During stressful times, we tend to gravitate to our comfort zones, those areas that make us feel safe or at ease. While this refuge might provide a certain amount of solace, it often restricts us from adapting to our changing circumstances.
The benefits of making modifications to outdated comfort zones include:
Experiencing new things will help us grow.
Stimulating our brain can make us more creative.
Exploring new opportunities can help us age well.
Challenging our abilities will improve our performance.
Expanding our experiences will boost our self-confidence.
Creating positive memories will strengthen our joys in life.
Remaining stagnant prevents us from enjoying the best of our ever-changing world.
So, what can you do to move beyond your comfort zone to experience something better?
This is your personal journey to a better you. It isn’t a sprint, so ease into it by taking your first step followed by another and another. As you move forward, you will be challenging yourself to the unfamiliar. No matter how big or small the steps, keep moving in the right direction despite the inevitable pangs of discomfort.
Discover new places.
Become an explorer. Open yourself up to new environments. You can begin small by going to a different restaurant or attending a first-time event like a concert or rodeo. Throughout the month, organize and take several excursions that offer unique experiences.
Meeting different people.
Even if you consider yourself to be friendly and outgoing, you may be limiting your sphere of interaction to people within specific areas of your life such as your work, home, or school. As you start discovering new places, meet new people. Engage in ways that you can learn more about them. Expand your connections to include a diversity of people from all walks of life, ethnic groups, and ages.
Alter your routine.
There is a certain amount of comfort in our daily routines. Most of us can perform our routines without much thought or effort. Well…it’s time to shake things up. If you habitually drive to work or school in a certain direction, change your route. If you always have the same coffee at Starbucks, order something different. Thinking outside of your routine will expose you to new experiences and opportunities.
Treat yourself to the unusual.
Do something out of the ordinary for yourself and make it special. Spend a day at the spa, take a day trip to an unusual location, or pamper yourself with a new outfit. Whenever you do something uniquely special, you are ultimately rewarding yourself for going beyond your comfort zone.
Ignite your creativity.
Challenge yourself to tap into the endless possibilities that come with the magical world of imagination. To access your creative side, let go of the constraints that cause your beliefs to become fixed and inflexible. Flex your creative muscles. Sing, dance, play an instrument, act, knit, sew, sculpt, draw, or take pictures – do a variety of fun activities that will get your creative juices going.
Allow yourself to fail.
With each failure comes an opportunity to learn and grow. In your approach to life, find the lessons in your failures and NEVER ignore or allow them to defeat you. Everyone fails from time to time. Make it your chance for self-reflection and improvement.
Consider other perspectives.
Listen carefully to others. Don’t immediately discount their opinions or ideas just because they differ from yours. Sometimes the least likely people have the most interesting and innovative perspectives.
Say “yes” to opportunities.
To spark a fresh and novel approach to living, just say yes to situations or chances that fall outside your norm. With these either-or choices, error on the side of saying yes, especially if it will lead to your own personal growth and development. Adjust your focus and then make it happen.
Challenge your fears.
Our fears limit our abilities to accomplish certain things and perform certain tasks. To live a more rewarding and productive life, conquer your fears with a new mindset and approach to life. Overcoming your fears may be tricky but setting them to the side to progress isn’t.
Acknowledge your achievement.
Going beyond what is comfortable and safe for you won’t be easy. Take a moment to recognize and celebrate your accomplishments along the way. Since it is your personal journey, others may not see or understand what you are doing. Don’t worry about them. Your greatest satisfaction will come from your own self-approval.
Make each day a new adventure.
Treat each day as a new beginning. Wake up with enough optimism and enthusiasm to tackle new opportunities as they cross your path. There is no better way to learn and grow than to embrace new challenges to go beyond a place of stagnation.
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Written by: Patricia K. Flanigan, Smart Strategies for Successful Living
Patricia K. Flanigan has worked in higher education for over 28 years. She holds a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne as well as a M.A. in Latin American Studies and B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before retiring and moving to Idaho in 2015, she served as the dean of online education and learning resources at Saddleback College, a large community college in Southern California. She currently consults in higher education, volunteers for AARP, writes for a local magazine, and serves as an Affiliate Faculty member at Boise State University and a contributing member to LEARN Idaho. Since February 2017, she has been the founding director for Smart Strategies for Successful Living, a community-based website designed to promote quality aging. As an educator, her focus is to inspire others to live and age well.
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone Is Good for You: CLICK HERE
Source: Well + Good
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How to Leave Your Comfort Zone and Enter Your ‘Growth Zone’: CLICK HERE
6 Tips to Leave Your Comfort Zone: CLICK HERE
Source: Tony Robbins