As children, we constantly learn new things, try them, fail at them and grow. But, somewhere along the way, we stop learning and exploring as we get older. When was the last time you felt that indescribable rush of trying new and terrifying things? Most people find their comfort zone by the age of 25 and remain there for the rest of their lives. If you feel stuck in a routine, doing the same job, meeting the same people, hanging out at the same spots on weekends, eating the same thing everyday and you’re craving for more, ask yourself, “How long have you been in your comfort zone?” and start doing things outside of it.
“Nothing changes if nothing changes”– Courtney C. Stevens
The world is changing at a rapid speed right now and you need to too. With everything that’s happening, if you wait for things to go back to “Normal”, I promise you you’ll be left behind. And when all this is over, you’ll notice a HUGE gap. Consider your most important goal in life; it is so far outside of your comfort zones that it actually makes you ‘UN‘-Comfortable. But that’s the point, you never grow inside your comfort zone.
Why Do Comfort Zone Exists?
Our brain used to be on a constant lookout for danger, when we were cavemen. So, it was our survival instinct telling us to stay inside of our caves (aka comfort zones) because we might die outside due to wild animals. Our brain used to believe that new places might be dangerous. And that was a good thing because it helped our species survive. But you and I both know that this is no longer the case. You will not die if you travel to new places, tell your crush how you feel, start a new business, or get out of your comfort zone.
That threat no longer exists, but that part of our brain, amygdala, still does. As a result, it instils new stupid fears in our minds. The fear of being judged, the fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success. ‘We might get killed’ is now replaced by ‘What would people think about me?’ You must understand that these fears are in no way similar to the fear of death, but our brain believes that they are. And therefore resists change. Shaking things up every now and then will help your brain realize that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Benefits Of Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Getting out of the comfort zone could mean different things to different people — quitting your dead end job, starting a new business, traveling to new places, talking to strangers, hitting the gym, or just having a new routine. Whatever it looks like for you, here are a few things you’ll start to notice once you step outside of your comfort zone
1. Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone Is Scary
Of course, it’s easier said than done. In fact, leaving your comfort zone can be downright terrifying and that’s okay. What’s more terrifying is remaining in your comfort zone for the rest of your life, wasting all of your untapped potential.
2. You’ll Fail
You’re trying things you’ve never tried before, you’re bound to fail. You won’t get it right the first time, and that doesn’t matter. Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from trying new things.
“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.”– J.M. Barrie
3. You’ll Learn New Things
Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to learn new things about yourself and your interests. You’ll develop new skills — like learning a new language as you travel. We are afraid of trying new things because we are afraid of failing, but the more you fail, the more you will learn. Experience teaches you things that textbooks can’t.
4. You’ll Discover Your True Self
How you react in situations outside of your comfort zone reveal who you truly are. We find a lot about ourselves when we take risks. We discover what makes us tick and begin to recognize that part of ourselves deep within. When you connect with your true self, you open doors to new opportunities, change, and growth.
5. You’ll Become More Confident
When you show yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than what you expect, your confidence automatically grows. You start seeing yourself differently. Moreover, your peers will start trusting you. As they can see you as someone who takes full charge of his life and consciously taking decisions to improve it.
6. You Discover Passions You Never Knew Existed
How can you expect to find new things that excite you, if you are stuck in the same routine everyday? Just hoping for something new to pop out, won’t actually make it happen. You’re the one that has to take action. The moment you take actions and step outside of your zone, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you discover your passions.
7. Your Comfort Zone Will Expand
Your comfort zone is more like a plastic bag than a rubber band. When you do the same uncomfortable thing over and over, your comfort zone expands. Just like when you go to the gym, Muscles grow as the intensity of your workouts increases. For example, when you begin learning a new language, it is difficult at first, but your fluency grows as you practice.
Also, when you push yourself a little every once in a while, you teach your brain that their is no danger and nothing wrong in doing things outside of your comfort zone.
8. You Find New Opportunities As You Break Barriers
As you try new things, your comfort zone expands, you learn new skills and gain confidence. As a result, you take up opportunities that you wouldn’t have taken up before. Staying in your comfort zone makes you believe in limitations that don’t really exist. However, having new experiences can alter everything about what you believe, what you enjoy doing, how you act, and how you live.
I’ve felt that sinking feeling in my chest when life becomes too predictable, nothing new happens, and you stop growing. But the good news is that you can change all of that at any time by deciding to take action to experience what’s out there and transform that suffocation into freedom, curiosity, and excitement.
Choose an activity that takes you out of your comfort zone and share it in the comments section for inspiration.