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Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

I was recently reminded of why I find it important to step outside one’s comfort zone. Throughout my life I’ve spent a lot of time trying new things, pushing myself, pushing the envelope. Some people attribute this to being “extreme”…especially if I do this while mountain biking or snowboarding and they watch me take the most momentous spill on the trails. However, I don’t do all this simply for the adrenaline rush (which is fun in itself). I do this to better myself. How can you expect to get better at something if you don’t try for the next level?

This way of thought has manifested itself in my life in a variety of ways. In my physical life (sports, training, activities), my mental life (learning new things, taking on new tasks), emotional life (opening up to new types of relationships), and so forth. This can be applied to all aspects of one’s life.

I was recently speaking to another friend who is also an entrepreneur. I find that a lot of entrepreneurs (at least the successful ones) don’t really stress the small things anymore. I believe this is a combination of having that “can-do” attitude (why else would we start our own business) but also because by doing this, we’re often pushing ourselves past previous limits. Suddenly something that was stressful to us before is now a minor incident in life. We’ve got much bigger and better things to worry about what to spend our time and energy on.

This often presents an interesting dilemma in relationships, especially if there is a large discrepancy in each person’s stress threshold. Whereas one person may get stressed over a particular incident, the other will seemingly brush it off as it pales in comparison to other things that have been dealt with in life. This can give the impression of malaise and not caring about the issue at hand, when it’s really a matter of seeing the incident as a minor wrinkle in life and moving past it. No need to put extra pressure on the relationship for such a minor detail.

I find myself welcoming new experiences. Will they all have a favorable outcome? No. But they give me new insights in life, on how others view things, more confidence knowing I can tackle most problems, and make life fuller to all involved. I think we should all step outside our comfort zone every now and then. We wouldn’t be able to walk if we didn’t step outside the comfort zone of crawling. Here’s to new experiences!