Do you feel like you are in a rut? If you feel like you are not motivated or just plain sick of your daily routine, it may be time to shake things up a bit. One of the most extreme and fulfilling ways of doing this is to get out of your comfort zone.
What is something that you always wanted to do but were too nervous to try? Maybe you have always wanted to learn a new skill, go to a social night, or even take a new type of holiday. Now is the time.
A comfort zone is established when you know exactly what to expect. Your comfort zone can be a routine or even just your home, a place where you control everything where there is food, water, and items to satisfy your immediate means. While they do make you feel comfortable, they can also be stifling your creativity or motivation. When you leave your comfort zone, your body feels vulnerable and wants to return to the place of comfort. Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, told the New York Times that when you are vulnerable, you feel fear and shame adding “since those are some of our most difficult emotions, we want to avoid them”.
While causing momentary discomfort is something that one would wish to avoid the benefits of doing this are going to be worth it. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone creatively can get those creative juices flowing in ways you may not expect. If you have always wanted to paint, actually going to the art supply store, buying the materials, setting up at home and start painting. While at first you might not feel like you know what you are doing, or feel uncomfortable, you will soon be expressing yourself through paint like you always wanted. If you always wanted to write a book, sit down and write, it doesn’t have to be the next great Australian novel but the more you do it, the better they will get. The act of just starting will give you a sense of accomplishment and engage your creative spark.
Pushing your personal boundaries will also have an amazing effect on your social life as you are making yourself more available to new engagements with people. It could be a friendly stranger at a mutual friend’s get-together, or it could be on public transport. Making new friends and sharing new experiences will make any day brighter.
Another significant added benefit of being out of your comfort zone more regularly is better problem solving. If you are always exposing yourself to new experiences then when a new situation arises, you will be more able to deal with it calmly.
Some think that “Getting out of your comfort zone” means skydiving or something extreme. While these would defiantly do the trick, it’s more about experiencing new things and instead of letting your brain tell you why you can’t you show yourself that you can.