5 Reasons to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone in Midlife - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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5 Reasons to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone in Midlife


Why should we step out of our “comfort zone”?

Our Comfort Zone

Well, first of all, let’s define it.

Our comfort zone is, according to the Meriam Dictionary,

“Any situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested:

How fun does that sound?

I know there have been times that I have stepped out of my comfort zone and not only did it make me excited to try new things but gave me another perspective in which to view life.

My Dad was an example of someone who wasn’t a big fan of stepping out of his comfort zone, which to me, was unfortunate.  He had so many talents- woodworking, drawing, photography, I think inherited much of my ” creative side” and artsy spirit through my dad.

He would join a class, often feel inadequate, and then quit, yet my family saw his brilliance in what he did. He often compared himself to other men in the class.

However, I do think of my mom, who graduated with a Master’s in Education. She talked high school English. Later, however, she wished to try something new (stepped out of her comfort zone) and went for a degree in teaching the blind. She loved her new job and found that she was quite good at working one on one with students with vision impairment. Had she never tried it, or questioned her abilities, she would not have experienced this job and the students whom she taught.

Hubby recently tried kayaking when we were in Avalon and really enjoyed it- and he is NOT a “water guy.” I tried paddleboarding for the first time (as I’ve always wanted to learn) and loved it so much Santa brought me a board this year.

Fast forward, and we just went on our first outing this year, on the lake, with our new kayak and paddleboard.

Reasons to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Why should I?

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone, brings new excitement to your life. Perhaps you are learning a new skill. 20 years ago, I met my hubby through a rock climbing class in Pittsburgh. Did I know how to rock climb? Heck, no! Was I interested in learning? Yes, and the ability that I gained by going to the class, climbing various rock faces, gave me confidence. I have always been sports oriented, but wanted to try something new, perhaps something that I would enjoy for life.
  • You Work slowly to overcome your fear. Most of stepping outside of your comfort zone is because you either fear the process of something or the outcome. I studied guitar at the age of 10, and soon after my teacher was asking myself and another boy in my class to play at Church. I am sure my nerves were out of this world, but I did it. Later, in college, I would perform at coffee shops and make jokes that no one would get, but I became proud of the fact that I tried something that I feared. Look at what is causing you the fear. My fear stemmed from me thinking I “wasn’t good enough to perform” in front of a group, with no foundation for that fear. Take baby steps, and try to overcome why you think that way.
  • It can help you grow as a person. I think about this often. If I were only to stick to what I am comfortable with, never taking chances, or doing things that might make me “uncomfortable”, how will I grow and learn new things? How will I challenge myself? As an example, When I was younger, I was afraid of flying. The “fear” was kind of passed down from my mom and dad, who had no experience with anything bad happening, just an unfounded fear. This trickled down to me, and I used to think, I can just go to places in the US, and won’t have to fly! Well, as you know, that is pretty limiting, so as I have gotten older, my perspective has changed. I think the “discomfort” I experience flying is worth it, for me to experience a new culture, people, and country.
  • May discover something new about yourself-  How many of us wake up the same time, eat the same thing for breakfast, workout at the same time doing the same exercises etc? Try to vary your routine. How does it make you feel? Maybe you have always wanted to take yoga, but thought that you weren’t agile enough. Try it and you might surprise yourself.
  • From a fashion standpoint- If your style never evolves, or you find that you are the same jeans and tee shirt ( not that there’s anyhing wrong with that)) kind of lady, how do you know what other styles would do for you? If you think to yourself, “I could never wear that!” Ask yourself why? Do you try different styles for fun? Fashion can act as an expression of ourselves, and that changes in the course of your life. Express yourself how you want with the fashion you choose!
  • You Learn from your “failures”- I think one of the things that prevents us from stepping out of the comfort zone, is the fear of failure. It can sometimes lead to a “perfectionist” attitude. As I mentioned, I have played guitar for years, but my EDS certainly got in the way for 11 of those years that I couldn’t play. This resulted in me not playing when I was able to. It was more of an all or nothing attitude, and I was no longer comfortable playing, as I thought i would be lousy. Now, I play for enjoyment, and I think what a loss it would have been for me to give that up. When you learn, you take chances, and may discover something new and exciting about yourself!

Remember you are never “too old” to learn! 

I look at stepping out of the comfort zone as the best way to experience and lead a fulfilling life!

I’d love to hear from you and how or when you have stepped out of your comfort zone. Let me know in the comments! 

Have a great weekend!

Jess xx


  • Nancy Weiss
    Posted at 11:12h, 21 May Reply

    This is a wonderful blog post Jess, it’s inspiring and encouraging us to take the leap. Your quote at the beginning sums it all up perfectly. As for myself I stepped outside my comfort zone four years ago when I started my blog and I’m so happy that I did!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:35h, 21 May Reply

      Thank you Nancy! Yes, that is great you started your blog. You can tell you enjoy it!

