How Discomfort Helps Us Grow – 5 Ways To Push Your Comfort Zone
No one can deny how nice routine feels particularly when we´re overworked or stressed. Routine can be helpful, personally and professionally. Structure can bring efficiency to our lives, help automate decision processes and, above all, provide us comfort.
However, we as humans adopt a curious behaviour when it comes to comfort. Even if your routines or habits aren’t particularly positive, such as not going to the gym despite your desire to be fit, or not sticking to your goal to travel, often, people will continue with this behaviour because it´s, well, comfortable.
Unfortunately, our comforts can keep us stuck – stuck in familiar patterns where we simply accept the status quo. Over time, unless we make a conscious change, we fall short of fulfilling our dreams and desires.
When it comes to personal growth, fulfilling your potential and living a life you're proud of, it’s only through pushing beyond your comfort zone and experiencing discomfort that you will find the joy you´re seeking.
We have been taught to think that discomfort is a bad thing and that we should avoid it. Think about feeling the burn from your gym workout, the nervousness and excitement you feel landing in a foreign country – you will only experience those feelings through discomfort.
Pushing Your Comfort Zone
To live be the person you want to be, you´re going to need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Pushing your comfort zone needn’t be panic-inducing but in order to grow, it´s important to do one thing every day that makes you uncomfortable.
Here are five simple suggestions to help you push your comfort zone:
1. Take Another Way Home
One of the simplest ways to break routine is to walk, cycle or drive a different way home from work. Taking a different route home can help remove predictability, expose you to new stimuli and new surroundings things, and even provide inspiration.
2. Say “Yes” To Invites
For one week, commit to saying “yes” to every invite that comes your way and see where it leads you. Whether it´s after work drinks with colleagues or an invite to a party, just say yes. Among the many benefits of putting yourself “out there”, it can open up new doors, new interests, and new friends.
3. Choose The Option That Will Make Your Most Uncomfortable
When it comes to decision making, whether it´s deciding what film to see, or what restaurant to eat it at, try not to overthink things and instead make an impulsive decision. Doing this allows spontaneity and an opportunity to step away from the familiar.
Do you tend to make decisions based on comfortability and familiarity? If so, for one week, when presented with a choice, try to choose the option that will push your comfort zone the most.
4. Change Your Environment
As the saying goes, “a change is as good is a holiday”. Changing your environment helps break routine and familiarity and can also provide inspiration.
Rearrange your apartment or house, or your workspace. Work from a café or a shared workspace. There’s nothing that breaks routine quite like travel. Travel to a new city and put yourself in new situations.
5. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
As stated in the Susan Jeffers bestselling book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, one of the best ways to push your comforts is to feel the fear and do it anyway. Anytime you feel your heart rate accelerating about a particular event or decision, countdown from 3 and just do it. Think about when you’re about to dive into a swimming pool – first, you brace yourself, then you countdown, then you take the leap.
Nervousness and excitement are both states of arousal, and we can easily shift between them by persevering through the fear. Next time you feel nervous, tell yourself “I am so excited” and then take action.
Start Living Today
It’s time to push out from the shore. Put an end to the status quo. Experience life to the fullest. Who do you want to be and where do you want to go?
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