Friday the 13th of November 2015; the day I well and truly broke out of my comfort zone.
There wasn’t exactly anything wrong with my comfort zone but it had become highly predictable and mundane, it was what all comfort zones are supposed to be; familiar and with minimal surprises. I had pretty much the same daily routine of work, passing the same people in the street and even eating the same sort of dinners each week, I came to notice that comfort was probably my biggest trap.’ Now most people are more than happy to remain in this state of comfort and after all who could blame them?
We as people actually seek out situations that will cause us minimal stress and anxiety due to the way in which our brains are programmed, we like to plan ahead as a coping strategy to reduce the possibility of surprises. Because of this stepping out of our comfort zones doesn’t come naturally to most, however by breaking such boundaries I have realised that a lot of good can come out of it. I can honestly say it is the best decision I have ever made and in my opinion it has changed me as a person in a very positive way; it has pushed me physically and mentally, led me to achieve new successes and allowed for personal growth.
I have been away from home for just over a year and a half now- going from living at home with my family to living in a foreign country, trying to make it work and supporting myself fully. During this time I have experienced things I thought were only ever imaginable, such as snorkeling on the great barrier reef in the company of a shark, jumping out of a plane at 14,000 ft and taking a job in an outback pub or the ‘middle of butt fuck nowhere’as the few locals called it. Being so completely out of my comfort zone has led me to interact with people I would never usually have chance to, I have met and formed friendships with amazing people of all ages, social backgrounds and nationalities, some of whom I know will be friends for life. I have applied and succeeded in job roles that I would never of attempted back home, as well as finally letting my guard down enough to pursue a serious relationship with somebody I am now living with and love very much.
Now I’m not going to sugar coat the whole experience, I have indeed had some serious highs but there have also been a share of lows. Lows which at times I found to be so stressful that they made me feel like giving up and returning to the familiarity and security of my little bubble back at home, to my loved ones and normality. Instead here I am and in my eyes i’m succeeding, for the first time in a long time I am actually proud of myself, and I consider myself to be a stronger person for it.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be hugely beneficial in my opinion, by doing so it taught me how to deal with new and unexpected situations in a clearer manner with more ease. I have learned how to channel anxiety and stress into a positive, allowing for better performance or the achievement of a certain outcome. I have also found that until something really pushes your boundaries you are completely unaware of the untapped resources and knowledge that we hold within. For these such reasons I think it is one hundred percent advisable that you break out of your comfort zone, even if its just every once in a while, for you never know what you are truly made of or potentially missing out on.
Ask yourself, are you really happy or just comfortable?