Your comfort zone can give you security, peace of mind and a sense of calmness, but it can hold you back too. Whilst we all live within our own personal comfort zones to an extent, it’s important to step outside from time-to-time and make healthy changes.
When you do something different, you challenge yourself and this can be extremely beneficial. Regardless of the outcome, pushing yourself outside your comfort zone gives you an unrivalled learning experience.
If you’re stuck in a rut, ruled by your routine or tired of doing the same old thing, try these top tips for stepping out of your comfort zone…
Change your routine
Changing your routine can have a huge impact on your mood, and you don’t even need to take drastic action. If you usually go to the gym after work, get up early and try a morning workout instead. Alternatively, if you spend your weekends doing housework, commit to a short burst of cleaning everyday and leave your weekends free to try something new.
Even something as small as changing your route to work or listening to a different radio station helps to change your routine and, as a result, your way of thinking.
Make a career change
Our comfort zone affects the way we think, and it’s easy to get stuck doing the same old thing. If you’ve been in the same role for a while or have been working at the same level years, why not push for promotion or expand your horizons?
Of course, you don’t have to quit your job and risk it all in order to make these changes in your life. Keep an eye out for in-house promotions, discuss job development with your boss or undertake further training to develop your skills. It may seem nerve-wracking at first but once you build your confidence and are recognised for your abilities, the changes you’ve made will all be worth it.
Try something new
Once we know what we like, we tend to stick it but this can prevent us from experiencing different things. If you love returning to the same holiday destination, always choose the same ‘favourite’ meal or wear the same style of clothes, it might be time to try something different.
This can be as small as listening to a different type of music or as big as visiting a new country; whatever it is, the fact you’re broadening your horizons and trying new experiences will give you a new outlook on life.
A new hobby, skill or passion can revitalise yourself and give you a whole new world of interests, as well as potential career options too. As well as finding local classes and groups to join, take a look at what’s on offer online.
Online courses, such as online nursing programs or online accountancy qualifications, can be a great way to re-launch your career our put yourself in line for a promotion. Alternatively, learn something for fun. Why not try a beginner’s guide to gardening online seminar or an online lecture on medieval architecture? Whatever your interests, it’s easy to find online learning resources so you can incorporate this with your existing commitments.
We don’t always get the opportunity to be creative, but making something can be exhilarating and rewarding. Creating something from nothing gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and it also means that you can share your creations with other people.
Whether it’s artwork, sculptures, baking or pottery, try your hand at creating something and see what suits you. You can find ample supplies already lying around your home or attend beginner’s workshops to really get a feel for a new craft.
Why Is It Important To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone?
Although your comfort zone may help you to feel secure, it can lead to feelings of discontent and even depression. Doing the same things or thinking in the same way all of the time quickly gets boring, and it won’t take long until you feel unfulfilled.
Stepping outside your comfort zone challenges you but does so in a healthy way. If you’ve ensconced yourself in routine in order to minimise anxiety, you can make small, ad hoc changes to your routine in order to break free from your comfort zone without pushing yourself too fast.
Once you feel the elation and sense of well-being which comes from doing something different, you’ll have the confidence to find newer, bigger challenges and to spend more time outside of your comfort zone.