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Why I’m Leaving My Comfort Zone Behind in 2015

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comfort zone

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.

Be Brave!

 

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.

Determine Feasibility

 

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

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Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

25 Comments

  • I’m currently working on a few projects that are slightly out of my comfort zone. It is slightly painful, but I’m finding that you have to really believe it to make it work!

  • Money Beagle says:

    Good goal to start off the new year. I think one thing that many people forget when they leave their comfort zone is that they have an increased chance of their goal not working out. That alone shouldn’t deter you, but it’s just something that you should be aware of and plan accordingly, plus it also sets expectations away from the “Succeed or else” mentality that so many of us have.

  • All last year! lol! Seriously, I think I spent a good majority of 2014 nervous because I was doing so many things that were knew to me and scared me, but it has paid off!

    • Laurie says:

      This is exactly what I’m talking about!! You did it, and you’re glad you did, and you learned and achieved some awesome stuff in the process. Way to go, my friend!

  • I plan on stepping outside of the “blogging bubble” and pursuing business opportunities that are not related to online content websites. Blogging is a very comfortable place for me, and has made me some money, but I know it’s not what I’m looking for long-term. I want a business that is scalable and that can be (potentially) be sold for millions of dollars to a large corporation. That will require me to pursue things that will not exactly be “comfortable” in the sense that the blogosphere is a really comfortable place for me since I’ve been in it in one capacity or another for almost 8 years now.

  • Tali says:

    Great idea! List in progress! Sometimes you just need a deadline to force yourself to take the step. I think I’ll make two comfort zone shattering lists, one for the first six months of 2015 and the second for July-Dec.

  • Jason B says:

    I’ve expanded my comfort zone a few times in the past two years. One thing that I plan to do is guest post on a few websites this year. I also want to use my passport.

  • I think people need to guard against equating feasible and easy. Lots of feasible goals that push you aren’t easy. As Michelangelo said, the problem isn’t in setting your goals too high and missing; it’s in setting them too low and never getting anywhere.

    • Laurie says:

      Love that quote, Joe – that’s new to me! And I have to agree. I’ve already done some great things to get out of my comfort zone this year, and it’s been amazing!

  • Mrs. Maroon says:

    We branched out quite a bit in 2014… New jobs in a new state. Plus a new baby! I expect 2015 to be a little less eventful, so we will need to be more intentional about how to step out of our comfort zones. I honestly don’t know off the top oft head what those actions will be. But you’ve given me a great conversation starter for this evening with Mr. Maroon. Thanks!!

  • Last year we made a lot of changes to our home finances and many made us uncomfortable, but I am glad that we did it. For my hubby, he was probably most uncomfortable with cutting cable and now it’s funny how much he touts the benefits of doing it.

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, that’s funny, Shannon. Men and their TVs, it’s amazing to me how much they love ’em. 🙂 Seriously, though, I think it’s great that you guys have done so much to step out of your comfort zone, and it’s benefited you well!

  • Kim says:

    I am totally out of my comfort zone with this rental property project we are in the midst of. Some days I think we are really smart and some days I think we are out of our freakin’ minds.

    • Laurie says:

      I think you guys will find it was a good choice once things start getting going with it. That’s a really cool piece of property and I think it’s great that you took a chance on it.

  • I like it! I think leaving my comfort zone has been a gradual transformation for me over the past year. Our transition into ultra-frugality and our steadfast focus on the future homestead has gradually taken both Mr. FW and I out of our traditional roles and comfort zones. It’s an ongoing process and I’m trying to just remain open to the experience.

    • Laurie says:

      I can’t wait to hear your reports once you’re living at said homestead. It will be out of your comfort zone, but I’ll bet you’ll love it. 🙂

  • Tennille says:

    I’m guilty of living in my comfort zone. I have a couple of goals this year that are designed to push me out of it.

    • Laurie says:

      I can identify, Tennille! It’s SO easy to stay in that comfort zone. When I completed an “out of comfort zone” goal this weekend, though, it really felt like an accomplishment to do something different.

  • I left my comfort zone recently when I confessed about my debt to my parents. I was so scared, but in the end I’m glad I ‘fessed up. Leaving your comfort zone behind is the only way to grow.

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