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6 Reasons You Should Love Stretching Your Comfort Zone

For most of the time, we live in a very steady state. We do our things the same way, day after day, and life seems to be peaceful, comfortable and easygoing. However, occasionally we have to do something that we don’t feel too comfortable about. For example, you have to make a presentation for your colleagues at work – even if you hate doing presentations or public speaking. What about meeting a new person, with whom you can only communicate using English language (while you native language is something else)? No matter how bad your English skills are, you have to do it, because you don’t want to give a rude impression of yourself. Stretching your comfort zone is mandatory for your own development’s sake. Here are six reasons why you should love stretching your comfort zone – instead of hating it.

1. You grow – and so does your comfort zone When you stretch your comfort zone, you grow as a person. For instance, two years ago my job description changed and I wasn’t too happy about it. I was resisting the change for some time, until I realized that this was a great place for growth. Now, two years later, I have learned new skills, gained more confidence and I know that I’m ready for the next situation like this in the future. Something that you were once afraid of or felt impossible to do is now part of your skillset. Your comfort zone has grown in the process.

2. You feel more confident I mentioned about this already, but once you get past your limits, you will feel more confident and very good about yourself. If you had to give that presentation to your colleagues, I bet you were quite nervous before the presentation. Your heart was beating like crazy and you were sweating – yet you knew you had to do the presentation. Well, how did you feel after finishing that presentation? I bet you felt good about yourself! You were relieved of course, but at the same time you proved yourself that you can do such a thing if you want to. This good feeling is great capital for the similar events in the future. If you have to make that presentation again, just remember the great feeling you got after finishing your presentation earlier. Focus on the good feeling – instead of worrying how the presentation will go this time.

3. You learn something new The whole process of stretching your comfort zone is very educational. After my job description has changed, I’m now able to do things in more confident manner than before – like speaking on the phone in a foreign language. I know that if I had turned down this new job opportunity, I probably wouldn’t be that good doing it. When you go outside your comfort zone, you will also learn something about yourself – how you act in certain situations. In my scenario, even if I had kept myself very positive and productive person, I had some occasional moments, when I was less optimistic and I wanted to give up. Also, I did procrastinate on certain tasks. However, this was all part of the process – stretching my personal comfort zone. Since I learned how I act in a particular situation, it helps me to prepare for the similar situations in the future.

4. You are doing things that most people are not To be more successful in life or in business, you have to take bull by the horns and do something different than others. In my personal life, running a marathon was something that none of my friends had done. They had talked about it, but I was the first one to do it and felt really good about myself afterwards. When the business is concerned, getting out of your comfort zone is one way of being different than your competitors – you are doing stuff that others are not willing to. For example, if you get a chance to speak in front of an audience and your competitor is not willing to do that (because he/she is afraid to do it), you will be better known for larger audience, thus it may even spark new business opportunities.

5. You move faster to your goals You can take the step-by-step approach of doing something or you can take the “stretch your comfort zone” route. Especially when you take the latter one, you will reach your goals faster. For example, if you own a blog and you want to make it known for bigger audiences (thus gaining more followers), you have to do things that you don’t like doing. This could be starting a YouTube channel and recording new videos on a regular basis. Or, it could be writing a guest posts for other blogs, whose audiences have a bigger reach that yours. Whatever the situation is, if you are willing to step outside your current comfort zone, you will cross your finish line earlier.

6. You get new opportunities You are more likely going to get exposed to new opportunities, if you want to get outside your comfort area. For example, couple of years ago I made a change in my lifestyle and I lost weight. Not only did I feel good about this, but I also got some unexpected publicity – in the form of magazine articles. I know that this wouldn’t have been possible, if I hadn’t first stretched my comfort zone. If you are willing to go outside your zone, there is much bigger change for something good and unexpected to happen. New opportunities start to show up and you thank yourself for stretching your comfort zone.

Timo Kiander is a productivity and time management enthusiast who blogs at http://www.timokiander.com. Visit his blog and grab the free e-book: “101 Tips For Becoming a Productivity Superstar Don’t Forget To Follow PickTheBrain on Twitter! Related Articles: The 21 Habits of Healthy People The Benefits of Meditation

  • http://thebooksthatchangedmylife.com marc van der Linden

    It is so true.  It is much easier to stay in the fast satisfaction zone and stay in our comfort zone. If we stretch our comfort zone in a loving way, we can grow and learn something unique.  

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Marc,

      That is true. 

      I have to admit that at times, I also feel that it is difficult to stretch my comfort zone (in fact, I don’t think that there aren’t too many people who think it is easy :).

      However, afterwards I have realized that it was still a good thing to do.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • http://hameedullah.com Hameedullah Khan

    is it only me? or your post is intentionally written as one giant paragraph.

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      No, it’s not only you :) I e-mailed the editor to change re-format the layout.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    Hey Timo,
    I wasn’t a big fan of getting out of my comfort zone but now I do my best to embrace it. It does feel good to stretch and grow as a person.

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Justin,

      I understand. It is difficult for everyone I guess. Sometimes you have to struggle more, sometimes less.

      I guess the optimum way to do it is to stretch it bit by bit (if possible). Otherwise you may be too scared to try the thing at all.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • http://www.awesomelifecoach.com Kian | Awesome Life Coach

    Getting out of your comfort zone really is a big factor in growing as a person. I give a lot of respect to somebody who can go out and face all their fears without being forced to do it.

