“Your comfort zone will keep you in a chokehold, break free from the grip and grow.” ~ Deon Cecile
Have you ever stopped to think about why stepping outside of your comfort zone is so crucial? Whether you're a student, a young professional, an athlete, or a seasoned veteran in your career, embracing discomfort can work wonders for your personal and professional growth. I am proof of that, yet, most times, I prefer to remain in my little cozy corner, fearing the unknown. Is this you too?
A few months ago, a casual conversation turned into a consultancy stint, which initially had me kicking and screaming - which I am good at when I am venturing into uncharted territories, despite my experiences. It then turned into, hmmm, I think I kinda like this – because now I was getting into the groove and pulling on my plethora of experiences. Next, it turned into my showing up and showing out – like a stadium bulb.
Was the stadium bulb effect an easy feat? No! I told myself daily why this wouldn’t work - #selfsabotage. I made excuses for being a Generalist instead of a Specialist - #selfdoubt, yet being a Generalist is exactly what worked. I questioned my experiences, my knowledge, my intellectual capabilities, my judgement, even my personality, and then I told myself, “Yuh (Jamaican for - you are/I am) too pretty to look dumb.” So, I showed up and showed out and did what I knew I could do. Here’s another thing, sometimes other people help to pull you out of your comfort zone by seeing in you what you don’t often see in yourself.
Five reasons why venturing outside our comfort zone is essential
1. Expand Our Horizons: Staying inside our comfort zone is like watching the same movie on repeat. It's safe, but it can get monotonous. Stepping outside introduces us to new experiences, cultures, and perspectives, broadening our horizons and making life more exciting.
2. Learn and Adapt: When we push our boundaries, we’re forced to adapt to new situations. This adaptability is a priceless skill, especially in a world that's constantly changing. As the saying goes, "Adapt or become irrelevant."
3. Boost Confidence: Going beyond our comfort zone can be a confidence booster. Each small step taken in the face of discomfort reinforces our belief in our abilities. Over time, we'll realize that we're capable of far more than we ever thought.
4. Unearth Hidden Talents: We’ll never know our full potential until we explore uncharted territory. We might discover a talent or passion we didn't even know we had. It's like digging for treasure within ourselves! This unearthing is how I started my #creativewriting journey – I started my blog, which has now led to an online magazine, among other things.
5. Networking Opportunities: Breaking free from our comfort zone exposes us to new people and environments. This can lead to valuable connections and collaborations, both personally and professionally. I love this and dislike it at the same time. Why? Because I am an introvert and “peopling” for extremely long periods can exhaust me – that’s the truth. Yet I find that I can morph into a semi-extrovert, and on occasion, a full-on extrovert, when the time is right. It’s funny how the human brain works.
"There’s psychological growth when we venture outside our comfort zone." ~ Deon Cecile
The Superhero in training
Picture your psychic as a superhero-in-training and your brain is the central command center for this superhero. Research has shown that when we step outside our comfort zones, and take on new challenges, our brains become more agile and adaptable. Neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to rewire and adapt to new experiences, is akin to our superhero mastering new skills, harnessing their superpowers (their psychic gets stronger). So, when we step outside our comfort zone, we're basically giving our psychic a training montage, complete with spandex and a catchy theme song!
Of course, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. We all have fears and concerns about leaving our cozy space. The fear of failure, the fear of embarrassment, or simply the fear of the unknown can hold us back. Empathize with these fears, and acknowledge them, but don't let them paralyze you (note to self again). Start with small steps, set achievable goals, and remember that making mistakes is part of the learning process. It's okay to stumble; it's how we learn to walk confidently.
According to a report by the American Psychological Association, facing and conquering fears can lead to increased self-confidence. This boost in self-assurance is like our superhero donning a confidence-boosting costume, ready to face whatever challenges come their way.
Break free from the chokehold, embrace the unknown, and let’s watch ourselves grow into the superheroes of our own stories. Our comfort zone may feel safe, but it's in the uncharted waters where our greatest adventures and personal growth await. Plus, there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with pushing the limits that leave us with a sense of pride and fulfillment that is unmatched. Why wouldn’t we want to feel this way all the time is beyond me. I have achieved so much by stepping out of my comfort zone, yet I have the same reaction every time I need to. Nevertheless, I consider myself a work in progress, and one day I hope that stepping out of my comfort zone will be as easy and enjoyable as taking a bath.
"Dare to be uncomfortable, and you'll find that the world becomes a much more exciting place."~ Deon Cecile
And, as Neale Donald Walsch said, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
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Welcome to my blog, "Penned Inspiration," an expressive hub where I find joy in sharing my inspirations and stories. I am Deon Cecile, a Jamaican Writer, Blogger, and Aspiring Author. This space is dedicated to stories about Women Over 40, Wellness, Lifestyle, Organizing, Decluttering, and pretty much anything that I find fun and inspiring. I invite you to delve into my content today and discover something that may help/inspire you, or make you smile. I hope you enjoy reading and please feel free to leave a comment or idea below, I'd love to hear from you.
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