Why You Should Step Outside Your Own Comfort Zone
People often ask me why their need to push their own boundaries. They ask why they should step outside of their own comfort zone.
People often tell me that it’s difficult and it’s a challenge. They wonder why they should go to that effort. They wonder what the gains are. They wonder if it’s worth the effort.
People often tell me that they’re comfortable where they are so why bother.
Why not? I’m serious. Why not? Why not push your boundaries? Why not step outside of your own comfort zone? I’m not trying to be flippant. This is a serious question that anyone sat happily within their comfort zone should ask themselves.
Do you want to live a life where every year is the same? Or do you want 60, 70, 80 or even 90 years that are different, adventurous, exciting, challenging?
Sure, there should be time to sit down, put your feet up, relax and get comfortable. We all need our down time. But there should also be time to live. To truly live.
Life certainly throws enough curve balls at us. Life is full of its own challenges. Yet to truly find ourselves we need to knowingly push ourselves. We cannot truly know where our limits are until we dance on the edge of precipice, balance precariously on the border of the unknown and perhaps, on occasion, stumble across that invisible boundary and fail.
We don’t truly learn about ourselves until we’ve delved into that unknown, pushed our own limits and stepped outside of our own comfort zone. We don’t truly learn about ourselves until, on that journey, that life journey, we’ve failed along the way.
Many of the stronger willed of you will already know that failure is not an option. Yet this is short sighted. It’s a great attitude to find solutions and ensure success, but failure is ok. I’ll say that again – failure is OK.
The fear of failure just stagnates us. It holds us back. It prevents us from reaching our goals and our dreams. It stifles us.
Instead of thinking in terms of failure, think in terms of experiments. It’s OK for experiments not to work. It’s OK for experiments to fail.
Make it OK if things don’t work out the first time for you. At least you tried. And you can try again.
It’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.
We’re all different. We all have different goals and dreams. We all have different fears, different limits, different tolerances. You need to find yours.
You don’t need to step up to it straight away and cross that border. Start small. Find a small challenge. Something that you might not normally do. Maybe it’s speaking to a stranger. Maybe it’s learning a phrase in a new language. Find something small that works for you and is just a small bit of a challenge.
When you push yourself just a small bit, it feels rewarding. When you achieve your self esteem and confidence will improve. As you chip away at these smaller challenges you’re empowering yourself to take on larger ones. You’re setting yourself up to really step outside of your own comfort zone and to really push your own boundaries.
Give it a go. You might just surprise yourself. Maybe staying comfortable isn’t as comfortable after all.
Photo by Lars Plougman.