When was the last time you left your comfort zone?
We hear it all the time: How good it is to leave the comfort zone. What you may not realize is that your comfort zone may be a lot bigger than you think… so when you think you’re leaving your comfort zone you’re really just approaching the edges of it.
But how can we get to the outside of our comfort zone? And do so to the point that our comfort zone actually gets bigger. Because the bigger and bigger your comfort zone gets through those slightly uncomfortable experiences, the more long term, we’ll be comfortable with!! Cool, right?!
Right now, Where is your comfort zone?
Our comfort zone is not defined by just one thing. It’s not just about how likely we are to go bungee-jumping or how likely we are to go out on the dance floor when people are watching. All of our comfort zones are so different too! And it’s not just a matter of size. The activities and emotions that we are comfortable experiencing vary so much.
Benefits of breaking it
It can be hard to break out of it! Because the comfort zone is just so… (what’s the word?) comfortable! It’s where we feel safe. Where we feel we can oftentimes most be ourselves. And then we look outside beyond the comfort zone is, and that’s where it looks scary!!
There are SO MANY benefits for your wellbeing and mental health when it comes to leaving the comfort zone!
The prefrontal cortex (responsible for decision making) is tightly linked to the amygdala (responsible for fear and emotion). When we are making decisions to go outside our comfort zone, the fear we feel from our amygdala can prevent us from doing so. But the flip is true too! The more we go outside of our comfort zone, the less fear we will experience each time
Stepping outside your comfort zone can help you build confidence and increase your creativity
How can we do this?
One way to effectively break out of the comfort zone is to find something you are very comfortable with and then find a way to stretch it. Here’s how I did this: I love dancing, and I’ve danced for most of my life (since I was a toddler 😀). So I stepped outside my comfort zone by trying hot yoga. It’s similar to dance in a way, but it definitely put me outside my comfort zone being in a room full of people, some of whom have done yoga for as long as I’ve danced, with sweat dripping all over our mats. And now, yoga is one of my favorite things and a way that I continue to push myself outside of my comfort zone.
Another great way to do so is if you’re in college. There might be a topic you are passionate about and it might be something that you find easier than something else. What classes can you take to challenge yourself?
It’s a balance for sure! Balancing going outside your comfort zone and not being too uncomfortable is important! Checking in with yourself often is a great way to manage this :)