Do you ever have regrets about playing it “safe” and sticking to your comfort zone? Like you know deep down in your heart that it’s something you should be breaking out of. But it’s a struggle. It’s scary and different and you have no idea how it’s going to turn out.
It’s just sooooo much easier to carry on doing things the way you’ve always done them.
Sticking to comfort zones is something I actually struggle with quite a bit myself. Not in the sense of changing jobs or re-evaluating my life and purpose, etc. But, more along the lines of the everyday things… things I struggle with in terms of my personality.
It’s like I can visualise that confident person that’s “caged” up inside me and I know she’s there, but it’s a mission to get her out sometimes! For some reason, putting myself out there scares the living daylights out of me. I want to be in the shadows – but I don’t really. Sometimes the spotlight is strangely appealing.
So I’m trying something new here. It’s another reason I started this blog – to force myself to really push some personal boundaries. I love writing little life hacks and tips, but I don’t believe in giving advice unless you’re familiar with the topic. And that’s where last week Friday’s little experiment comes in.
Breaking comfort zones the fun way
I don’t know about you, but the only way to get me to do something that’s scary or that I usually avoid, is to make it fun. Like a game or a mini adventure. So did that last week and it was slightly terrifying, but it was also really, really good.
A major comfort zone of mine is doing the expected, playing it safe, and being too scared to do things incase I look like a complete idiot. And you know, after all I’ve been through this year, I’ve realised that this is such a ridiculous way to live. Imagine getting to 80 years old and having a ton of regret because you cared too much about what others thought of you? Insane, right?
So this year, I plan to gradually try and chip away at that self conscious way of thinking.
On Friday, I threw some caution to the wind and ventured to the student town of Stellenbosch on a mission to explore and document my day with my phone. Here’s a short breakdown of the comfort zones I broke that day:
7 Comfort zones, broken…
- Before leaving home, I did my first ever Instagram story vlog explaining my plans for the day. (That phone video camera thing is still scary).
- I chose to drive a busier route than usual – I always go for the quieter, longer ways.
- Instead of parking far away, I parked at a busy mall with a steep ramp and super narrow parking spaces.
- I pretended not to notice people around me and did something I never do… I took selfies of myself in a retail store posing with a really pretty cap I found. Just because. And you know what? It was FUN.
- I took myself to tea at a sunny sidewalk cafe and forced myself to people watch instead of burring my head in my phone the entire time.
- I spoke to two people running a canned lion awareness campaign. Instead of keeping the convo short as I usually do, I asked questions and promised to help spread the word.
- I flipped an embarrassing moment by laughing at myself instead of cringing and hanging my head.
Give it a try
This is all still a work in progress, but I have faith that I’m onto something here. And so, if you’re also struggling with something in your life, no matter how big or small it is to you – I encourage you to try and break the cycle. To try something new. To get out of your comfort zone a little. Make it fun and just enjoy the experience. See it as a personal goal… something you can celebrate achieving.
Final thought: You’ll never know unless you try – rather risk feeling uncomfortable for a little bit and be pleasantly surprised, than live with a ton of regret.