  • Cat Coluccio
    Posted at 06:21h, 20 May Reply

    A great reminder of that quote “life begins at the end of your comfort zone!” I know that the pivotal events in my life, (recording my own album, publishing my first book, immigrating to New Zealand) all were the result of my “feeling the fear but doing it anyway.” It’s amazing what we can do when we get out of our own way and are brave enough to just try.

  • Rosemary Davis
    Posted at 09:49h, 19 May Reply

    This is an amazing eye opening post,Jess!
    I know we go through stages in our lives when we are more open to changes and feel better equipped to step outside our comfort zones.
    And yes, there are stages when we need to dig deep and give ourselves that extra nudge to step forward into the fearful zone.
    Thanks for this timely reminder.🙏🏻


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:39h, 21 May Reply

      Thank you Rosemary, glad you enjoyed the article. 🙂

  • Gail
    Posted at 01:39h, 19 May Reply

    I used to step out of my comfort zone quite often in terms of taking new roles where I didn’t have much experience, and moving house. But lately I have become more set in my ways. Maybe it’s an ageing thing. I’m determined to try and break out of my comfort zone and have identified a few challenges! Thanks for linking x

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:39h, 21 May Reply

      I think it is important for growth, I do understand what you are coming from too.

  • Suzy Turner
    Posted at 04:54h, 18 May Reply

    I couldn’t agree more, Jess. I always used to be one of those people that never tried anything new for fear of failure or falling on my ass lol. But since turning 40, I’ve realised that life’s too short for that! Since then, I’ve done a yoga teaching course, I travelled to the UK alone once (that was a big thing for me at the time), i put myself out there on Insta and TikTok now too. Oh, and I got myself an escooter too lol.
    Great post, Jess!
    Suzy xx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:52h, 18 May Reply

      I really applaud you for travelling alone, that would really be stepping out of my comfort zone. That is great that you are working on yoga and putting yourself out there. Video is out of my comfort zone, but I am giving it a try with reels. I think you certainly grow as a person when you do so!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:21h, 18 May Reply

      Thank you Suzy! I know. Yes, life is to short, just to always be “comfortable” 🙂 I think it is fabulous what you are trying outside your comfort zone. I give you credit fot the trip to the UK alone, as that would be way outside my comfort zone 🙂

  • Michelle
    Posted at 10:46h, 15 May Reply

    Excellent post, Jess! I was a perfectionist as a child and young adult. If I knew I wasn’t immediately going to be good at something, I wouldn’t do it. In school, I skipped over all the classes kids typically think of as fun, because – art and the like – because i had very little natural ability, and knew I wouldn’t make an A in the class. I now know that I short-changed myself. Luckily, that tendency has waned considerably.


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:19h, 18 May Reply

      Thank you Michelle. That is great that you were aware of this and that you can change that at anytime in your life.

  • Jodie Filogomo
    Posted at 20:05h, 13 May Reply

    Gosh, I believe in this SO much. It’s not always easy, but it’s so worth it!!
    I grew up worrying about failure which is why I would never get out of my comfort zone when I was younger. But I realize how important it is now.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:13h, 14 May Reply

      So true. It isn’t easy but it really helps in so many ways !

    Posted at 09:57h, 13 May Reply

    I step out of my comfort zone by picking cross-sitching back up after 30 years and I’m ready to start learning embroidery for me. I’m also trying to learn to crochet because my best friend wants to…god enough for me!!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:20h, 13 May Reply

      Thank you so much for your reply. I think that is great. It really is a matter of doing something you’ve wanted to do and not worrying about the outcome. Sounds like you have some creative endeavors! I have had adult guitar students ask me, is it too late to take up guitar? I think it is never to late to learn something!

  • Donna Taft
    Posted at 09:55h, 13 May Reply

    I’m planning an around the world solo cruise. I’m scared but excited ! I’ve decided if I don’t do it now I never will . I’ve worked my whole life and my husband passed away very young a few years ago . We were planning on traveling after retirement . I thought it through and decided I can still travel without him Which is a life long dream . This really hit home for me this morning .

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:22h, 13 May Reply

      Hello Donna, thank you for your reply. I think that is amazing that you are going to do this cruise. I applaud you for wanting to continue with you and your hushand’s wishes to travel. It will be such an accomplishment when you see the world. As you know from my blogging, we are traveling to Italy in the Fall, and I have never been out of the country, but have always wanted to. I am hoping this instills a love for travel as well.

  • Kellyann Rohr
    Posted at 04:43h, 13 May Reply

    I want to try paddleboarding – looks like fun and a great workout. I am not a water person but I think I’d enjoy it. It really is good to step out of or comfort zones – keeps us young and healthy!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:23h, 13 May Reply

      Paddleboarding is great exercise( although with my condition, I still come home and slap on a Sombra patch on my shoulders). I have always loved the water, and just the calmness of nature. You may find it very enjoyable!

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