It is human nature to come up with ways to perform tasks that we do regularly more efficiently and quickly. This innovative spirit has led to the invention of some seemingly simple but useful tools which have stood the test of time such as the wheel. When we learn how to do something new we practice and through repetition we become better at doing the task. When we are familiar with the task it becomes manageable and we enter our comfort zone. This is great because it makes us confident in ourself and our ability and allows us to perform with minimum extra effort. Unfortunately, staying in your comfort zone can also be very limiting. Here are a few reasons why we should not be afraid to step out of our comfort zone.
New opportunities usually lie outside our comfort zone
The dreaded job interview or the difficult classes and horrible exams all represents situations that make us uncomfortable but which are necessary for our advancement. We can avoid and ignore them but then we miss out on the opportunities we might have if we take them seriously and succeed. There is usually an element of risk involved in any investment and an investment in personal development is no different. There is the risk of failure as well as the emotional strain involved with unfamiliar tasks and high expectations. Before we master any field we have to learn what we need to do and develop our skills. Therefore, it is possible that something out of our comfort zone eventually becomes quite comfortable.
Our true potential cannot be unlocked if we refuse to challenge ourselves
It is difficult to grow and develop if you do not take on new challenges and test your abilities. Many of us have latent gifts that may not be fully utilized in our day to day lives. These skills may be restricted by our own routine rather than by anything else. Trying something new could unleash hidden abilities you never knew you had. It can also serve as a revelation of your weaknesses which you can improve on. Learning to swim is an ideal example. Before you get it you feel like you are drowning but it becomes second nature once you get accustomed to it and you can venture out further in the water than before.
Experience builds character
Our experiences, good or bad, help to shape our character and teach us what to expect in life and how to deal with various situations. By limiting ourselves to only comfortable situations we do not learn how to handle the difficult situations that may occur in the workplace or elsewhere. Sexual harassment, racism, prejudice are all issues we may come across in life and we should be ready to deal with these uncomfortable issues if they arise. Being ethical may often mean being controversial and standing up against someone else. Our successes also help boost our morale, especially when they come unexpectedly.
Versatility makes us more marketable
If you have ever heard the expression “think outside the box” you may already have an idea of the importance of creativity and innovative thinking. Going outside our comfort zone allows us to explore new ideas, new methods and exposes us to alternate ways of thinking. This makes us more well-rounded individuals which in turn makes us more marketable in an ever more competitive world.
When the opportunity arrives do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone as long as you remain ethical and act responsibly. Be willing to accept challenges that will help you to develop and grow positively.