#FridayFive: Five Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone

Friday Five

Hello, ’tis me. Apologies for the brief hiatus but I’ve had a very busy week!

There was no #FridayFive post last week (the first one I’ve missed since September!) due to a quiet dinner gathering with friends after work at 6pm ending in Popworld at 4am. The unplanned nights are always the best, right? If you said that to me on the Saturday morning, I would not have agreed with you. I then had an assignment due on Monday evening, which most of the weekend was spent doing. I also completed two new TV series on Netflix and worked three days along with ticking three things off my Liverpool Bucket List during the remainder of the week – productive? Mostly.

After some time away from my laptop and not wanting a repeat of the guilt I carried around the rest of the week for missing that Friday Five post, I am back and ready to produce regular content. Hopefully. I’ll just make sure to write my Friday posts on Thursdays!

If you did miss me, then you can check out an interview that went live on PR Careers yesterday with yours truly!

This week I’ve heard a lot of conversations about the Law of Attraction, from uni friends to people I follow on social media. I’m a huge believer in this kind of thing and know that if I put my goals and ambitions out into the universe, they somehow always end up happening. Whether that’s by writing them down, saying them out loud or talking to my friends about them. On that same subject, I believe that these things (goals and ambitions) only happen when you put yourself outside of your comfort zone.

So here are five reasons why you should leave your comfort zone every once and a while.

1. You’ll survive

Where does life begin? No, not at 40 years of age. It begins outside of your comfort zone.

I read a book all about the comfort zone when I was in secondary school. It didn’t have much effect on me back then as I was studying for my A Levels and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel past A Level maths. But what I read back then has stuck with me to this day.

Through my own life experiences that consisted of me putting myself outside of my comfort zone, I realised that the best moments of my life had come from them. When it comes to uncomfortable situations like interviews or public speaking, I always remind myself that in fifteen minutes it will all be over. I can survive fifteen minutes of being uncomfortable and live to tell the tale. I just keep making myself think about the feeling when it will all be over.

2. You will evolve

When life is comfortable, you can get complacent and laid back about your repetitive, easy life. But you can’t learn anything from doing the same thing day in, day out. The only way to learn is by challenging yourself and taking risks. Ask for more responsibility in work, apply for a new role or an internship. Do something that scares you a little. Make your life exciting.

From challenging yourself, you’ll learn something new about yourself. Whether you can deal with difficult situations, people, rejection, negative feedback or how you thrive on the feeling of achieving something you never thought possible.

I read a quote recently that struck a chord with me. It said, ‘Things happen for you, not to you.’ It enabled me to look at things a lot differently. I no longer look at things like, ‘Oh I didn’t get the job, I’m destined to be unemployed forever,’ or, ‘I smashed my phone because I’m an idiot.’ These things happen to you for a reason. Think about the reason. For the job, maybe it wasn’t the right one for you but you’ll be able to learn from the interview experience which will help in your next one. As for the smashed phone, well you probably are just an idiot – speaking to myself here. But it can also teach you to be more careful with your phone, or it will be a nudge to get a better phone cover.

With any rejection, grief or negativity that you face, think of it happening because it will make you stronger afterwards. You’ll be able to deal with something similar in the future because you’ve gotten through it in the past.

Maybe you’ll think that’s load of crap or maybe it will make you see things in a new light. But I’m going to start living by this quote that things happen for you, not to you. New year, new me.

3. Great things can happen

Are you an over-thinker? I sure am. Usually we worry about things for no reason and make things seem a lot worse in our minds. But it’s like what people tell you about exams – once the exam is over and you have to wait six weeks for the results, there is absolutely no point in worrying during those six weeks as there’s nothing you can do. The time you waste fretting and worrying is time that can be spent thinking about something else.

We often think about all of the worst possible outcomes of something, rather than the positive outcomes and that can stop us from leaving our comfort zones. It’s a security blanket. We’re safe in our comfort and won’t lose anything, be a failure or be left red-faced. But what if you win something? Or achieve something you never thought possible? Take the risk.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear” – Jack Canfield

If I had sat and overthought about starting this blog because God forbid people screenshotted it and sent it into their Whatsapp group-chats then I wouldn’t be where I am today. The fear of being embarrassed or laughed at stops us from doing a lot of things (you can read about why not to let that phase you here), when we really need to get over that feeling of caring about what others might think. If it doesn’t affect them, then why should it bother me what they think? Do it for yourself, not for anyone else.

4. No more ‘What if?’

Regret is one of the worst feelings in the world. People like to say that they have ‘no ragrets’ (misspelling intended), but surely there is at least one thing in everyone’s life that they wish they had done differently. That haircut in 2004, thinking layers of beads around your neck was cool in 2010 or cutting out bread for a month to lose no weight whatsoever – when will I learn that bread is just too good not to eat?

By putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, you’re saying ‘f*** fear’ and going after what you want and so what if it doesn’t happen? Personally, I don’t want to live a life thinking, What if I had done this all those years ago? What if I had applied for that job? What if I had moved to that place I always wanted to? What if I had just asked that question? No more ‘What if?’

If you never try, you’ll never know.

5. You’ll have the life you want

Nothing worth having comes easy and nothing that comes easy is worth having. Jesus, how many motivational quotes can I fit into one blog post? It’s bordering on cringe-worthy now. Anyhow, it’s true. I believe that if you work for it, you’ll get it and that nothing in life gets handed to you. Unless you are born wealthy, or win the lottery – congratulations on your fate.

How do you envision your life turning out? Are you in a huge house in the country? A loft apartment in New York? Or maybe you see yourself in a quaint family home in your local town. Is there a car in the driveway? Two? A helicopter on the roof? Maybe you’re CEO of your own business. Or you’re a well-known writer. Maybe even, you’re the star of a reality TV show.

If you plan to open your own business, then you’ll need to get used to being outside of your comfort zone a lot. Want to move abroad? That’s not a comfortable situation. Helicopter lessons are sure going to be a little nerve-wrecking. Life begins outside of your comfort zone.

I challenge you to leave your comfort zone this weekend. Whether that’s by going up to a stranger in a bar and saying hello, sending an email regarding an internship, work experience or even a promotion, posting a photo on Instagram during a non-peaking hour or even by reaching out to someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Do something that gives you a little thrill and you might just thank yourself (or me) for doing it! 

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