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How comfortable are you in what you’re doing? Are you still getting a grip on things or are you well ahead of the game?

How unfortunate that we can’t try everything offered by this world during our lifetime. Just the thought of it sounds depressing; even if a day had 72 hours instead of 24, it still wouldn’t be enough to cover all the beautiful and exciting stuff there are.

For growth, be it personal or professional, being comfy just doesn’t cut it. Going outside your comfort zone may be scary, but undoubtedly challenging and ultimately leading to your development. Just like the times of holding one job for life is gone, the same applies to sticking to what you’re good at.

feeling comfortable, being uncomfortable, comfort zones

Photo by John Tyler 

Going Down The Scary Road

My experience in exploring outside the field of comfortableness led me to believe that no matter how terrifying this seems at first, nothing bad can come out of it. Really, there’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Two years ago, when I got offered to interpret at a business meeting, my instinct cried “no way, get out”.

Doing it with no previous training in interpretation, which was spiced up with my shyness towards the embarrassment of messing it up, this wasn’t an easy thing to do. Seriously, a single mistake can have bad consequences, but I agreed to it under the excuse that I need to start from somewhere. Truth is that I was focused on written translation and didn’t have any ambition to go down that road. Yet, I challenged myself to see if I was able to do it and how I would handle it. Consoling myself that it wasn’t the UN headquarters, I grabbed the chance and did it. If you’re wondering about the result, it went great! It helped me realize that I’m definitely not interested in exploring that path, though would be doing it well if I ever chose to.

Comfort or Advancement – It’s A Choice

Mastering a skill requires a big investment in time and effort and in order to get better at something you most definitely should devote fully to that specific endeavor. Imagine an architect designing the same type of building, over and over again. This will work just fine, of course, but having another architect experimenting with various forms, styles, designs, can lift him much higher.

After all, how do you know what suits you best until you try it? Even our living spaces need to be shuffled once in a while for refreshment. Personal discoveries resulting from experimentation are often surprising. Also, putting on a fresh perspective is invigorating.

We are in an age of continuous learning and sticking to what you know won’t lead far. Be curious and do something that shakes your bones with fear. 

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8 thoughts on “If You Feel Comfortable, Think Again

  1. I love what you wrote here. It’s true that there is often anxiety that comes with the “newness” of an experience. It usually is because whatever it is is truly worth doing. The rewards that come with jumping out of your comfort zone are always worth it. And you’re right, you do feel invigorated when you conquer your fears! Great post thanks!

    • Thanks Alyssa. Perhaps the anxiety of “newness” is a result of the human fear of change. The rewards are precious and the personal growth can never be achieved if we always stay within our comfort zones.

  2. Clever post Sophie.

    I agreed trying different things is great but getting really good at something is also really powerful. Take golf. The more you play and practice and repeat the better you get and the better you feel but if you always play the same course then can you lose interest? No, not really because the conditions are never the same, the ball never lands in the same place and your mental state is never the same. The physical factors create variety.

    So, in the vein of trying something new to test your skill level I agree. The only way you are going to know that you need to grow is by trying to stretch your boundaries but the merit in becoming very,very good at something gives you a niche and in that niche is where the magic happens.

    Learning is a big deal for me and figuring out how to make what I know better is what I strive for. Trying and testing other avenues of interest play into that well. It helps keep the knife sharp.

    Thanks for sharing that story. Have a great weekend.

    • Great thoughts Ralph. Mastering a skill needs repetition – practice does make perfect of course. I don’t know anything about golf though, so I’ll believe you whatever you say. 🙂 I believe trying out new things is very important, as an addition to your primary skill. You’ve put it quite well: by stretching the boundaries growth is inevitable. Doing what you know constantly wouldn’t bring you too far. Thanks for adding more perspective. Enjoy your weekend too.

  3. More great words of wisdom! You’re spot on about leaving our comfort zone and how it leads to our development. Going outside of our norm or what we’re used to and good at is almost evolutionary, isn’t it? Where would the world be if people hadn’t gone outside of their comfort zones and challenged themselves? We cannot become complacent in what we do. When that happens, we’re done. Empires grew because the boundaries of cities were expanded. Powers have shifted because of new alliances created. Inventions were created because people wanted to find a new way to do things. Change REQUIRES that we leave our comfort zones.

    • Great inspirational words Kevin! Change does require that we leave our comfort zones, but in generalized terms we hate change right? It may sound unfair that people should go against their human nature to actually achieve something for the better, but then again, it’s so much sweeter once you push and look behind.

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