Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

What exactly does stepping out of your comfort zone mean? Stepping out of your comfort zone means doing things that you are not normally comfortable doing. It’s about getting outside of your comfort level. We all have systematic ways of doing the tiniest things in our daily lives. Like a routine. For the average person a daily routine may sound something like: wake up, shower, have breakfast, go to work, leave work, go to the gym, go home, prepare dinner, shower, eat dinner, watch some television or surf the internet/ check social media accounts/ reading, go to bed to do it all over again tomorrow. Everyone is different and there will be variations to this as nothing is set in stone, but most persons once they have a routine gets annoyed or frustrated by having to switch things up. The following photograph depicts exactly what stepping out of your comfort zone means.

For me, one of the most life changing events of coming out of my comfort zone was relocation. Back in 2008 a coworker who had done lots of travelling and lived in different countries said to me there are so many opportunities available for someone with my skillset in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. He proceeded to do a google search to show me what he meant. I was totally amazed by what I saw. This led me to conduct my own research into relocation, opportunities, lifestyle, crime statistics etc. in both islands. When I had completed that research and felt comfortable with the outcome, I decided to start applying for jobs. My first interview went very well and I was offered a job the very next day which I accepted without hesitation.

I resigned from my job and the countdown began! Several weeks after, I packed up most of my life in two suitcases and moved thousands of miles away from my family, friends and most importantly, out of my comfort zone. I arrived in the Cayman Islands and the only person I knew here was my contact at the recruitment agency. This changed quickly as I began making friends from my very first day at work, some of who turned out to be life long friends. I thoroughly enjoyed life on this little sunny island and I have never regretted stepping out of my comfort zone because if I had not, I would not have experienced as much I have. This situation also made me fearless. Knowing that you are all alone in a strange place gives you strength that you did not know even existed.

Another life changing event for me was the moment I decided to step out of my comfort zone once again and joined the Buddies Toastmasters Club. I decided to step out of my comfort zone where I would normally be afraid to speak in front of a group or make presentations etc. I first attended as a guest however, because this is something I have deliberated on and procrastinated on for a very long time I had made up my mind that this is exactly what I needed to do and I proceeded to join that very day. I totally enjoyed my first meeting and I have enjoyed listening to several speeches from members, participating in the table topics segment which gives the opportunity to speak impromptu which is really important for me because in reality, you are not always asked to prepare a speech. Day to day situations require impromptu speaking and thinking on the spot. After participating in two segments of table topics, I participated in an unexpected ice breaker at my Lions club. Normally in a situation like this, my stomach would have been in knots however, I felt more confident, thought about my answer for a few seconds and stood and responded to my question like a true pro. I even gave my first speech to the club which is something that I never ever thought of doing prior to joining the club. After giving my first speech, I felt very accomplished and motivated to do more, to work on my weaknesses, to use the invaluable feedback I received from members to enable me to become a competent communicator. Was I nervous, of course! Do I have any regrets? Certainly not! In fact, my only regret is not joining this amazing club sooner!

This photo shows that in order to experience the things that make life worthwhile and interesting, there is that awkward stage when stepping out of your comfort zone.

I can certainly say that stepping out of your comfort zone is a good thing. The one thing that is constant in this world we live in is change and when in your comfort zone, your brain does not want anything to change. Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone from time to time creates just enough good stress to ramp up your focus, get your creative juices flowing, gives you that desire to do something and it also helps you respond to life stress when unexpected things happen. I hope that this will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone too.

Written by Jamie Wells-Fletcher