Do something every day that scares you. It is a mantra that reflects a YOLO type spirit and is often proclaimed by people who love the thrill of taking risks, stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things. But are there any real benefits to getting out of your comfort zone or is this sense of excitement overrated?
Well, according to a 2020 Gallup poll of more than 1,000 people from 116 different countries, the vast majority of people would rather have a quiet life than an exciting one: 75 percent of U.S. respondents and 85 percent in East Asia said they would prefer a quiet life to one full of excitement.
While the sense of adventure keeps things interesting, life in the midst of the pandemic has underscored for many the value of intimacy and security within one’s comfort zone. In fact, it makes you wonder if getting out of your comfort zone (either doing something that scares you or not) is not important at all.
Are there any benefits to getting out of your comfort zone?
Sage Grazer, LCSW, co-founder and chief clinical officer of the California-based Frame teleotherapy platform, says she supports getting out of your comfort zone, but not so much the frame that praises doing something that “scares you.” When you think of something ‘scary’, you think of it as a threat. uncomfortable “For you,” he says. (Grazer points out that many people misuse these words alternately. For example, one might say that going to a party where they do not know anyone scares them, but it is not a situation where “it really is On the contrary, it’s just something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
But even if you are not reasonably afraid, how important is it to put yourself in situations where you have to overcome a sense of anxiety? Is there anything wrong with skipping the proverbial party? Well, maybe. “If you never leave your comfort zone, you will not grow as a human being or extend your life,” says Grazer, adding that feeling comfortable with feeling uncomfortable is not only beneficial but also vital. Otherwise, you do not set yourself up to achieve the goals you have set for your life. “For example, if you want to be in a relationship, you have to meet new people and go out on a date, which is uncomfortable for a lot of people,” he says. “Or if you want to grow in your career, you often have to step out of your comfort zone to get there.”
“If you never leave your comfort zone, you will not grow as a human being nor will you extend your life.” – Co-founder of Frame Sage Grazer, LCSW
Licensed clinical psychologist Desreen Dudley, PsyD, gives another reason why stretching yourself is important: “I treat a lot of people who struggle with stress and stress is defined as fear of the unknown. One of the main ways with them is “Stress can be overcome by going for what you fear,” he says, adding that no matter how predictable you try to make your life, it is inevitable that you will encounter change at some point. So the more often you put yourself in new situations. and you try new things, the less scary it will be when you have to face change without warning.
While experts agree on the benefits of leaving your comfort zone, this does not change the fact that many prefer to live a quiet life rather than an exciting one. With that in mind, is it possible to live a quiet life as you grow and develop? “I’m not sure one can always live a quiet life. Life can be like an amusement park train anywhere, and getting off the ride means you are not living,” says Dr. Dudley. Well, the bubble burst.
Instead of trying to live a calm life, Dr. Dundley suggests that he pursue balance. (And as “scary” and “uncomfortable” should not be used interchangeably, neither “calm” and “balanced”.) “Creating a sense of peace and stability for yourself and your family is important, but when experiences arise they force you to get out of your comfort zone or if you voluntarily choose to get out of your comfort zone and take a life-changing risk, you walk towards those experiences feeling confident that you will land on your feet, regardless of the result “. tells about how balance can look at times less than calm.
How often should you leave your comfort zone?
“There is no strict rule about how often one should leave one’s comfort zone,” says Grazer. “It depends on many factors such as their personality and what happens in their lives.” For example, he says that if someone is going through a difficult time – perhaps mourning the death of a loved one or struggling with depression – it is far more important to give thanks to oneself than to focus on taking risks. On the other hand, if one has just moved to a new city and is excited about the new beginning, one can easily be exposed to ways to extend one’s life that one can embrace, whether it is joining a new social club or even knock on the neighbor’s door to introduce themselves.
“It can also depend on how introverted or extroverted someone is,” says Grazer, noting that an extroverted person may crave more discomfort than someone who is more introverted. In addition, what constitutes discomfort can also change depending on how introverted or extroverted one is. In the above example of knocking on a neighbor’s door, an extrovert may think nothing of it, and it may be a big deal for someone more introverted.
When it comes to finding the best way to feel uncomfortable in your life, Grazer suggests thinking about how you want to develop as a person. For example, if one of your goals is to become better at public speaking so that you can take your career to a new level, he suggests having smaller meetings before moving on to a closed event space. And if you want to feel more alone, try going out to dinner alone.
“Getting out of your comfort zone becomes important to do when you do not. It causes significant stress and fear and prevents you from achieving your life goals,” says Dr. Dundley. If you can relate to it, he suggests focusing on small ways to try new things: “This could be cooking a new meal or driving on a new route,” he says. It is also advisable to redefine the way you see yourself getting out of your comfort zone. “What disaster do you think can happen if you leave your comfort zone? What positives can come from that? See risking it as an increase in your skills to deal with change and new experiences,” he says. Consulting a therapist can also be a helpful option.
So while the emotion behind the “do something every day that scares you” instruction is in the right place, instead of scaring yourself, focus on taking opportunities that may feel uncomfortable but will ultimately help you grow as a person.
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