Leaving your comfort zone | Planet Ryan

I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to following a daily, comfortable routine. I would bet most of us are. Do this, this, this, and that, and go to bed. Wake up and do it all again the next day. This is a low stress, typically surprise- free way to live, and life goes on, right?

Well, it does go on, but not necessarily in the direction you probably hoped and dreamed for. This is all too common, because thanks to modern technology and other amazing conveniences in this world, living in the comfort zone is highly desirable. I mean why would we want to go out of our way and try something new or push ourselves to the limit?

Lucky for us, science has proven there are a host of benefits for breaking out of your comfort zone. A couple of well-known psychologists studied this phenomenon back in the early 20th century. They found that when you live in a state of comfort, you perform at a steady level, hence your daily, boring routine.

However, in order to maximize your performance (and this can carry over to many different aspects of your life), ideally you should be in a state of relative anxiety. This is also known as “optimal anxiety,” and long story short, it forces you do push past your limits and accomplish great things. Too much anxiety, and it all backfires. So, finding a balance is key.

As mentioned above, some of the benefits of leaving your comfort zone include a boost in confidence, the ability to tackle unexpected situations more easily, better brainstorming and the benefit of realizing what you’re actually capable of, which is much more than you can imagine.

So, how does one step out of their comfort zone? I’m not saying you have to sign up for a skydiving class or join the circus. You can do little things, especially if you’ve never really ventured outside of your zone, to get the process started. And once you start, it makes it much easier to do it again in the future.

For instance, try taking a different route to work. If you have a little extra time, take the scenic route. Stop at a different place for breakfast or lunch and, even better, chat up a stranger. Sign up for a new activity, whether it be an exercise class you’ve been wanting to take, or maybe something related to a hobby you’ve been wanting to try. Why not? I’ve met some of the best people I know at the place I work out — I can’t imagine not having them around. Sure, I was nervous that first class, but that all goes away quickly and can lead to lifelong relationships.

Travel somewhere new. This isn’t always in the budget, but if it is, try going someplace other than your regular getaway destination. There are countless, amazing sights right here in the USA alone! Get online and research them.

We’re all capable of amazing things. That’s the truth. Some people will live their entire lives and not realize it. The first step to seeing just what you might be capable of is breaking old habits and routines, and trying something different. Change is scary, sure, but it’s healthy and good for the soul.

We get one shot at life on this planet. Why not attempt to make the most of it?

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, and hope you find the courage to take action.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” — Neale Donald Walsch

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