It’s Time To Challenge Yourself And Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
by Isabel Ng. |
We’re all familiar with that one place where nothing ever goes wrong and where we’re always safe from any potential embarrassments. Our comfort zones. The best and worst place we can be. Well, the best because we’d never have to deal with any uncomfortable situations and also the worst for that very reason.
As the saying goes, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. In other words, we have to get out of our comfort zones to live our lives as fully as possible. It’s easy to get stuck in a monotonous routine and have your days full of mundane tasks with no end in sight. However, you can break out of this seemingly eternal grind by trying something new, challenging yourself in different ways and stepping out of your comfort zone. Here are some reasons why you might want to try and do so:
Facing adversity will help you grow
Routine is a huge part of our day-to-day lives that has undeniable upsides. Having a routine is great, though it becomes not so great when it starts to inhibit our personal growth. When we become too comfortable in our routine, we fall prey to adverse effects like complacency.
This is because adversity is essential to growth; the best of us have gone through tremendous struggle to come out the other end better than they ever were before. Michael Phelps didn’t start out winning, it was through perseverance that he became the world’s most decorated Olympian. Struggling with ADHD, depression, and anxiety throughout his life, his achievement is a testament of inner strength that serves as a reminder of the potential in every one of us. Although never easy to deal with, hardship ultimately teaches us so much about ourselves and the world around us.
It will help you to build new relationships
Stepping out of your comfort zone brings newfound relationships. This doesn’t have to mean romantic ones; novel experiences expose you to lots of new people and potential friendships. While trying out something new, there’s a high chance of meeting like-minded people that you’d hit it off with. For one thing, they are probably there for the same reasons you are. Ergo, there’s already a common goal and conversation topic. If making new friends is something out of your comfort zone, that’s all the more reason to go for it. You’d be learning a new skill while meeting new people simultaneously. Either seeking romantic relationships or platonic ones, challenging yourself in new ways will lead you there.
Now that we’ve covered some of the benefits of getting out of your comfort zone, let’s talk approaches to do so:
Dip Your Toes In
Take things slow and steady and maybe start with a small shift in your daily life. Say, you would like to learn a new language. Maybe a good start would be to play music in that language. From there, you can start adding in more difficult tasks like learning a couple words and phrases. This way you wouldn’t find yourself in a position where you’re overwhelmingly bombarded with information.
The advantage of taking it slow is that you would have more time to adapt to this new, foreign part of your schedule. However, it’s important to realize that you’re now in charge of keeping yourself accountable. Whether through a checklist or a habit-tracking app like Habitica, it’s crucial to keep track of and check your progress invariably.
Dive in Headfirst
Going all-in is daunting- at first. Choosing this route is nothing short of terrifying when you first get started because you’re getting thrown to the sharks. Anxiety and doubts about not being good enough coupled with the fear of not knowing what’s coming for you can be paralyzing especially at this stage. However, after that initial fear and anxiety fade, realization kicks in and you might realise that it’s not that bad.
Why would some people choose this path? In some cases, you have no choice but to jump in the deep end like with vocal lessons. Someone who is insecure about their voice but wants to learn how to sing better has no choice but to go for it. By diving in, you’re choosing to challenge yourself to extremes but also learning more at the same time.
Find the Middle Ground
Both options not working for you? They are both on contrasting ends of the spectrum. This one is tricky and takes quite a bit of planning but ultimately it could be the key to escaping your comfort zone. This method is all about balance, consistency, and prioritization. Someone who takes this approach has to know themselves well and be ready to do some work. An example would be someone too self-conscious to join a dance class first learning the basics on YouTube. Getting the hang of it, they can join a class when they feel ready and move towards their goal at their own pace. Using this method requires self-monitoring to make sure that you stay on track. The most important part is finding that sweet spot where you strive for your goal at a pace that you’re comfortable with. Coupled with constant evaluation of your goals, this approach can be the catalyst that pushes you out of your comfort bubble.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is far from easy, though inevitable for progress to be made. Trying new things and gaining experiences help us grow as people and bring us one step closer to the people we want to become. Even if things don’t work out as you expected, you’d have learnt something and experienced more because of it. So, challenge yourself and try to do that thing you always wanted but never dared to. Who knows? You might just end up succeeding.
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