You have seen inspirational quotes that encourage you to get out of your usual routine and do something strange— something that you would not normally do.
But let’s face it.
Once you get used to something, getting out of it just seems to take up too much work. But if you want to be a better individual, getting out of your comfort zone is a firm requirement.
What is a“Comfort Zone”?
So, what’s this comfort zone?
In essence, it is a psychological state that is determined by our past, where we feel at ease in our current environment. It is a state of mind which automatically happens within us and is completely dependent on whether we recognize a given situation or environment as “stress-free” and “familiar”.
So, why do we have comfort zones?
Can good exist without bad? Wake without sleep? Hot without cold? Or bumpy without smooth?
Without anxiety, comfort zones would not actually exist.
As humans, we do what feels “good” and try to avoid what we perceive as potentially painful, harmful or something that can cause anxiety.
All we go through life, we experience different environments and situations that we are raised in. We are more familiar with particular people, views, and places that we are exposed to. And as we age, we get to “define” the world around us based on our unique experiences, making us less open to different possibilities or new stimuli.
This is because we are seemingly trained to evade what we labeled as “bad” and only go with what our mind tells us “good”.
The problem is that as we age, our labeling routine in relation to our lives grows more permanent and stronger within us. It will go on to the point that we become stiff in the way that we live our lives.
The past and the habit of seeking the “good”, evading the “bad” and not inviting risk and uncertainty, essentially end up living our lives for us.
What Do You Get When You Get Out Of Your Shell And Try New Things?
Optimal anxiety is where your performance and mental productivity reach their peak. Still, “enhanced productivity” and “increased performance” just sound like “do more”.
But, if you really did, what do you think you will get once you get out of your comfort zone?
1. You Will Become an Inspiration to Others
In general, what you do is noticed by others, whether you realize it or not. People will always be watching you and what you do can give them an inspirational role model for change and growth.
This applies not only at work but also at home. We all have someone who unknowingly motivated and inspired us to do more than we thought we could. Believing in yourself and taking a risk allows you to be that very person for other people.
2. Perfectionism Will Have No Room
Nobody is perfect, so do not long for it or even expect it. By getting out of your shell, you can let go of unnecessary pressures. As soon as you accept it, you will surely lose the hesitation which held you back in the past. You will not have the courage to take the risks that you once tried to run from.
Risks may come with failure, as well as a chance of greatness. Failure is always a given when taking risks, however, the more you learn and embrace it, the better you will be in the long run.
3. You Gain Control
When you step out of your shell, you get to work and live on your own terms. You will be forced to break free of the limitations around you, and you get to have control and become the one to initiate the changes and set the rules in your life. With a sense of personal control comes an increase in your job satisfaction and a lower level of stress in your daily life.
4. It Becomes Easier For You To Push Your Boundaries
Once you start getting out of your shell, it gets easier over time and you get accustomed to the state of optimal anxiety. As you challenge yourself, your comfort zone will adjust so what was once anxiety-inducing and difficult becomes a lot easier as you try to repeat it.
5. You Will Be More Productive Than Ever
Comfort kills productivity since, without the sense of unease which comes from having expectations and deadlines, we tend to just go with it and do just the minimum things required in order to get by.
You lose the ambition and drive to do more and give up trying to learn new things. You also fall into the trap where you pretend to be “busy” in order to stay in your comfort zone and dodge doing new things.
By getting out of your comfort zone and pushing your personal boundaries, you can hit your stride sooner, find smarter ways to work and get more things done immediately.
6. You Get To Define Yourself
Usually, comfort is defined by doing what everyone else does— imitating the norms and the pressure around you. If you push yourself to new areas, then you will get the chance to define yourself and break free from the limitations of what other people think you should be. You become far freer to shape your life and career as you truly want.
7. Your Life Will Become Fuller
People who have been forced to change, realize that what is comforting is usually not the best thing for them. By leaving your shell, you can create a great feeling of self-respect and euphoria as you learn what you are truly capable of creating and doing, which can be far more expansive and greater than you imagined.
Pushing your limits can help you find the excitement, fulfillment, and meaning that you have been searching for your whole life. If you never even get out your comfort zone, then you are sabotaging your odds for lasting happiness and success. So, do not be afraid to try out something new. You will find that you are more courageous, capable and resilient than you once believed you were and, as you stand up against challenges, more exciting ones will be waiting for you.
How to Get Out Of Your Shell?
Being outside your comfort zone can be a great place as long as you do not angle the scales too far. It is important that you understand the difference between the kind of anxiety that we are talking about and the real anxiety that most people struggle with in their lives. Everyone’s comfort zone is quite different and what can expand your horizon might be too much for someone else.
Keep in mind that breaking out of your comfort zone can bring out the best in you, however, too much is also a bad thing.
Here are some tips on how you can get out of your shell without going too far:
1. Take Your Time In Making Decisions
Occasionally, slowing down is all it takes to make someone uncomfortable. This is especially true if quick thinking and speed are prized in your personal life and work.
Observe what’s going on, slow down, take your time in interpreting what you see and then decide. Sometimes just defending your right to take an educated decision can force you out of your shell. Think deeply and do not just react.
2. Do Everyday Things Differently
Try to take a different route when going to work. Go vegetarian for a week or even a month. Try that new restaurant. Try a different brand. Visit new places. Recalibrate your reality.
Whether you make a small or large change, simply making a change in the way you do things daily is one step closer to getting out of your comfort zone.
Look for the perspective which comes from any change, even if it has a negative side. Do not be put off by the things that do not work the way you planned.
3. Do It In Small, Baby Steps
It takes a lot of bravery to go out of your comfort zone. You will get the same benefits whether you start it slow or go on with both feet, so do not be afraid to do it one step at a time.
In case you are socially anxious, do not assume that you need to muster enough courage in order to ask someone you like on a date right away. Just go and say hello and see where it will go from there. Identify your fears and anxiety, then face them head on, step by step.
4. Trust Yourself And Make Decisions
We are always contradicting ourselves and there is a good reason for it. Just as there are individuals who thrive to make quick decisions, others want to weigh in all possible options numerous times.
However, if you are stuck in the same situation and can’t go on further, making a snap call can get you moving again. By doing so, you can kick-start your personal tasks and teach yourself to have trust in your judgment.
The point of stepping out of your shell is to embrace new environments and experiences and to get you away from your fears and anxiety in a managed and controlled way without stressing yourself.
So, the next time you find yourself hesitating for something, go for it! The lessons and rewards will be, without a doubt, worth the risk you will take!