We all have heard it at some point or another… “get out of your comfort zone.” I’ll be honest, when my mom used to tell me that… well, actually, she used to say something like, “expand your horizons,” I was thinking two things. First off, what the hell does that mean (oh, and FYI, y’all, I have a major potty mouth, oops!), and once I did understand the meaning, I didn’t want to do anything that would get me out of my so called “comfort zone.” I vividly remember rolling my eyes and almost getting angry inside because it was WAY easier to just stick with the status quo.
With all of that being said, getting out of our “comfort zone” is one of the BEST things we can do for ourselves. I will not sugar coat it and say feeling that pit in my stomach when doing something new is fun and something I look forward to. I am someone that thrives on routine, so getting off that almost-memorized path is difficult for me. However, looking back at so many life experiences where I had that pit in my stomach for minutes, days, sometimes months, made me SO much stronger.
Think about it. How BORING would life be if we were never challenged?! We would never have anything to look forward to or be proud of. We would never know what it would feel like to be pushed beyond our limits. We would never know the feeling of being uncomfortable when trying something new.
I’m sure all of us can think of times where we were out of our comfort zones. For me, there have been many times I experienced this: growing up, then moving away for college and starting my corporate job, and more recently, when I made a career change. As much as I LOVE that I am fortunate enough to get to wake up and basically live my dreams every day, I am constantly pushed out of my comfort zone. Daily. No, I don’t absolutely love that part about it, but hey, it makes you grow. A LOT. When I was younger, I was painfully shy. I’m talking hide behind my mom because I hated being the center of attention. Growing up, I came out of my “shell,” and now, I LOVE meeting new people and interacting, which is why I enjoy my job now so much!
So, what’s the point of all of this exactly? If you want to grow in life, you must be willing to put in the effort. This effort will require you feel awkward and want to run the other direction sometimes, but sticking through the icky part is how you move out of you comfort zone and GROW.
If you’re wondering where you can start. Don’t think big picture. Think small. It can be as small as saying “hi” to a stranger, or taking a yoga class if you’re a lifting nut like me (yes, taking a yoga class last week definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone!), or trying a new food! You don’t need to make drastic changes to feel uncomfortable, trust me! All that matters is that you are stretching yourself beyond your comfortable limits, trying something new, and GROWING.