Your comfort zone is a wonderful place to be. It’s where you feel most loved, secure and content. It’s different for everyone. It might be at the office, where you’ve worked for 20 odd years. Your comfort zone might even be something that in some people’s eyes would be seen as highly uncomfortable, like hiking through the Himalayas. The point being, that your comfort zone is relative, it’s wherever you feel most at ease. So for the adrenaline junky – a day in the life of a CA in an office, would be completely out of their comfort zone. Your zone can even be quite big – you may not even see yourself as in introvert, but ask yourself this – when last did you do something that made you nervous? Something that broke through that soft, cozy layer of comfort, to find out something new about yourself and the very large and exciting world around you?

So why leave this happy place? Here are 10 reasons why you should break out of your comfort zone:

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1. You will grow as person
Breaking out of your comfort zone doesn’t have an age limit. It is never too late to do something, even slightly, out of your bubble of content. Even if it backfires, I guarantee you would’ve learnt something new.

2. Challenging yourself can help you perform at your peak
Similar to the notion that busy people are the most productive, if you are anxious or nervous about something – it means you are on high alert, it means you care about the outcome of whatever you’re nervous about. Generally speaking, this means when we challenge ourselves, we tend to rise to the occasion.

3. You’ll deal with change more easily
We can only plan so much of what happens in our lives, but there is obviously so much that just happens. From small, seemingly insignificant things like always evolving technology we work with, to big things like death. According to Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, one of the worst things we can do is pretend fear and uncertainty don’t exist. By taking risks in a controlled fashion and challenging yourself to things you normally wouldn’t do, you can experience some of that uncertainty in a controlled, manageable environment. Learning to live outside your comfort zone when you choose to can prep you for life changes that force you out of it.

4. You’ll be more creative
Even if you think you have very few creative juices flowing through you, after doing something you find challenging or out of your zone of comfort, you will be inspired. You’ll have a renewed sense of who you are. This is often where people draw inspiration from, as you see things in a new light and in many cases, a boost of energy which is so necessary for change when you feel like your life has become mundane.

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5. Perspective
You will gain perspective. No matter how big or small the step out of your zone is, you’ll look at things a different way. Your comfort zone is just the way you like it, which often leads to tunnel vision and little perspective on other people’s lives. It will also improve your relationships. If you view things from other people’s perspectives, it will help you understand and appreciate them more.

6. Self-esteem boost
A common reason for remaining in the layers of comfort is that you don’t think you can handle whatever is out of there, or it doesn’t appeal to you. In this instance, it might be something like learning to surf – but you’re so scared of making a fool of yourself that you have never actually tried. You’ll instantly feel better about yourself if you even just try doing something small that scares you.

7. You’ll learn to embrace failure more/better
This links closely with the previous reason. Failure stops us from doing so much in life. Once you accept that failing at something is the worst case scenario and it really isn’t that bad, you’ll be a lot more open to it and probably end up succeeding, because your focus wasn’t on failing. You definitely have to fail a couple of times to realize its never as bad as you think. Failure makes life more interesting; how you handle failure says a lot about you as a person – so why not have a few practice rounds so you handle it as best you can.

8. It’ll make you feel more alive
So many people exist, but they don’t actually LIVE!. That feeling of your heart pumping against your chest, that adrenaline sensation that no one can quite describe. It might be before you jump out the airplane with your parachute, or asking someone out on a date. Whatever makes you feel most alive and inspired. This all happens out of your space of comfort.

9. No regrets
‘No regrets’ is one of those sayings that for most people, is a tired expression. Maybe it is, but let’s be honest, is YOLO much better? If you think about it, regrets are a catch 22. If you do something you might think to yourself ‘I wish I hadn’t done that’ but then again, you sometimes want to kick yourself for not doing something when you should’ve. It’s all a confusing circle of regrets. I think, if your gut is telling you it’s what you should do at that time, you should do it. If you regret it at a later stage, so be it. Regretting something is a huge waste of energy – there are no time machines for us to fix our errors. However, what you can do is learn from it.

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10. Inspire others

Inspiration often has a chain reaction. You see someone doing something inspiring, you think to yourself, wow..... maybe I can do that too. Maybe you know someone with a similar comfort zone to yours, maybe they live in your comfort zone? Why not lead by example and inspire them to do something with you? People notice things, whether you realize it or not. People are watching you, and what you do gives them an inspiring model for growth and change.

So start today, start with something small. There are no rules when it comes to you branching out. Change your daily routine, contact a friend you haven’t seen in years, apply for a new job, start studying again – the list of things to do is endless. Remember, its all relative. Don’t compare your zone to other’s, you will know intrinsically when you are truly ‘living’ and you will slowly peel away the layers of comfort to create something bigger and better for you and the people around you.