Ok, say what? Shouldn’t it be all about stepping out of your comfort zone, you know, that thing everyone tells you to do if you want bigger things, better things that you know deep down you deserve?
Our comfort zone is a boundary which gives us a sense of security. In this zone everything is familiar and safe, right? Yes, your comfort zone is pretty much your home base, your safe place to return to, after each exhilarating and exhausting expedition through the wilderness of life!
People often don’t honour their comfort zones; thinking that it’s wrong or bad to have one. It’s not! UNLESS you get too comfortable and start holding yourself back instead of challenging yourself to learn, grow and try new things.
Truth is, anxiety isn’t something we are prone to look for, but experiencing a little stress and anxiety now and then is a good thing. A lot like Goldilocks, we can’t be tooo hot or tooo cold! As Alina Tugend put it in the New York Times, “Being slightly uncomfortable, whether or not by choice, can push us to achieve goals we never thought we could.”
How far you want to push the boundaries is totally up to you. The trick seems to be in maintaining a healthy balance between comfort and excitement. No, we’re not suggesting that you go on a reality show and swallow tarantulas! After all, some level of predictability keeps us sane; but goes on, push the envelope and watch the magic happen!
Expanding your comfort zone by taking risks and allowing new experiences into your “bubble” will give you confidence. The more you do what scares you, the more you’ll realise that you are capable of much more than you thought you were. Challenges will become easier; things that previously scared you will become part of your growth zone. You will be able to deal with unexpected situations better as they arise. You’ll be more creative; life will be more fun. And, you will refuel your curiousness about the world around you. All good, right?
So, how do we get a little “uncomfortable”? How do we expand our comfort zones in small and sometimes bigger ways; focussing less on where we are now, and more on where we want to be?
Here are a few thoughts:
• Eat the unusual thing. Try fish if you usually go for beef.
• Read something you normally won’t. Maybe a book about investing in stocks? Hey, it could be interesting!
• Not a techie? Download an app or learn a new computer program that has you daunted.
• Get intentionally lost and find your way back by using maps.
• Never been good with your hands? Take a ceramics class.
• Fearful of heights? Take a trapeze class.
• Cook something new. Try a new recipe each week.
• Have a day of kindness each week. Instead of the usual bursts of sarcasm, try to go for a day where you are kind to everyone, including yourself.
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Do something that scares you every day.” Never settle for mediocre; it’s too big a price to pay. C’mon, strive to have the largest comfort zone possible!
Source: www.goodreads.com, www.emtrepreneur.com, www.lifehack.org, www.forbes.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.huffingtonpsot.co.za, journals.lww.com, cre.co, www.psychologytoday.com, frontcourt. Media, www.success.com, www.webmd.com, www.positivityblogcom, www.oprah.com