13 May 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!