With the new year in our rear-view mirrors, we’ve all spent the last month completely inundated with a slew of motivational quotes urging us to venture outside of our comfort zones. We all have them—the areas of life where we feel the least stressed (read: challenged) and those psychological and emotional constructs that make up our days. “What lies just out of reach of your norm is often the most rewarding,” says the world and honestly, the world is right. Renegotiating the boundaries of your life is empowering, and when you’re able to step outside of your everyday routine, it’s kind of a big deal! Our contributor, Chelsea Jackson of Hazel + Scout is here today to discuss five ways that you’ll benefit from stepping out of your comfort zone.
It feels good to feel safe and exist within the parameters that we’ve built for ourselves. After all, humans are creatures of comfort. The little routines throughout my day (making my first cup of coffee in the morning, walking our dog just as the sun sets, trying out my newest skincare regimen right before bed) are some of my most looked-forward to moments. But experiencing things differently every now and then can feel good, too. If all you ever do is play it safe, you’re missing out on a whole lot of wonder.
In my own life, I’ve been taking steps to shake things up and confront the scary task of getting outside of my usual patterns. This past year, I moved abroad to a completely foreign locale, finally went back to college after 8 years and a baby and started a couple of new jobs. With each new experience and personal hurdle, I was unsure what the change would be like, but let me tell you, it’s exhilarating to do things that make you uncomfortable.
While stepping out of the place where you feel content can be nerve-wrecking, why not try to introduce new routines to your day, join a class, take on a new hobby or explore farther away from home? In need of a creative outlet for all of those ideas that swirl in your head at 2 a.m.? Try starting a new artistic pursuit just for fun. Taste new flavors. Meet new people.
Since we’re all toting around shiny, new, lofty resolutions for 2018, keep reading for five ways you’ll benefit from going outside your comfort zone…
1. You’ll be more productive.
Comfort is one of the biggest killers of productivity, and when things get predictable, we typically start BSing our way through life. Ever go into autopilot during the work day? It’s probably because you’re not feeling challenged. Shaking things up on the job or taking risks in your personal life (Ask him out! Make a new friend! Get rid of those toxic acquaintances!), can help you feel excited and refreshed in those roles.
2. Turning up the heat forces you to rise to the occasion.
Reaching new heights usually takes us risking something we might fail at. Push your personal boundaries to find new, smarter ways to operate, and surprise yourself in the process!
3. You’ll grow.
Stepping away from comfort is a growth experience. Regardless of the outcome of new risks, you’re creating valuable opportunities to expand your world views and moments you can pull from in the future as you continue to learn new things. Even if you fall short within these new experiences, you never fail as long as you’re growing.
4. Change is the only thing that helps you cope with change.
Everything is constantly changing. That’s the only thing in life that’s certain. I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty hard time dealing with those changes. Frequently moving out of your comfort zone and getting used to change will help you be better equipped to deal when life tests your boundaries. Instead of existing in stagnancy, take control of the certainty of change and shake things up for yourself.
5. You’ll become more creative.
There’s nothing like going outside of your comfort zone to forge a little creativity. In striving to be a person that attempts new things, you’re setting yourself up to be someone that is open to new experiences. Openness to imagination and curiosity are the cornerstones of a creative personality!