You may have read the title of this piece and wondered why exactly you would want to get out of your comfort zone in the first place. After all, it’s all right there in the word comfort, isn’t it? The problem with this approach is that while it’s nice to be comfortable sometimes, you can stagnate if you stay in that state for too long. You may miss out on opportunities to advance in your career, meet new people or simply do something different with your life that you would enjoy if you never try to stretch your horizons. The tips below can help you be more daring.
Depending on exactly what you choose, volunteering can teach you a new skill set, introduce you to people from different walks of life and give you an opportunity to learn about something entirely new. There are volunteer opportunities for just about everything you can think of, from taking care of animals to helping out in a food bank to collecting tickets at a community theater and much more. The benefits of volunteering your time are vast and can range from strengthening business relationships, to finding emotional fulfillment. While volunteerism is not about what you will gain, there is no shame in recognizing that this experience can help open up your perspectives in a beneficial way.
Go Back to School
This is a big one that is not to be taken on lightly, but it can be a terrific way to change not just your perspective but your entire life. It can be daunting to find yourself back in the classroom again as an adult, but you may also feel like a kid again in a good way. It’s a second chance at starting a new career or learning about something that you’re really passionate about. You may even be able to pay for some or all your tuition and related expenses with a scholarship or grant.
Change Your Routine
At the other end of the spectrum are small changes in your routine that can help you be more mindful and get you out of your rut. If you normally sit at your desk for lunch, get outside. If you always walk down a certain street, walk down another one. Try getting up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later. There are countless opportunities every day to shake up your normal routine, and that means countless opportunities to leave your comfort zone and try something new.
It’s important to learn to embrace discomfort, uncertainty and even the possibility of failure. Reframing what failure means and how you respond to it can make you much more willing to take risks. You may think of failure as an indication that you should not have tried something or that you are not capable, but it does not mean either of these things. It is actually an inevitable outcome some of the time for anyone who tries many difficult things, meaning that when you look at a successful person, you are probably looking at someone who has failed at many things.