Your comfort zone is peaceful and relatively undemanding. It can even feel like a haven in an otherwise unpredictable world. But it’s not practical to live in a constant state of tranquility, and neglecting to challenge yourself will ultimately lead to stagnation. Constantly testing yourself in unexpected ways will ensure you stay well rounded and ready to take on anything that comes your way.
Straying from your comfort zone doesn’t always have to involve giving toasts at parties or traveling the world. In many cases, it begins with the seemingly arbitrary decisions that you make each day. What you eat, the music you listen to, and how you choose to dress in the morning are excellent examples. Changing these minor aspects of your routine probably won’t result in any major life-changing events, but it’ll encourage a more flexible and open-minded attitude. The small steps you take now can lead to big changes down the line.
People who weigh their options at length are often searching for the path of least resistance. This outlook might work for someone who has no desire to shake things up, but you’ll want to introduce a little more spontaneity if you hope to change the status quo. You can be especially proactive when it comes to this, or merely wait for the right set of circumstances to present itself to you. Sometimes being spontaneous means accepting an old friend’s invitation to catch up over coffee. Or agreeing to attend a gathering without giving it too much forethought. Life is full of tiny proposals, so don’t let them pass you by.
Change Your Environment
A change of scenery can have a significant impact on your character. Without too much effort, you can easily alternate things like the route you take to work or which park you choose for your afternoon walk. As a more drastic measure, a change of address or occupation could even be in order. It’s all a matter of rethinking your typical surroundings, then setting the stage for seeing new places and meeting new people. Transforming the backdrop of your life can be invigorating, and you may even turn out to be a little more adaptable than you give yourself credit for.
Take Away the Mystery
The reluctance we feel toward expanding our comfort zone is often rooted in a fear of the unknown. When something is unfamiliar to us, it can be difficult to see ourselves ever coming around to it. If you’ve never played baseball before, signing up for a league can seem out of the question. But after taking some time to learn the rules of the game, and observing a few innings from the sidelines, the task would no longer be shrouded in mystery. When in doubt, gaining a better understanding of the situation will always work in your favor.
Don’t Go It Alone
Whenever stepping into unknown territory, it can help to take a little bit of your comfort zone with you. Having a friend, relative, or significant other along for the ride can provide you with reassurance and emotional support. Something as daunting as joining a gym or taking a class can appear significantly less intimidating when in the company of someone you know. You’ll no longer depend on their presence over time, but having someone there in the beginning is a great way to overcome your initial fears and get started in the right direction.
Laugh It Off
There’s a risk of failure any time you wander outside your element, so it helps to have a sense of humor. You can forget about looking smart, cool, or any other adjective you normally wish to embody. If you decide to take up dancing, you will more than likely stumble. If you finally write that debut novel of yours, it could very well be rejected by all major publishers. It’s best to not take yourself too seriously. As a rookie, you will undoubtedly make rookie mistakes. If you’re able to laugh at the pitfalls, instead of letting them get you down, it’ll be easier to pull yourself up and try again.
Breaking out of your comfort zone is an ongoing process. You should never stop pushing the boundaries of what you think you’re capable of achieving. It’s fine to occasionally enjoy familiar things that bring you solace, but make time for new experiences too. No matter how much you accomplish in life, there’s always room to impress yourself.