Change can feel uncomfortable. Challenges can be exhausting. And failure rarely feels good. It’s no surprise then that we often feel the desire to stick
with what’s familiar.
And why not? If you’re doing well in school and having fun with your friends, why would you want to introduce uncertainty into your life by changing up
your routine or trying something radically different?
Here’s one good reason: because the best version of you lies beyond your comfort zone.
From uncertainty to growth
Your comfort zone is like a protective bubble. Inside it, everything is comfortable, predictable and manageable.
The food you eat, the friends you hang out with, the activities you participate in, the classes you take at school, the daily routines you follow – all
of these are stable and familiar components of your life. You know how to navigate this life because you’re used to it and know what to expect.
Since you know what lies within your comfort zone, what can you gain when you venture outside it? It turns out there are many potential benefits, all of
which contribute to personal growth and development. These benefits include:
- The opportunity to discover new talents. Auditioning for a role in a musical, trying out for a sports team at school or building
an app from scratch can be intimidating. If you’ve never done it before, it can be difficult to know where to start. But if you’re willing
to give it a try and have the perseverance to learn the required skills, you might discover that you have a knack for it. Yet this talent will
likely remain hidden forever if you’re not willing to take that first step outside your comfort zone.
- Fulfilment from having tried (even if you fail). When you tackle a new challenge, there’s no guarantee you’ll succeed. In fact,
the greater the challenge, the greater the likelihood of failure. But does that mean you shouldn’t try? Of course not! Simply the act of trying
something scary and new is a win as you’re proving to yourself that you have the courage to try. This will help you lead a fulfilling life
with fewer regrets and remorseful “what ifs”.
- Recognition that many limits are imagined. Possibly the most significant benefit of trying something outside your comfort zone
is that it can help you learn to view life without limits.
How often have you held back or decided not to try something because someone – a parent, a teacher or maybe you yourself – said you can’t do
it? The reality is that no one, not even you, knows what you’re capable of until you try. And the more you try new things, the more you will
realise that these imaginary barriers can’t hold back your potential.
A wider world awaits
Your comfort zone is like a refuge, shielding you from uncertainty and keeping you carefully tucked away in familiar surroundings. However, it
can also hold you back.
Pushing beyond this barrier allows you to explore new things and discover new paths that you may want to travel in life. Not every path will lead
to success, but exploring the wider world will ultimately help you learn, grow and evolve to your full potential.
This article is part of Emerge Performance’s (Youth)Full Potential series, which encourages youths to expand their horizons, discover their potential and find happiness within.