Ten Reasons To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Many people think that the comfort zone is made up of all those pleasant situations that surround us and bring pleasure to our lives. The truth is that it is not like this at all. The comfort zone is made up of all the situations, good and bad, that we are already used to and that build a routine. That routine, comfortable as it may be, makes us avoid questioning things, thinking critically, and making decisions.
That is the only comfort that it brings us: the comfort of moving through inertia. The comfort zone is like a bubble that we protect ourselves with so that everything remains the same. Even if we complain and it seems unbearable, we stay there because of those fears and how incredibly easy it is for them to become habit.
The price is very high. Not stepping outside our comfort zones is practically renouncing life, renouncing growth. We stay there, vegetating, while the years pass by and our life becomes ever more impoverished. Here are ten good reasons for you to do something important for yourself: step outside your comfort zone.
“Life starts where your comfort zone ends”
1. You will discover potential you did not know you had
This is not a cliche. In reality, it is surprising what we end up discovering about ourselves when we dare to do something that pulls us away from our habits, when we decide to go after some goal that we did not believe ourselves capable of obtaining. In each human being are many abilities and skills, dormant, waiting for a chance to show themselves.
The path of least resistance imposes itself as routine, because it was designed for precisely that. Only exceptional situations demand the best of us. And it is here that we discover that we can do much more than what we had thought.
2. You will become more flexible
When you fixate on only one point of view, without noticing it, you stop perceiving many angles of reality, many more advantageous or interesting ones. Stepping out of your comfort zone will allow you to get closer to new ways of looking at yourself and life.
This translates into an increased flexibility in your appreciation of things and in the way that you live. In other words: you become more adaptable. And an increased ability to adapt translates into a greater ability to navigate difficult situations.
3. You will gain greater confidence in who you are
When you discover that the only thing that you were missing was decisiveness and that you are really capable of doing many more things than you thought, the confidence you have in yourself will immediately go up and you will start to achieve everything that you were afraid to do.
Insecurity feeds on precisely that habit of not trying. If you stop thinking so much and instead act, you will realize much sooner that you can in fact go much further than what you had imagined. And you will feel a greater appreciation for who you are.
4. You will get rid of many of your fears
Our greatest fears are born from indecision and inertia. Fear creates its own vicious circle: since you are afraid, you will not try it and you will stay where you are. And since you do not try it, the fear takes hold and grows.
Most, if not all, the time, the simple fact of acting dissipates fear. In general, fear keeps getting weaker as we keep moving forward. The only difficult part is starting; if you do this, you will see how many of those great fears go away.
5. You will feel like your life is more exciting
Daring is something that gives a sense of adventure and challenge to your life. Routines are predictable and, as such, frequently boring. Change stirs up the emotional world. Very pleasant sensations are dusted off, like the ability to be surprised, curiosity, and the desire to discover new things.
6. Your creativity and intelligence will increase
Even great intellects become stagnant when they are not offered constant stimulation. Intelligence is like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to function properly. Routine barely demands anything, a minimal use of your intellectual capacities.
The same thing happens with creativity. Only new situations provoke new responses and new solutions. Stepping out of your comfort zone is giving your creativity and intelligence a chance to manifest themselves.
7. Your zest for life will increase
When life stops being an endless repetition of the same things, it becomes a great deal more interesting and worth living. If you feel more pleased with yourself and little by little find out that you are capable of much more than you had imagined, your appreciation for life is surely going to increase.
8. You will develop better relationships
In order to have good relationships with others, first we must have a good relationship with ourselves. If you are not pleased with who you are or what you do, it will be difficult for you to value the good things about all the people who are around you.
Stepping out of your comfort zone, discovering yourself, overcoming fears, and feeling happier to be alive is something that will result in a better relationship with others. You will notice that conflicts get smaller and you have a great capacity to see the good in everyone.
9. You will experience the here and now more intensely
Experiencing the here and now is a form of wholeness. When your efforts, attention, and enthusiasm are concentrated on the present moment, it is because that instance is a time of personal realization. Stepping out of your comfort zone leaves no space for anything but living in the present. You need all of your attention and all of your determination to navigate this new situation that is spreading out before you.
10. You will become more independent
By increasing your confidence in your own possibilities, you will feel like you need others in a different way. They are a marvelous complement to who you are, not your cane, not your refuge. Being independent further reinforces your security in who you are while at the same time allowing you to feel the value of freedom with greater force.
Images courtesy of Anne Soline, Art Graphik and Kim Ji-Hyuck