Hey guys, apologies for all the inconsistency but I've been working hard on my book and that takes priority but it is finally done! The only issue I'm having is with international payments but Nigerian payment is all sorted out, please bear with us as we try to resolve the issue. In the meantime, enjoy this short post on reasons why to leave your comfort zone today! Let's goo!
Your comfort zone is a seemingly nice place, a safe haven, it embodies security but is it really what it’s cut out to be? Your comfort zone is like a calm sea but no great sailor is recognised on how s/he navigates the calm sea, it is in the furnace of turbulent seas that great sailors are forged.
Naturally, we all crave comfort; would you rather sleep on a hard rock or a soft bed? Our comfort zone is a place where stress and anxiety are low and where things are predictable. There’s nothing wrong with staying there but just like a house it’s good to leave it once in a while and it’s also good to come back to it, after all, a house connotes "shelter and security." Don’t put yourself under house arrest! Staying in this zone for too long will halt productivity, innovation and breeds complacence and lack of commitment among other things.
3 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone
As a person, it is necessary to remember to challenge yourself and flex your muscles once in a while. Muscles that aren’t used will only shrink and get rusty. On that note, here are some reasons why you should step out of your comfort zone.
"Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement." - Anthony J. D'Angelo
There is the saying that "pressure makes diamonds" and when you wanna forge any metal it has to go through intense heat to get the desired result. You can apply this to humans as well, struggle and discomfort is where growth happens; the strength and durability of a rubber band it’s in how much it can stretch. J.M. Barrie said, “we are all failures- at least the best of us are.” and John Gardner said “there is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure — all your life. It’s as simple as that.”
When you were little and you wanted to learn how to ride a bike did you do without the risk of injury or damage to the bike? When I was little, my dad got me a bigger bike I was super excited and he used to help me out when I was learning how to ride it but one day when he was confident enough he left all the riding to me. When I took it out for a spin to show off to my friends I was feeling myself way too much and I found myself speeding into a gutter and I had to save myself so I jumped off the bike; the bike was damaged a little bit. After that experience, I got back on my feet and got better.
As kids, many of us were adventurous and curious a.k.a. natural risk takers and we were developing and growing but along the line this trait starts to wither like a dry leaf in the scorching heat in many of us. It reminds me of the saying that the curse of knowledge is pain. Because we know better and experience have showed us pain we kind of stay in a ‘safe space’ like a foetus in a womb. This make us settle into a life of predictability and certainty.
According to a study done by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson in 1908, for us to raise our performance levels, we must be in a state of relative anxiety i.e. a state in which our stress levels are slightly higher than usual. This state is called "optimal anxiety," and it's just outside our comfort zone but too much anxiety will drop our performance levels. If you’ve watched the Captain America: The First Avenger then you’ll remember when he was put in the chamber and the serum were injected that he was in a calm state but when his transformation began he screamed loudly and there were some sparks in the lab before his transformation was complete. Another example is from Vampire Diaries or The Originals you can see and hear the pain those with werewolf blood go through before they fully transform into wolves.
There’s always opportunity to grow and to make some lemonade out of lemons, no matter the circumstance. Many settle for mediocrity due to fear of failure, but I believe that the fear of failure is the beginning of failure. Failure isn't a dead end, it’s a secret door to success because you’ll learn and gain more from failure than from success. Leaving your comfort zone is a gift that keeps on giving because whether you fail or succeed you’ll grow compared to doing nothing. So, whether it’s burning the midnight oil to achieve your goals or going to the gym often just keep it at the back of your mind that no pain no gain.
"The longest journey is the journey inward." - Dag Hammarskjold
Discovering and understanding yourself isn’t a one day’s job and it will require you trying out new things and for some people it is quite hard especially when they like the life they’re used to or are too afraid to change it. Finding your passion or purpose in life may take a while, kudos to you if you’ve found them. Quick question, how will you know you don’t like something when you’ve never tired it? If you keep living your life the same way you won’t discover anything new about yourself, we know the famous Albert Einstein quote about repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.
When you leave your comfort zone you’ll be able to do the things you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid to and also new things which will make you appreciate living a lot more. For example, I only discovered I love blogging in February 2018 and prior to that I never took writing seriously. After posting my first ever blog post and received positive feedback I decided to set up shop in the blogging world and I’m all the better for it. I never knew I’d be passionate about blogging but I’m glad I discovered it.
The main reason I even started a blog was because I was very curious about the online business world which I knew was there but never quite paid attention to it. Waiting around won’t achieve anything, it’s not the same as patience; when you take action and stroll out of your comfort zone the results can be amazing!
3. It Prepares You for The Unexpected
"To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect." - Oscar Wilde
Like I said before, the comfort zone is characterised with predictability but we all know that life throws things at us that we didn’t plan for. When you’re usually in your comfort zone you’re reactive instead of proactive so you may just complain and then accept it. When you leave your comfort zone often you look for creative ways to deal with the problem. I believe that problems are like coconuts, you have to break them to see the white inside.
Creativity is risky business but no risk no reward. Being creative will involve putting yourself out there and when you do that once and you liked it then you’ll do it again. When you open yourself up to the unexpected, you’ll become more vulnerable but at the same time better equipped to deal with life. Pretending that uncertainty doesn’t exist and thereby providing yourself with a false sense of security is denial and it’s bad for you because what happens when this self-imposed illusion is broken? You’ll be broken yourself.
So, for starters, you should take calculated and controlled risks by doing things you wouldn’t normally do. So, go talk to that person, email that company for the internship, etc. These things will warm you up to the idea of living out of your comfort zone and it can give you the flexibility and adaptability skills you need in life.
In conclusion, reality exists out of your comfort zone and you can’t keep living in a bubble because when it’s popped unexpectedly you’re gonna end up homeless! So, try something new today, it might be as simple as ordering a different meal than your usual. Start little, take one foot out of your zone before the other one, it might be scary but it’s worth it!
WELL, THAT’S FROM ME, GUYS! NOW…
So what action will you take to leave your comfort zone today? Comment below or if you have any more reasons why we should leave our comfort zones more often then please Comment so we can all learn. Share this post on social media with your friends and family. SUBSCRIBE to our blog for some more personal development tips, book recommendations and quotes. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest. See ya next time!
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My name is Ofai and I'm passionate about blogging and it gives me fulfillment that I can help you out so sit back, relax and enjoy your weekly carats of #SelfImprovementGems with me!