You might have heard of the idea that people should get out of their comfort zone. For creatures of habits, this is a concept that seems bizarre. Why would you change something that you are already used to? Why is there a need to try something different when what you have now already works?
There are a lot of arguments against moving out of your comfort zone, but there are also a lot of reasons why it is in your best interest to break out of the mold. It might seem difficult at first, but it is something that you can survive.
Staying in the comfort zone
One of the main reasons why people could not leave their comfort zone is that it is a space that perfectly matches their behavior. They feel more at home when they are doing the same thing over and over again. It minimizes risks and it also creates a stress-free environment. When you benefit from doing things that make you happy and less stressed out, why should you gear towards change?
Studies have revealed that if you want to be successful, staying in your comfort zone does not really help. The best version of you can only come out if you are under stress levels that are slightly higher than normal. Being too comfortable in doing something prevents you from doing something more.
Conversely, being in a stressful environment where you are pushed way beyond what you can also prevents you from doing your best. In both circumstances, your performance level drops. Studies have also revealed that people tend to stay in their comfort zone just to reduce anxiety and risk.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
The benefits of leaving your comfort zone
To motivate you to leave your comfort zone, think of all the benefits that you are getting. To begin with, you will be more productive. When you are too comfortable doing the same thing each day, you will lose your drive to do something better. You are no longer interested in learning new things. You don’t push yourself to finish work sooner.
By moving out of your comfort zone, you do things that you don’t normally do. You allow yourself to be vulnerable. You are willing to make mistakes just so you can start something you have never done before. This pushes your limits, but also makes you do better.
Another benefit is that you keep moving forward. When you start pushing your boundaries now, you won’t have any problem moving forward in the future. You know what you can do once you start moving out of your comfort zone and you will keep reaching greater heights. Trying something new is still anxiety-inducing for you, but it becomes easier to adjust.
You also start coming up with ideas you never knew you had. You become more creative and you start integrating the skills and experiences you have had in the past to come up with something better.
“The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.” – Karen Salmansohn
How to break out now
Don’t think of when you should start breaking out of your comfort zone. Now is the time to make it happen. You will never know how it would feel unless you have given it a try. Here are some ways for you to finally break out of your shell.
- Break your routine – When you do the same thing at the same time each day, you are already falling within your comfort zone. There are small things that you can change. For instance, if you wake up at 6 in the morning just so you can have enough time to prepare and drive yourself to work, you might want to wake up earlier so you can have some time to exercise. It might just be a small thing, but it can help you feel more comfortable in changing up other routines.
- Learn how to make snap decisions – Taking your time to make a decision makes you feel comfortable. You learn the pros and cons of each side before you choose which side is better. If you allow yourself to make quick decisions, you push yourself to the limits. You can see the risks that come with not carefully weighing your options. Once you succeed, you will find the value of making quick decisions even if you are not comfortable with it.
- Learn how to say no – You might feel comfortable right now because you can easily follow what other people say. You don’t mind being told what to do. You also think that it is in your best interest to just do something that other people think you can do instead of what you think you can do better. If you say no to certain tasks, you give space for yourself to grow.
- Ask for more responsibilities – It is not a crazy idea to ask for responsibilities especially if you want to challenge yourself. This might seem as a surprise to people who don’t normally see you as someone pushing your boundaries, however, they will also not stop you if they know that you have better intentions for deciding to take on more responsibilities.
There is no single formula to success. This should teach you that if you want to succeed, you can’t just do the same thing over and over again. It is also important to note that just because you have tried pushing your limits and you have failed does not mean you should stop pushing yourself further. It only means that you have to try something else. You need to keep doing better things, you must not be afraid of the consequences and you must learn from your mistakes and motivate yourself to do more.
How do you break out of your comfort zone? Comment below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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