When we challenge ourselves outside our skills and possibly our personality and beliefs, we can become uncomfortable. Escaping that comfort zone though is all about understanding that the benefits can be high, failure is mostly limited and that it is purely fear that holds us back. By changing the way you think, getting uncomfortable can lead to the following benefits:
1. Growth - Stepping into the unknown teaches you about yourself, gives you new life experiences and tests you.
2. Pride - Even if your experience wasn't the best, it feels good to have overcome your fears.
3. Adventure - I’ve found that my success rate with new ideas is unusually high. Sure, I occasionally get a new activity or adventure that turns out to be a dud, or I actually suck at it, but once you push through the initial fears you might find something you love.
4. Escape Boredom – Challenging yourself is never boring. If you use boredom as your mark of failure rather than embarrassment or results, you can inject a whole lot more enthusiasm into your life.
Leaving Your Comfort Zone- Tips for Getting Started
1. Curiosity – The more I learn, the more I realise what I don’t know. Throw away all your assumptions about what ‘might’ happen and get positively curious about what adventures can be had instead.
2. Find a Safety Net – Bring along a person who will be supportive of you to help reduce any anxiety or stress. Flying solo can sometimes be tough starting out -make it easy on yourself from the start.
3. Open Your Mind – Try not to label certain activities as ‘hard’ or ‘extreme’ or even as ‘exercise’ Label it as an adventure. You will find many more opportunities for exploration if you get rid of expectations.
4. Join A Group – The fastest way to find new experiences and friends. For a low price you can usually learn something completely different all while meeting new and like- minded people in an environment that respects growth and change.
5. Use Your Social Network – Social Media is a gateway to new adventures. Expand your social network and before you know it, unusual opportunities you probably wouldn’t have considered before will come up and as a bonus, you’ll have some great new friends.
6. Break it Down – Don’t try to tackle your biggest fears all at once. My approach is to choose a small step along the way to a big decision. Try pieces of it, break it down into manageable chunks. Too difficult, break it into something more manageable and try again. If it was too easy, ramp up the difficulty and go at it. This is how I am slowly, but successfully building my skills in solo navigation.
7. Accept the Nervousness – Don’t try to control how you feel. You can feel nervous or uncertain and still move forward. Just repeat to yourself that no matter what happens, you can deal with it, you always do.
8. Make Time – Discipline yourself to carve out a section of your week for exploring new ideas and adventures.