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Kian,

      That is true. I think that we have a lot to learn from those kind of people.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • Anonymous

    in this article , we know how important to stretch our comfort zone. the question is what are the tips or ways which can help us stretching it ? especially if our work/daily life/home/friends doesn’t give us the opportunity to stretch our comfort zone. 

    Thanks for this nice article which makes me rethinking about some situations that i faced b4 and i believe they stretched my comfort zone  a little. 
    but i need MORE so my skill-set will be more and more :) 

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Uaesoul,

      As I replied to Justin, I feel that the best way to do is step-by-step. At least, this way I have been able to “widen my comfort zone”.

      For example, being more confident in social situations has been a biggie for me. However, I decided that in order to become more social and confident, I have to start speaking more to people.

      Nowadays I can start a conversation with even a stranger. At some point I want to do public speaking too, so moving on with one thing at a time seems to be the best way.

      Cheers,
      Timo 

  • http://www.colon-liver-cleanse.com/ Sean

    I stretched my comfort zone by reading this very difficult to read blog post.

     Haha jk! I loved it though, stretching your comfort zone is the best way to grow and learn new things.

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Sean,

      LOL I too was a bit confused to see my post as one huge paragraph. Fortunately the editor fixed this issue :)

      Anyway, glad to hear that you liked my post. It’s all about growing and learning.

      Cheers,
      Timo

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Sean,

      LOL I too was a bit confused to see my post as one huge paragraph. Fortunately the editor fixed this issue :)

      Anyway, glad to hear that you liked my post. It’s all about growing and learning.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • Anonymous

    Sorry for the initial formatting problem, guys! This one’s worth the tough conditions though.

  • http://about-the-secret.com JonKinsey

    Very good article.  Anytime we stretch our limits we benefit

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Jon,

      Thank you! I’m glad to hear you liked it :)

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • Anonymous

    Very True, We should never fear the work of pushing our comfort zone out further.  Every time we do we benefit in many ways.

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Hi!

      That is true. Behind the invisible wall there are great rewards waiting for us :)

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • Chetan

    Thanks Timo for the post.  It is always good to try something – other then routine work so that we are prepared for any sudden change in life.  One thing I follow is that whenever I do / try something new  - I never bothered about people comment or what they will think and that helps me to learn new stuff.   My English was too bad when I have joined College and I decided to learn to speak / make sentence in english from boy of  8 years :)
     Like you – I am also 1st person in our friends group who started running in marathon  and now I feel proud about it.  

    Chetan

    • http://www.timokiander.com/ Timo Kiander

      Chetan,

      Yes … you just have to believe in yourself when you try something new. And no matter if things ain’t perfect the first time. The thing that matters is that you had guts to challenge your comfort zone. This is something that many people are not willing to do!

      Congratulations! That’s great to hear :) Running a marathon teaches one great lesson: not give up if you want to achieve something! This is also something that could be applied to stretching your comfort zone too!

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • http://www.OurWishRadio.com Raymond Cubeta

    Great message in this post, Mr. Timo. I took a few notes on it. :)

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  • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

    There’s no better thing that facing your fears and getting rid of your insecurities by expanding your comfort zone! It’s such a great feeling to not feel uncomfortable in a situation that once made you very insecure. That’s why you should love stretching your comfort zone! Life becomes way easier and way more enjoyable if you are a highly confident person.

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  • BraveHeart

    I’m 17 years old. Ever since I was young, I have been extremely afraid of being away from home, away from family, and I suffered from severe homesickness. In addition to that, I had extreme stage fright. Recently, I decided that I need to begin living life. I did a speech in front of my entire high school, and I became nearly instantly recognized by everyone, and people loved the speech.

    Now, I have impulsively decided to go on a mission trip to Russia. I have never gone on any sort of mission trip, and I’ve only ever been away from my family for 3 days at a time. This is a 2 week trip, on the other side of the world, rooming with a guy from Great Britain, and dealing with Russian kids around my age, who desperately want to learn English. Running the sports section of this camp, and I will be expected to communicate with broken English speakers.

    Never in my life, even 2 weeks ago before I even knew this opportunity would present itself, did I think I would Ever go on a mission trip, much less on the other side of the world.

    This article helped me see some bright sides to this venture, and I want everyone to know that if I can do this, you can do anything. Best of luck everyone.

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  • http://www.wellnesscircle.com/ Margaret @ WellnessCircle

    It’ s really hard to go out of your comfort zone. I don’t know about you guys but I guess for me my way of getting out of my comfort zone is thru traveling. Because with traveling you get to know other people, learn more things about yourself and about other people, and how you handle different situations on your own. When I started traveling I feel more confident about myself and feel motivated to try new things. 

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  • http://twitter.com/sweetl_lychee sweet lychee

    Thank you for writing about why it’s important to step outside of your comfort zone & providing background information on why those reasons are crucial towards our growth.

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  • netalex

    ok that’s a set of reasons to leave cf, but why desire those in the beginning? why be more self-confident, capable, or else would left you in a better state? your’e just about to restart the process until you die. so better stay in cf until it happen, hoping it will happens quickly. More economical and reasonable than unpourposely keep trying to exit the actual cf just to stop to the next one.

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