How often have we heard the phrase ‘getting out of your comfort zone’? While all of us relate to the phrase and use it extensively in our feedback discussions but do we really explain what it takes to get out of one’s comfort zone?
Comfort zone is being in a situation where one feels safe or at ease. It is a much-used method of working that is so ingrained in our minds that it requires little efforts or thinking but at the same time, only yields barely acceptable results. Comfort zone by its definition, minimizes stress due to a sense of familiarity and security in that space and mitigates risk due to certainty of outcomes from doing tried and tested things.
Getting out of our comfort zone means doing or maybe initially, just braving an attempt at tasks and activities that we have not done before. When we get out of our comfort zone, we are exposing ourselves to stress and anxiety because we are not quite sure of the outcome or our reaction to the new situation. However, this risk-taking ability is what all of us need to imbibe for the sake of our evolution. Whether we succeed or not in our attempt, the idea is to move towards getting comfortable with something completely new. Trying out new things outside of your comfort zone and getting used to them is bound to expand our comfort zone. Consciously or unconsciously, trying out new things is a natural course which we take to expand our horizons; the more we get out of our comfort zone, the more we expand our comfort zone, little by little!
What can you do to get out of your comfort zone?
· Pick up a new hobby – art, music, dramatics, writing, or anything else
· Try a different form of exercise – from what you are used to
· Change your routine – if you are a late riser, try getting up an hour earlier
· Join a continuing education program, even if it is a short one
· Read an author or a genre which you normally don’t
· Learn a new language
· Go on an adventure trip
Just do something that you haven’t done earlier!
As Robin Sharma writes, ‘As you move out of comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes the new normal’. Taking risks is what helps us grow. Hence, seizing every opportunity to get out of our comfort zones lets us expand our horizons. We should really thank people who push us into such situations.
Let us all attempt to ‘get comfortable’ about getting out of our comfort zones!