Monday, March 18, 2013
"Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone" ~ Neale Donald Walsch
I have been making a conscious effort during the past year to step outside of my comfort zone. There is a lot of "comfort" to be found in one's comfort zone. Comfort zones are safe, secure, and familiar. They're also low risk. The problem with comfort zones though, is that they are easy to get stuck in. An overreliance on the familiar leads to a fear of the unfamiliar...and that's never a healthy thing. For this reason, comfort zones can often act as an obstacle to growth and development.
When we step out of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to a world that had been previously closed off to us! Also, it's not nearly as hard as it may sound. You can start with little things like listening to different types of music or starting a random conversation with a stranger. After work, take a different route home. You can even make your next trip to the grocery store something completely different by buying things that you've never tried before and spending entire week eating new entrees (something I definitely need to do). Although these are relatively little things, they can be invigorating because they free you from your routine and they allow you to experience things that you had previously been hesitant to experience.
These small changes should make you feel more energized and mentally refreshed. At this point, you can even take things up a notch. Do you have a phobia? If so, perhaps you should work on finally conquering it (I am slowly but surely working on my fear of heights). Is there a person that you've wanted to approach for a while but haven't been able to get up the nerve? Approach them for goodness sakes! And you know what? If you make a fool of yourself...who cares? At least you are living life fully! Stepping out of one's comfort zone is not an easy thing for any of us, but it's the key to maximizing your happiness.
Do you have trouble stepping out of your comfort zone? What are your thoughts?