Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Why we should all get out of our comfort zone
I wrote a post about why it makes sense to introduce some small life changes or tackle projects that have been neglected in the spring time. It's a lot easier to motivate ourselves at this time of year when the weather is brighter and the days are longer, as opposed to the middle of winter when our new year commences. Consequently, I'm going to suggest in this post that we all take the opportunity to get out of our comfort zone!
Entering that area where we feel challenged, a little unsure, maybe even a little scared, a sense of unfamiliarity as we explore new ground is definitely good for us. It's by pushing ourselves out of our everyday ease and regularity that we can stretch our mind, body and spirit and in doing so gain new experiences, new knowledge and some excitement we perhaps didn't recognise we needed in our life.
Coincidentally, I was recently reading a Guardian article also talking about comfort zones. It gives a nice approach to how we might start to embark on some things that will take out of us our comfort zone, suggesting we draw and write out in various circles, activities we are comfortable doing, those that require some extra effort and those that we aspire to do but put off. As the article rightly states, "the idea is to expand in small steps". That's the crucial thing in my opinion.
If we are over ambitious in setting out to achieve something, the truth is, we're more likely to fail at it. If on the other hand, we start very small, we immediately make the end goal more in our reach. A small challenge is doable and encourages us to keep at it and then to move on to the next step. Once we take that first step out of our comfort zone, we often relish it and wonder why we didn't do it sooner.
I'll be honest, I could definitely be doing more to get out of my comfort zone and tend to do it in fits and starts. When we moved house at the end of last summer, I did a few things that were out of my comfort zone that I knew would be of benefit to me in the longer term. Little things like starting conversations with random mothers in the playground to try to make new friends or just to make myself feel less alone. I signed up to be one of the class reps at school because again, I thought it would be a good way to get to know the other mothers and make friends. I invited our new neighbour over as soon as we were somewhat presentable in our new home.
The funny thing is, although these examples are all of me slightly outside my comfort zone, I enjoy doing them and the path along which they take me. That's what's so great about getting out of our comfort zones, we think it's going to be a bit difficult, too much effort or whatever, but once we do it, we recognise the benefit almost straightaway and it's a good feeling.
What could you do to take yourself out of your comfort zone? Maybe you've been doing something already and can appreciate the benefit?