We are all afraid of trying out new things, and often think that it is best to stay within our boundaries since it is safer that way! Sorry to break that bubble, but that is not always the case!
If you don’t believe me, then let me introduce some science behind this concept. According to psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson, the concept behind ‘comfort zone’ is rooted in a classical experiment conducted in 1908 by Yerks and Dodson. It was explained as ‘ a state of relative comfort generated a constant level of performance’.
In other words, in our comfort zone, we always perform at a constant level, we do not increase nor do we decrease our performance. However, Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson stressed the importance of improving our performance, which cannot happen in our comfort zone. We need to experience a certain degree of anxiety and work in an environment that increases our stress a little bit. This space is known as ‘optimal anxiety. And it is just outside our boundaries. So to perform at a higher level in all aspects of our lives, it is necessary to step out of our comfort zones.
Now that we know why it is important, how do we overcome our comfort zone?
1. Change Your Routine!
Routines are all about comfort, and we do not change them because of how reliant we are on them! So of keeping the same routine every day, try and replace a few steps with things you haven’t done before! For example, if you do your morning exercises at home, go for a run or if after work you come directly home, go for a short walk in your neighborhood. This way you see new sights, new people and get a new perspective on life!
2. Do Not Run From Your Fears!
If you have a decision to make and you are fearful of the change it might bring about, that is the biggest indicator that this decision will bring about the best and greatest potential out of your life! Face your fears, run towards them! It may be uncomfortable in the beginning, but you will come to realize just how satisfying it is!
3. Accept That You Do Not Have Control Over Everything
You need to lose the desire of having control over every aspect of your life! It will never work out in your way, and will leave you feeling even more disappointed! Let go of a little bit of control, and just go with the flow! When I had a bad relationship with my previous friends, I realized I tried to control the friendship, which is not supposed to be controlled. Later in my second year of high school, I just went with the flow and became best friends with people who I never thought I would talk to!
4. Talk To Strangers
Now, this is an iffy one since people don’t easily open up, however, if you strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to you on a bus or waiting for food, you will get over the shyness and start small talk. You do not need to be best friends with everyone, however just random talks or even just saying ‘Good Morning’ to the person who passed by you, makes it easier to make friends! Like I said previously, just be small talk, you might make friends with people you never knew would be so similar to you!
5. Say Yes!
Whatever it may be, going out for a drink or going for an impromptu picnic at the park with colleagues, say yes! Instead of planning out your week for the particular activity with friends, just say yes at the moment! Be spontaneous and try out new things by yourself or with others! You might just find something that you like! Through this, you learn more about yourself.
Fear of change or of anything in that matter is an essential part of our life. Instead of running away from it, let’s go closer towards fear and step out of our comfort zone one step at a time! Allow yourself to grow, to be more comfortable!
Our comfort zone can be our greatest enemy to our potentialDAVID CONTRELL