Pushing ourselves out or our comfort zone has tremendous benefits for our physical and mental health. It can boost our confidence, stimulate creativity, and help us feel more engaged in our lives. Trying new things literally creates new connections in your brain pathways, helping to keep your mind healthy and sharp.
So why don’t we try new things more often? The short answer is fear.
Studies show that we’re more afraid of the unknown than we are of an actual bad outcome. We’re afraid of what might happen if we step out and try something different. And let’s be honest, sometimes it just feels easier, and safer, to keep doing the things that we’re used to.
Here are 4 quick tips to use when you’re ready to start stretching outside of your comfort zone:
Start small: even doing something you’re used to doing in a whole new way can give you the same benefits as doing something new. And it has the added plus of building your courage muscles so that the next time you´re able to push your comfort zone even further.
Remember the benefits of making an attempt: the key word in trying new things? Try. Even the process of trying a new thing is beneficial. You don`t have to be good at it or even commit to doing it more than once. Ask yourself what the benefits of you even attempting something new might be. What might you learn? How might you feel?
Prepare for the worst case: fear of the unknown is tough. Our brains don’t know exactly what will happen, so they often jump to the worst-case scenario. But thinking through the worst-case scenario can help you to prepare for the unknown and feel more confident about embarking on a brand-new adventure.
Cultivate a growth mindset: Fear of failure keeps a lot of us stuck in the same rut. But changing the way you think from, “I`m terrible at this, I`ll never get better” to, “I`ll get better over time”, can help reframe the way we think about trying a new thing. Or better yet, forget about having to be good at things and just try something new for the fun of it. It`s ok not to be good at things sometimes.
So, whether you´re challenging yourself to try a whole new adventure or simply doing something you´ve done before in a new way, look for ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone and build those courage muscles