Humans are creatures of habit. We tend to do the same things that we did yesterday, last week, last month, and even last decade as long as we don’t experience any significant discomfort. And that’s perfectly fine most of the time since everyone needs some degree of familiarity to function properly.
We also have a habit of going back to our bubble when things become upsetting or stressful because it makes us feel safe. This too is normal and there should be no shame in doing so during trying times.
However, it doesn’t hurt to add some variety into one’s life once in a while and by variety, we mean those seemingly scary things.
But why? Don’t monastic people like monks live their lives doing the same thing every day? That doesn’t seem to bother them.
Yes, they do. But do monastic people close themselves off to new experiences?
Perhaps not in the materialistic sense, but monastic people too are seeking to experience something new. In any case, the more time one spends inside their comfort zone, the more difficult it will be to break free from its hold.
Why It’s Good to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
1. The Growth It Has on Your Inner Strength
You’ve probably come across the saying ‘insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing while expecting a different outcome’. But isn’t this what many people do in their daily lives, causing them to feel stuck and troubled?
This doesn’t mean that you need to change everything about yourself because this too would be crazy. Rather, it means that you should attempt something new and potentially awkward will add variety while also helping to develop your inner strength.
Regardless of whether you come up short, you will have an encounter that you can potentially draw upon later on. And it is these experiences that will become the building blocks in making your life more fulfilling.
2. You Will Become More Adaptable to Change
The world is evolving quickly, and those who dread change risk being left behind. This means that the longer you stay inside your comfort zone, the more unnerving new ventures will seem to be.
One way to move with the times is to make the unfamiliar familiar by welcoming the unknown into your life. You can start with the little things that annoy you, but have habituated. For example, you may be annoyed that you don’t make your bed so you can start by reminding yourself to do so the next time.
This may sound like a paradox, but the only way to create some degree of certainty is to face the uncertainties. It’s only when you confront your fears that will you have firsthand knowledge of how it really feels. You may just be surprised that the actual experience differs a lot from your imaginations.
3. Helps Build Your Confidence
No one is born confident, and even the most confident people will encounter instances where they question themselves.
But everyone can build confidence because confidence is like a muscle that takes time and deliberate effort to acquire. It is a skill you have to develop by defining objectives, accomplishing those objectives, and defining more objectives. And it’s these little building blocks that will someday propel you forward in achieving your goals, personal or otherwise.
4. You Will Become More Creative
Creativity and challenges aren’t usually mentioned in the same sentence.
It goes like this.
Challenging yourself means that you are doing something beyond your comfort level, like a new solution to replace an existing one. This in turn requires lateral thinking that connects seemingly unfamiliar thoughts and deploying them for trail runs. If this succeeds, great, but if not, it’s back to the drawing board to come up with other approaches.
Simply put, challenges happen outside your comfort zone and so does creativity.
And stepping outside your comfort zone is probably the easiest way to nourish your creative side.
5. It Opens up a New World of Possibilities
Life’s most precious, and dare we say most memorable, moments came about when we step outside our comfort zone. This is probably true for you as well.
Try to recall some risks that you have taken in your life. Have they not made you a better person even if you’ve failed? Or did you let the experiences become so intimidating that they have left you mentally and/or physically paralyzed?
Regardless of your answer, the fact remains that you are likely to have some dreams that you wish to accomplish but have put off for one reason or another. Maybe you told yourself that there wasn’t enough time, money, or knowledge. Or maybe you just didn’t have the courage or necessary support.
But would you rather stay within your usual range of familiarity and continue wishing and longing for a better life, or step into the unfamiliar and have a say in shaping your life for the better?
Here’s How to Start
Many of us will spend our whole lives failing to venture beyond our daily routine. Yet, there is a price to pay for carrying on living like that. While remaining inside our safety bubble offers temporary benefits, we end up sacrificing the chance for better prospects.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to do something radical to get out of your comfort zone.
Start with something simple, like challenging yourself to speak up during gatherings or trying to socialize with strangers. Add originality to your life and be open to new encounters. Practice and practice some more until you feel comfortable being uncomfortable.
After all, the only way to not fail is to not step outside your comfort zone, which, paradoxically, is itself already a failure.