“…a behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk.”
How many of you are settled quite nicely into your comfort zone? You go along every day doing the same things in the same way. You don’t take risks and play it safe. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you continue to do the same things the same way, you’ll continue to get the same results”? This week is all about getting outside your comfort zone.
Why You Love the Comfort Zone
Usually, you stay inside your comfort zone because it’s …. well, comfortable! You are afraid of the unknown, of what might happen if you deviate from the norm. You find yourself stuck in a day to day rut of sameness. Here are a few of the things that you might find appealing about your comfort zone:
- You feel mentally secure. There are no surprises.
- You might feel happy on a regular basis.
- You aren’t stressed out by the unknown.
- Less stress means lower anxiety.
Benefits of Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
Stepping out of your comfort zone is a great thing to try. You just have to make sure that you’re not stepping out too far to begin with. Every time you try something new, there’s a certain degree of stress and anxiety that comes along with that new experience. There’s a different threshold for how much anxiety and stress each person can tolerate, and you have to make sure to only step out of that comfort zone as much as you can handle. Not too much or these new experiences may paralyze you.
When you step outside your comfort zone, a whole new world opens up for you. Here are a few of the amazing things that can happen:
- When you challenge yourself, you perform at your best.
- Taking risks helps you grow – both personally and professionally.
- Trying new things can fuel your creativity.
- New experiences can help you stay mentally sharp as you grow older.
Seven Day Challenge
Take the 7 Day Challenge to step outside your comfort zone every day by doing one of the following each day:
- Smile: A smile goes a long way toward improving your outlook on life. Not only do you become more positive, you inspire others to be positive as well. A smile is contagious.
- Eat Something New: Do you order the same thing every time you go out to eat? Try something you’ve never had before. You might discover a new favorite dish.
- Unplug for a Day: Take a day to be totally offline. Enjoy conversations in person. Relax without electronics.
- Take a Different Route: Let your imagination get you to your destination. Take a different road than you usually travel. You’ll discover new scenery, new stores and restaurants that you might want to try out.
- News Blackout: Unplug from the news for a day. Don’t watch it on TV, turn off the updates on your phone, and change the channel on the radio when it comes on. There is so much negativity in the news today, you’ll be surprised at how your attitude changes when you aren’t being bombarded by it every day.
- Clear the Clutter: Get rid of things you haven’t used in the past year. Clear out items that serve no purpose or bring you no joy.
- Learn a New Language: Start learning a new language you enjoy listening too. This will also broaden your horizons to new countries and new cultures.
- Surround Yourself with Silence: Take some time to close your door, turn off your electronics, and just wrap yourself in silence. Shutting out the world for a bit can help you regain your focus and see things in a new light.
- Visit a New Networking Meeting: When you’re a member of SEVEN, you can go to ANY SEVEN Networking Meeting. Visit one you’ve never been to before and meet new people to connect with.
For more ways to step outside your comfort zone visit The Positivity Blog.
Keep in mind, you can’t always live outside of your comfort zone. You need to revisit it from time to time in order to process our new experiences. If you don’t do this, those new and interesting experiences soon become commonplace and boring. Sometimes it’s all about stretching your new experiences in all different directions. If you’ve been running on one trail for a while, try a different mountain or scenery. You cannot rely on just one new experience; you have to constantly be switching it up to keep your brain stimulated.
“Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.” Edward Whitacre, former CEO of General Motors.