You’re ambitious. You have big plans. You’re making great strides toward your goals. Life is going well, maybe even better than you expected! The comfort zone you’re living in is, well, comfortable—and you’ve been able to accomplish amazing things from within its walls.
Your comfort zone is like your home. It’s familiar, restful, and can be a space brewing with productivity and success. But what happens when you stumble upon something that makes you—gasp—uncomfortable?
I get it, the thought of leaving your little home can be overwhelming. The world is a scary place! What if you get lost? Or run into rude people? What if you get hurt?
It’s true, outside your secure little house any of these misfortunes can happen. Staying inside is a great way to dodge them. But if you never wander outside, you’ll also miss out on a plethora of wonderful experiences the world has to offer.
Here are three amazing opportunities that make venturing into the great big world beyond your comfort zone well worth the risk of a few unpleasant experiences.
1. Opportunities For Growth
I am all about capitalizing on your strengths and utilizing your gifts. Maybe you already know you’re a great communicator, have a keen eye for detail, or are great with kids. That’s awesome—use those skills!
But you’re not good at everything. At some point, you’ll face a situation that you feel completely unequipped for. Maybe for you, that unknown situation is maintaining an organized filing system or giving a presentation in front of dozens of strangers. It’s at this time you’ll have to decide: are you going to retreat behind the comfortable walls you’ve built, or are you going to rise up to the challenge in spite of your weaknesses?
Operating outside your comfort zone is a lot like exercise. If you’ve ever worked out, you know how uncomfortable it can be! But the ache that you experience after lifting a weight is a sign that your muscles are getting stronger. In the same way, your weaker skills get stronger with regular training. And as your skills grow and expand, so does your comfort zone.
So take advantage of the opportunities that scare you. You’ll surely grow from them!
2. Opportunities For Advancement
Okay, so we know that leaving your comfort zone brings personal growth. And while that’s amazing on its own, “personal growth” can be vague and difficult to measure. What’s so great about growing anyway?
That growth can open up new doors for significant—and tangible—advancement toward your goals.
Remember, exercise makes those muscles (skills) stronger! Most people have goals when they hit the gym—reasons why they want to strengthen their areas of weakness. Maybe it’s so they can compete in a triathlon or pass a physical exam for their dream job.
Similarly, when you strengthen your skills, you are better prepared to achieve your goals. If you’ve been exercising your public speaking skills, you’ll be ready to present your business plan to a potential investor. Or you can use your newly strengthened organization skills to be more efficient, which will create the time you need to do what matters to you.
Whatever advancement may look like for you and your goals, getting out of your comfort zone can help you to gain ground—fast.
3. Opportunities For Fun
Getting out of your comfort zone isn’t only useful for adultish things like school and work, it can make your life more fun too!
From the confines of your little home, it’s easy to lead a life that’s far from interesting. Binging Netflix and scrolling endlessly through social media sounds great at first, but spend enough time doing that and your life is suddenly overwhelmingly boring.
Life needn’t be so dull! Plenty of excitement lives right outside the boundaries of your comfort zone. But if you never go past those walls, you won’t know what’s out there.
So channel the child inside yourself, and explore!
Maybe you’ll discover a love for the performing arts. Or maybe you’ll form friendships with interesting people. You might even find that an adrenaline junkie has been hiding behind your timid exterior. Who knows what fun things you’ll uncover!
Living a life of comfort robs you of the experiences that make life worth living. Your comfort zone may be a nice place to rest, but don’t spend your entire life there.
Take some risks, stretch yourself, and have a little fun! I promise it’ll be worth it.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy How I Un-Planned My Career.