When it comes to “embracing the unknown” or “taking the leap” (and any other cliché phrases for risk-taking that I haven’t mentioned), we are often told that doing so will help us grow as a person. While this is ultimately true, we focus less on the specific ways it impacts our life.
Because of this, it is more difficult for us to obtain the incentive to actually push ourselves toward a situation that we would normally shy away from. Sure, it might be worth it in the end, but what if it’s not? So maybe we’ll “grow as a person”, but what does that even really mean?
At my workplace, there has been a great deal of transitioning these past couple of weeks. Needless to say, the constant cycle of change has left me feeling more than a little on-edge. From co-workers resigning to being asked to attend a last minute business trip in New York, the anxiety that I was beginning to gain a better handle on was making a very unwelcome comeback.
I had a conversation about it with my dad the other day, and he referred to me as a “creature of habit.” A disruption in routine is bothersome to me, because it means I am forced to have less control over the outcome.
If you also consider yourself to be a “creature of habit”, you will likely relate to this feeling of uneasiness in these types of situations.
The biggest issue with this trait is that it leads us to become upset with ourselves for not being able to adapt better to change. We envy others who can handle new and uncomfortable situations with ease, and wonder if we are ever going to be able to do the same.
While pushing yourself toward new experiences will always be a bit of process, finally reaching that point will make you realize what you’re truly capable of. Therefore, looking past the stereotypical explanations of “evolving” and “gaining vast knowledge,” here are 3 very real reasons to push yourself out of your comfort zone:
1. New situations allow you to become more creative.
About a month ago, I distinctly remember staring at an empty Word document on my laptop in frustration. The writer’s block was worse than ever, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I finally admitted to myself what I was previously trying to avoid – I just hadn’t experienced anything new and exciting recently. Because of this, I really had nothing to say that hadn’t already been said.
Of course, this isn’t only applicable to writers. That overall “bored with life” feeling that makes an appearance from time to time can really serve as a wake up call to try something new.
So go do it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s taking an exotic vacation or taking a calculated risk at work. Whatever it is, that nagging feeling of being in a rut will slowly but surely fade away. As a result, you’ll have more to contribute – where you focus it is up to you.
2. You can serve as an inspiration to others.
When we typically discuss escaping the comfort zone, we often place emphasis on how it will improve our own lives. Therefore, it’s easy to forget that taking on these challenges can inspire others as well.
When you think about people who you consider to be role models, they likely exhibit the characteristics that you wish you had.
Recognize that you too can be that driving force in others to improve, which essentially doubles the satisfaction in the end. In addition to being proud of what you have accomplished, you have paved the way for another person’s future accomplishments too.
3. You will get more comfortable with discomfort.
Continuing to push yourself out of your comfort zone will by no means lead you to become a risk-taker. However, what it will do is allow you to gradually become more and more susceptible to change.
Shift your focus from what could go wrong in that particular moment to the impact it will have on your life here on out.
Think about it this way. Which would you rather deal with: A panicky couple of days in a new environment (that you WILL get through!), or never knowing what could happen because your fear won’t let you take the chance?
I think the answer speaks for itself.