I’m not a big believer of the whole ‘New Years Resolution’ concept, because the start of a change of mindset and the incorporation of positive habits should not have a start date. However, one thing I have been wanting to do more of is stepping out of my comfort zone. It is very easy to go through life without doing so, it is simple; say no and stick to what you know. What I have come realise, is that through consciously trying to make the effort to do things that I’ve never done before, or that make me feel a bit anxious, is that it does actually have positive effects.
These are some of the reasons that challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone may be one of the best things you ever do.
The great feeling of overcoming your struggle
Facing that initial struggle and seeing improvement in whatever it is you do is an incredibly satisfying feeling. The art of perseverance will be one that pays off to you in the end, I promise. I remember first joining a touch rugby group, convinced to go with some people I worked with. I was incredibly nervous, and the majority of the team were male rugby players. There was only me and 3 other girls there. To begin with I felt incredibly self-conscious, I not only have really bad memory, I naturally have very bad hand-eye coordination and I was very unfit. Not the best combination.
It took me over two months until began to feel more comfortable and my progress wasn’t consistent at all which was very frustrating. I would go one week and have a better session and come back the week after and struggle again. I found I had to constantly remind myself of my progress longterm compared to the very first few weeks. I also realised that in fact, everybody isn’t completely focused on me. I know, what a revelation.
I also came to realise that it turned out, not everybody was counting how many times I missed the ball, or didn’t score the try or didn’t make the best throw. What I learnt from this, is that it doesn’t matter if I don’t pick something up straight away as I’m still making more progress than if I wasn’t doing it in the first place and that’s the main thing.
It is easy to not give something a go because you think you can’t do it or you’re worried what people think, but when you realise they’re not focused on you and watching every move you make, you can enjoy making progress and seeing yourself improve.
Regret at not trying
Another reason I think stepping out of your comfort zone is important is the feeling of regret in not trying . I really do agree with principle that it is better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do. When an opportunity comes up I now think to myself ‘What if I don’t do this, and I miss out on something I would actually enjoy?’. The worst case scenario is that you don’t try it again, the best, you’ve found a new hobby! The feeling afterwards and the sense of achievement at least attempting it is definitely worth the initial anxiety. Stepping out of your comfort zone requires rewarding yourself and acknowledging the achievement.
You’ll grow in all areas of your life
Getting out of your comfort zone will not only give you new experiences but new confidence in being able to try new things whether that be in work, in relationships and just life in general. It opens you up to meeting new people, being more creative, getting inspired and growing as a person.
So, instead of asking yourself ‘well what if i’m not good?’, try to work with the mindset that whatever the outcome, you will learn something and grow as a person.
With this attitude at the forefront of your mind, every opportunity can have a benefit, instead of being seen as something to avoid.
I hope this has helped convince some of you that stepping out of your comfort zone occasionally helps you grow and is a positive thing to do. What motivates you to try new things?