea or goal by getting outside of your comfort zone makes you feel accomplished
  • You can chase your dreams
  • Success can be accomplished
  • When opportunities come along later on, it is easier for you to make decisions
  • Your character and true self will develop
  • You can explore and see the world
  • Gain knowledge from other cultures and people

Whether it is with relationships, school, work or your self interest, getting out of your comfort zone fuels creativity. Trying out new things, whether that is a sport, daily routine, or as simple as trying delicacies, can make you learn new things about yourself and others. After getting out of your comfort zone and looking back at all the things you have tried and accomplished, you have made the most out of life and you can truly say that you did a lot. It doesn’t need to be big goals or ideas in the beginning for you to get outside of your comfort zone because this can overwhelm you. Start simple and build your way up; start small like changing aspects of your daily routine by doing things you wouldn’t normally do, take a different path home to get a feel for a different environment, or try a new restaurant without looking at your phone for its rating. Put your phone down and observe the area around you, go outside, go somewhere new with your friends or family. Once you do little changes, you are getting outside of your comfort zone and it won’t be so hard next time and that goal won’t be as overwhelming as before.

Who wants to go through life doing the same thing and not doing things that excite you and pump your adrenaline?  Life is short and being in your comfort zone for the majority of the time can make it boring, and when you get older and reflect on your life experiences, you don’t want to feel like I could have done more or if only I did that or went on this trip. Life goes by quickly and people are so caught up in their daily lives to realise this. With this being said, everyone is different and we all have different levels where we are comfortable.  So when it comes to the final decision of whether you go out to explore the world or try something new, it should come from YOU because you have the final say. From the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, fear will always be there in our lives, so it isn’t about overcoming that fear, it’s about being comfortable enough with it and accepting that it is there to show you what is important in your life. Stop looking at other people’s lives and wishing that was you! Just go out and do it.

By Monique Bigler 12.4