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Dare to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

by Beth on January 19th, 2011

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T.S. Eliot

Human beings are creatures of habit.  Change makes us nervous, even fearful, because of the uncertainty that accompanies it.  That’s why many of us get stuck in ruts, preferring to stay with what we know rather than venture outside of our comfort zone.

The problem is that success often comes from pushing yourself to try something new.  When you look back on your life I bet you will notice that some of your greatest achievements came when you challenged yourself to do something you weren’t sure you could do.

Although it can be scary, stepping outside of your comfort zone is necessary for learning and achieving greater goals.  It can also increase your happiness.  By challenging yourself you are more likely to experience flow, which is linked to greater happiness.  Flow is a state of intense engagement that occurs when you are working on a difficult task that is matched to your abilities.  If you currently don’t experience flow it could be that you aren’t being challenged.  This can lead to a loss of motivation and boredom.  Taking on a new task might be just what you need to find a higher level of engagement.

I definitely stepped outside of my comfort zone when I started my business, when I started my blog, and even today when I dared to attend a yoga-to-the-core class!  But doing them gave me great satisfaction and a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

What will you do to step outside of your comfort zone?  Volunteer for a new project?  Sign up for a class to learn something new?  Accept a new position?  Please add a comment to let us know what you decide to do.

2 Comments
  1. Francesco Frova permalink

    Beth, this reminds me of a great TED speech by a HBR Blog writer, Peter Bregman – 110% worthy giving a look!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuPfbTAVBP4

  2. Beth permalink

    What a great TED talk! It does make you want to take a risk, doesn’t it?

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