Looking for New Activities? Here’s How to Comfortably Consider Ones Outside Your Comfort Zone
Let’s be real for a second: We all like comfort, right? After all, it’s human nature. We crave it in our environment, relationships, schedule, and activities.
But sometimes we can get too comfortable - in a negative way. For example, gravitating to the same ‘ole activities rather than enriching our lives with new experiences and connections.
It’s a challenge we all face, but meeting it head-on doesn’t have to be, well, completely uncomfortable! Here are three tips for comfortably breaking out of your comfort zone:
1. Be Aware of Your “New” Mindset
Comfort is a difficult critter to shake! Even when we’re in the mindset of “something new,” the lure of our comfort zone is compelling. This is why we often end up choosing something other than a completely new experience, despite our best intentions.
As you consider possibilities, try to be aware of your mindset. Stop and ask yourself, “Why am I interested in this activity?” A small self-check can go a long way!
2. Build Upon Your Current Comfort Zone
If you struggle with change, the unknown, or meeting new people, consider building upon your current comfort level.
For example, six months ago I decided to become a volunteer dog walker at my local shelter. I had lifetime of experience caring for dogs, but had never worked for a shelter. (Now, for those who think this is an easy gig, trust me - there is a lot more to it than you think!)
My experience with - and love for - dogs made me go back each week. Six months later, I feel fully confident and adept. Being a shelter volunteer is now part of my comfort zone - plus I’m part of an amazing community of dog lovers to boot!
Whatever you’re interested in, determine what your comfort level is - and how you can build on it in a way that works for you.
3. Focus on the Benefits
Comfort is a sly, smooth talker. It has its place in our lives, most definitely. But it can also trick us into thinking our lives are completely fine without leaving it behind - even for a moment.
The truth is that putting ourselves outside of our comfort zone has some pretty potent benefits such as:
- Widening our community
- Boosting our confidence by trying new things (whether we succeed or fail)
- Learning new skills, expertise, or information
- Keeping us engaged with our ever-changing world - and different sub-cultures and communities within that world
...just to name a few!
So when you’re struggling with trying a new activity, focus on the benefits. The more new activities you try, and enjoy, the easier this practice will become!