Now why would I want to spend time outside my comfort zone? I am sure many of you are asking that very question. I ask myself that a lot. Usually it is when I am entering the dreaded “uncomfortable” zone.
My personality style is definitely Phlegmatic. You know, it is that laid back, rather not be the center of attention, sometimes people wonder if you have a pulse kind of personality. My wife gave me a card once that read, “Why stand if you can lean, why lean if you can sit, why sit if you can lie down.” Soon after that she saw me do that without thinking in less than 5 minutes one time while we were talking as she took a bath.
With that kind of personality, I am just fine with allowing things to stay as they are…besides they are working just fine, thank you very much.
Yet, over the past 10 years I have quit a good job to move to Thailand as a volunteer missionary for six months, traveled to remote parts of Thailand and China sleeping in strange places and eating even stranger foods, navigated through Europe via train, plane and auto for three weeks with my wife, became a foster parent, and this past year adopted a son. On top of all that, I started a new career as a writer and blogger.
So, why do I keep finding myself spending time doing things that are out of my comfort zone? I think I know the answer, but before I share that, here are at least 6 benefits I have found for spending time out of my comfort zone:
- Fresh Perspective – seeing things from a different perspective increases my appreciation for other’s viewpoints.
- New Opportunities – opportunities present themselves to me when I get out of my normal and comfortable routine. Two people asked me just this week if two years ago I had any idea I would be doing what I am doing today. The answer—not one bit.
- Meet People – even though I am an introvert, I enjoy meeting new people. One of the best ways that I have found to meet new and interesting people is to try new things. Another serendipity that I have experienced is that people enjoy helping you when you get out of your comfort zone and don’t know what the heck you are doing.
- Growth – I grow more when I take a chance and do something new. Sure, I make a lot of mistakes, get stressed, and wonder sometimes why I am doing it. But, afterward it is easy to see all the things I have learned and how I have grown.
- Stories to Tell – Whether you become a writer or not, think of all the stories you will have to tell your grandkids because you spent some time doing something out of your comfort zone.
- Recognize Need for God – Not only do I recognize how much I need God when I am out of my comfort zone, I also seek Him out. I pray more. I notice all of my shortcomings and I lean on Him.
Back to the answer to the question, “why do I keep finding myself spending time doing things that are out of my comfort zone?”.
I think it is because my life is not my own. I surrendered my life long ago to Someone that paid a great price for my life. He inspires me, goads me, draws me, calls me…into living a life that constantly places me outside of my comfort zone.
Even writing that reminds me that even if I feel desperately uncomfortable with what I am doing or attempting to do, I am never alone. Thank You God for walking with me outside of my comfort zone!
Can you think of other benefits of spending time outside your comfort zone?