We often believe that our confidence comes from being comfortable and sure of our world. There is certainly something to be said for operating in “the known.” However, when crisis hits and our world is turned upside down, we are forced to deal with a new set of circumstances, and our confidence is often shaken. The moment of empowerment comes when we are able to regroup and find ways to reemerge from the challenging fog.
What if we could feel empowered through experiencing unknowns through a positive experience? We don’t have to wait for our world to crumble to dig deep and tap into the exhilarating source of our best selves hiding within. And guess what? It’s actually easier to do than you think. Ready for it? Try something new.
Richard Branson is a world-renowned entrepreneur and adventurer. In 2018, he wrote about stepping outside one’s comfort zone in his personal blog. He offered this insight:
“It can be really easy to get comfortable in life and to only do things inside your comfort zone. You’re unlikely to get hurt here, you might get really good at doing the one thing you know you can do, and your expectations are likely to be in line with what goes on around you, so you’re not disappointed.
But the magic doesn’t happen here. I can honestly say that nothing good in my life has ever happened from the safety of my comfort zone. It’s all those moments where you feel challenged, where you think ‘Oh crap, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea’ and then ponder giving up – if you can get through this stage of doubt and make it out the other side – I promise you, this is where the good stuff happens.”
He goes on to offer four tips, which are worth resharing:
- “Don’t be afraid.”
- “If you aren’t sure what you fancy trying, start small.”
- “Keep a journal.”
I love those tips and have adopted a version of them as a mantra in my post-divorce life. I’ve learned that trying new things, even if forced upon you, allows you to understand yourself in new ways.
Here are the three benefits of living outside of your comfort zone, as life experience has shown me:
- Expanded sense of self.
Have you ever exclaimed, “I can’t believe I just did that!” when trying something for the first time? It’s in these moments when we are testing ourselves that we expand our understanding of what we are truly capable of. It’s exciting to realize that we can achieve something just by starting to do it, so why not start now? Big or small, just try.
- Fuels our soul and our need to continually learn and grow.
Continual learning is fundamental to building new skills, fanning the flame of self-motivation, and allowing us to see things in a new light. Life experiences are fuel for personal learning and growth. The best (and the worst) of what life has to offer leaves us with valuable takeaways and understandings that we can benefit from in the future. If we don’t ever step outside of our comfort zone, how will we challenge ourselves and appreciate the personal development that comes from the journey?
- Confidence and resilience abound.
When we try something that we are less than familiar with, it’s often uncomfortable and results in failure before success. However, if we stick with it or push through, the achievement comes with a renewed self-confidence and belief that we can take on challenges and prevail. What an incredible life skill! The growth of our confidence will afford us opportunities in the future to tackle situations and experiences that we might otherwise not have felt equipped to do.
I encourage you to take a cue from Mr. Branson and open a journal. Create a list of things you want to try over the next year and seize the opportunity when it presents itself. Share your moments outside of your comfort zone with me. I’d love to be inspired!
And with that, I’ll share a recent personal growth moment for me- I committed to taking up a new hobby with my husband and learned to paddleboard. I am stronger and bolder than I thought- I didn’t fall in! (Not quite ready for yoga.)
All my best and more,
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