As I look back over the last 5 years of our practice I can’t help but be so grateful for all that I’ve learned and all that has happened. It has been hard and it has been a lesson in getting out of my comfort zone in so many ways both personally and professionally but those are the types of things that strengthen us. Right?!
Our muscles get stronger when we push them and they get a sore. Our brains get smarter when we work through challenging problems & feel mentally tired afterward. There has been a lot research done over the years about what’s called “optimal anxiety” where there is just enough pressure on the body and mind to enhance performance and increase productivity. Getting out of our comfort zone can be such a good thing for so many reasons!
Elizabeth Lombardo, Author and Psychologist, points out in Entrepreneur Magazine that “people who regularly seek out fresh experiences tend to be more creative and emotionally resilient than those who remain stuck in a routine.” I don’t know about you but I definitely want and need to be creative and emotionally resilient! I notice a lull in my energy and mood when I don’t regularly push myself out of my comfort zone. I have many clients that report feeling “stuck” and we discuss their life, there is often a lack of new, challenging or fresh experiences.
I read an article in Forbes magazine that said getting out our comfort zone is also one the best things we can do for our careers. The author states that it creates opportunities that we might otherwise miss in a world that changes so quickly. If I had stayed in my comfortable, salaried, with benefits position at a well-respected treatment center I would missed the opportunities to teach and speak to various groups around the community. If I had let my fear of public speaking hold me back those first few times and stayed in my comfort zone, I would not have discovered a hidden love and talent for speaking and teaching.
Fear can a be big factor in remaining in our comfort zone but we don’t have to let it stop us. It’s a normal human emotion we all feel from time to time but the reality is it won’t kill us. Maybe, just maybe we need to do it any way. We need to do it, afraid. By daring to step out of our comfort zone we discover new talents, we may start new businesses, develop new relationships, go to places we never imagined! This year, let’s dare to step out of our comfort zone together!