Why I’m Leaving My Comfort Zone Behind in 2015
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When was the last time you did something to get out of your comfort zone? People, in general, are creatures of habit. We love our routines, and we love the stability that comes with living within the ways we’re used to.
There’s something stress-reducing about knowing what you’re going to do and where you’re going to be each day of the week. However, staying in your comfort zone too long or too often can have drawbacks as well. Not taking the time to try new things can restrict creativity, squelch goals and keep you in a mindset where you’re used to not challenging yourself.
We learned firsthand of the downsides to not leaving your comfort zone last year. Because we’d gotten into the “groove” of spend-tracking and budgeting, we got a little too comfy in our routine and didn’t pay off as much debt as we could have, and should have. This is one of the dangers of only living where you’re comfortable and know what to expect. Simply trying something new on a regular basis keeps you from getting too routine, which can then lead to overlooking unhealthy habits.
However, we all want to avoid pain and trying new things can be scary, especially if you’ve had a staunchly set routine in life for a long period of time. Leaving that, on some level, takes courage. How can you start the process of choosing to think outside the box and do new things?
Make a List
The first step involves making a list. Write down some of your dreams, no matter how big or small. Is there a new sport you’ve been wanting to try? A new craft or hobby you’ve always dreamed of taking up? Make a list of 5 or 10 things that are different from what you normally do; things that fit into your budget, but are out of the ordinary for you. Then list them in order from “most desired” on down.
Next, take your list of potential new things for your life, and determine, again in order, the most feasible options to the least feasible. For instance, you might have a desire to purchase and restore a classic car, but owning and restoring classic vehicles is an expensive hobby.
Is it a hobby that’s within your budget? If not, put that dream at the bottom of your list, or better yet, determine an alternate dream that falls in line with your hobby car dream, such as becoming involved with classic car shows or organizations. The goal is to end up with a list of things that will force you to get out of your comfort zone while still fitting in withing your life. The “leaving your comfort zone” goal could be as complex as traveling overseas, or as simple as learning to rock climb at a climbing gym. As long as the financial and other aspects of the goal or hobby fit in with your life, you’re on the right track.
The Benefits of Leaving Your Comfort Zone
Why is it so vital to make determined efforts to leave your comfort zone? Leaving your comfort zone has many benefits and focusing on them can help you stop making excuses for staying where you are. It breeds confidence, helps you gain insight into your dreams and goals, and teaches you to expand your limits. These benefits are the first steps to taking your life from where it is to where you want it to be.
When was the last time you tried something new? What is a dream or hobby that you’ve been wanting to work for, but haven’t taken that first step toward doing yet? What would stepping outside your comfort zone look like for you?
Photo courtesy of Lars Plougmann