It’s not easy venturing out beyond the comfort zone. Heck, it’s name is pretty self explanatory. It’s comfortable there.
The comfort zone feels good. It feels safe.
Not long ago I wrote a piece titled
I could have titled it Nothing Worth Striving for Grows in Your Comfort Zone, because plenty of things we don’t want to experience grow when we stay in comfort.
So many things can go right. But so many things could also go wrong, and our brains are hardwired to emphasize what can go wrong. We also are hardwired to remember bad experiences and minimize good experiences.
It doesn’t take effort to stay in the comfort zone, but it takes a damn lot of mental, emotional, and physical effort to get out of it.
Sometimes we’re rewarded with results beyond what we hoped, sometimes we merely survive the experience, and sometimes we vow to never try that thing again.
What if we focused more on the accomplishment of taking a risk and trying something new or unfamiliar instead of the outcome?
We place too much emphasis on whether the outcome was a success or a failure, but I don’t like to look at it that way.
If you went outside your comfort zone, you already performed a personal best, regardless of the outcome, because you did something for the first time.
Not only that, you made yourself stronger and better equipped to venture outside your comfort zone more often. You grew. You gained.
Before you know it, going outside the comfort zone feels more like an adventure than a scary risk.
“I actually like getting out of my comfort zone. It shakes me up.” — Gail Sheehy
Congratulations, you stepped out! Now do what it takes to not slip back into the comfort zone.
“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” — Robin S. Sharma
Sure, we all slip back in, but be aware that you’re doing it. You may consciously choose to not try that thing again, and that’s cool, but don’t sleepwalk your way back into comfort.
When you catch yourself slipping back in, take the steps you need to walk through that door again.
And remember, it’s not about the outcome. You succeeded because you took an uncomfortable step.
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