We’ve heard several quotes or inspiring sentences encouraging you to do an odd thing, you probably wouldn’t regularly do, just to get out of your comfort zone. But the point is, exiting from the comfort zone isn’t an easy job, and in addition, we need to face lots of challenges when doing so.
There are many scientific articles explaining why getting out of your comfort zone is really hard, and why you should break out of it. Your comfort zone is a behavioral area where your activities and behaviors suit a routine as well as a pattern with minimum pressure and risk, providing a state of mental security. To put it more simply – by making a few changes, you can break away from your routine and do fabulous things.
The concept of the “comfort zone” goes back to classic research in psychology. In 1908, psychologists Robert Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson revealed that a state of comfort leads to constant performance. In order to maximize efficiency, a state of relative anxiety is essential, a level where concern and stress are higher than usually. This space is called “Optimal Anxiety”. Optimal anxiety, can not only sharply decline your performance but also act as poison to your health.
This is not a novel concept, whenever a person wants to obtain new achievements or get to a higher level knows, that they need to challenge themselves in order to gain great results.
Here are some recommendations on how you can get out of your comfort zone:
- Doing routine things in different ways. Trying a new restaurant, ordering strange foods, starting a vegetarian diet for a week or installing a new app – these are some examples on how to make little changes in your everyday life. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are, it’s important that you experience something you’ve never done before. Don’t worry if everything does not go well, just make a change in the way you normally do things.
- Not afraid of wasting time. Sometimes the only thing that makes you nervous or uncomfortable is slowing down, especially if you are used to making fast decisions or thinking quick in your personal or work So try to slow down a little bit and take time for yourself.
- Start out with baby steps. It takes a lot of courage to get out of your comfort zone. You don’t need to take huge steps at first, so don’t be afraid to start For example, if you are an introverted person and you don’t feel comfortable talking to new people, just start out by chatting to them at first and then go on from there. Identify your fears and then continue on going further step by step.
There are numerous ways to discover your personal borders, for example, learning a new language. Learning a new language has lots of benefits the same way learning any new skills has. Remember that someone trying and failing is much more valuable than someone never trying because they are afraid of failing.
Although breaking your comfort zone has many advantages like increasing productivity, having an easier time dealing with new as well as unexpected changes and improving creativity, it’s also important to return to your comfort zone from time to time. But why do you need to go back to your comfort zone?
In order to process your experience, you can’t be outside of your comfort zone all the time. There is a phenomenon called hedonistic adaptation. The concept is that all incredible and impressive things become ordinary after a short time. According to this fact, the latest unique and attractive things quickly become commonplace and monotonous, such as the internet or 3D-printers, which were very fascinating when they first arrived, but are very common now.
Examining new and smaller things is an appropriate way to fight this. The main aim is gaining new experiences, breaking your boundaries, getting to that state of optimal anxiety in a controlled as well as managed way. The main point is to not be afraid of making mistakes, not pressuring ourselves too much, and admiring ourselves because we are all incredibly brave.
Editor: Tea Teesalu