Leaving the comfort zone and tossing out perceptions

How new situations will change your life

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer

We all have our perceptions, beliefs, and principles. It’s great to have them. Our belief systems govern how we behave to ourselves and others, as well as influence our decisions. But it’s equally great to have beliefs that allow for change and growth. Perspectives that get you out of your comfort zone and let you take risks are ones that will improve not just your life in wonderful ways, but the lives of everyone you interact with daily. It’ll allow you to become a highly effective person.

Stepping out of a comfort zone—and by extension, taking risks—is the only way anything changes in life. Every friend we have, every place we’ve visited, and even every food we’ve eaten all started by us taking the plunge into the unfamiliar. Whether it’s as simple as going to the gym or taking up a more extreme hobby like mountain climbing, these pursuits bring joy to those who experience them. This is true for any hobby: acting, writing, crafts, cooking, and anything that involves some sort of skill. Skills are picked up through effort, but developing them allows one to get ahead in life.

It’s not just learning how to do new things. People exist outside the comfort zone. Everyone we’ve ever interacted with started out as a stranger. Some of those strangers have gone on to be our boyfriends or girlfriends, trusted professors, best friends, employers, etc. Those of us who constantly challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zones often establish relationships in less conventional ways. It’s all about taking that first step and allowing yourself to say or do something you haven’t considered before.

The more experiences we have, the more challenges we’ll face. On the reverse end, we also acquire more triumphs and develop the skills needed to deal with these challenges. Living your life in a way that involves avoiding new situations will leave you unprepared to deal with problems. It’ll leave you not knowing much about yourself or what you’re capable of. It’ll definitely never lead to any self-improvement.

So pair up with that weird kid for a project, go bungee jumping even if you’re terrified of heights, or watch a new show you’ve never heard of on Netflix. Hey, if you’re really nervous, just order a different kind of burger than usual at McDonald’s. Take baby steps, but taking those steps is the only way to discover opportunities and things that will challenge and inspire you. It’ll improve your life, relationships, charisma, and ultimately turn you into the best person you can be.