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Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Back in December when I posted about the four elements of self-care I briefly mentioned stepping outside of your comfort zone as a means of promoting competence. I would like to further explore this idea.
First of all, what do I mean by "comfort zone"? A comfort zone, while not a physical place, is the space where we feel familiar, safe and secure. We may feel this psychologically, emotionally, as well as in our everyday behaviors. It is in this space that we enjoy comfort, calm, and being free from anxiety. While having this place of security is important, challenging ourselves on a regular basis to get comfortable with being uncomfortable provides a wide array of benefits:
- Challenging yourself can help you perform at your highest height – encourages you to apply your personal untouched knowledge, skills and assets.
- Taking risks increases creativity - by cultivating an openness to new experience, we naturally increase curiosity and imagination.
- Helps you deal with change – life if full of change, both expected and unexpected. Life transitions will flow easily if we push ourselves to operate outside of comfort zones every now and then.
- Keep you mentally sharp – Studies find that learning new and demanding life skills are good for our memory and mental health.
If any of the above sounds like things you would like to cultivate in your life, remember to start small. There is no reason to turn your entire routine upside down. You might begin by rearranging a room in your house, try a new hairstyle, or sitting somewhere new in class or at office meetings. Challenges are personal and different for everyone, so start where YOU are!
Most often, we see small changes made over time have the most lasting impact. I encourage you to engage in small, personal challenges on a regular basis to reap the many benefits of treading outside of your zone of comfort.