Everybody has a comfort zone. There are some situations and activities that you glide through with ease. And then there are those circumstances and events that make you squirm with anxiety and want to curl up and pretend the outside world doesn’t exist. Your comfort zone is your happy place and it’s natural to want to set up camp and never leave. But you have to be careful, because your happy place could easily turn into a homemade jail cell. Comfort zones are good places to be. But, to grab onto a cliché, too much of a good thing…
In order to fully appreciate life’s many good qualities, you have to get out there and try them. If you never leave your comfort zone, you’re going to miss out on so many new experiences. Yes, some new experiences will be bad, but even then they teach you something about the world or, at very least, yourself. Healthy comfort zones are ones that you can leave when life requires it. If you only do things that you’re comfortable with, you’re limiting yourself. Your creativity will wither away and die, you’ll miss out on new ideas and interesting thoughts. You will miss out on the opportunity to grow as a person. So, here are some ways to ensure that you get out of your comfort zone:
1. Wander: Take a walk without a destination. Go for a drive without time constraints or a definite conclusion. Better yet, go on a road trip… by yourself. Let your thoughts roam free and take a look at the wonderful world around you.
2. Take a “me day”: Take a day off work, this is especially helpful if you’re a workaholic, and spend a day with your lovely self. But don’t fall into familiar “me time” patterns. Do something you’ve wanted to do, but having been putting off because it falls outside of what you’ve become accustomed to.
3. Reconnect: We all have that friend or old colleague that we’ve been meaning to get in touch with, but never really “have the time”. Give them a call and set up a coffee date. Getting nostalgic over shared memories will remind you of who you used to be, while getting to know them again will highlight who you’ve become.
4. Disconnect: Switch your phone off, log off social media, and enjoy some time away from instant connectivity. If you resist the initial urge to check your email 44 time, then you’ll start to enjoy the peace of knowing you have no one to answer to for a few hours.
5. Take a risk: This is the most important point of all, do something that scares you. Pick one thing a month that terrifies you and do it. It can be anything from bungee jumping to going to dinner alone or meeting up with a blind date.
Comfort zones can become places we go to avoid the things that scare us. The thing is, the things we fear the most could be the ones that we really need in our lives. Embrace the unknown in life and you never know what may happen, but stay in your safe space and you could become stagnant.
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This post was written by Merridy Edgson