Last week, my friend Susan asked me if I would like to accompany her to an event that was held at the convention center in downtown Toronto. I gladly accepted her invitation since whenever Susan and I go out, she introduces me to new experiences and new places here in Ontario that otherwise I would not have explored on my own.
So today, I took the plunge and went with her on the train for the first time in the four years that I have been living in Ontario.
Wow, what an experience it was? The universe conspired with the weather man for us to have a delightful trip.
Going through this experience made me think about the times that I had to be downtown Toronto. I used to take my car, waste gas, time, and get frustrated with the traffic while still dealing with our nasty weather.
I thought to myself “Why I didn’t do this before?”
Do you want to know why I had to put up with all the hassle of driving to Toronto? The answer is simple. It was because I was not comfortable trying something new such as using the GO transit. I lived for twenty years in Halifax, where the only mean of transportation there besides the bus was driving your car.
Was this the mentality of a small city girl living in a big city? Or was it the fact that we are creatures of our habits and we like to stay with what we know and comfortable with rather than venturing into something new that pushes us out of our comfort zone?
I started thinking about the times that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and believe me, there were plenty of these times. However, now and then I come across certain situations where I am not comfortable enough to try something new, especially if I had to do it alone. If it were not for my friend Susan, I would not have tried this new method of transportation which I will use in the future.
If you are not convinced yet with the need to get out of your comfort zone let me give you three reasons for doing so:
1- Stretching yourself out of your comfort zone may not be as bad as you think. Unless you go through the experience, you cannot judge it from where you are, and through the filters that you screen the world with at that moment. If you do not want to do it alone, then find you a Susan or Mark to help you get over your fear and do it. JUST DO IT.
2- You may be surprised how exciting the experience is. You may even find new ways to help you save time, money, and energy that you can put towards something important that matters to you such as spending time with your loved ones.
3- Getting out of your comfort zone is a must for self-growth and learning more about yourself. Mind you that sometimes while you are in the stretching phase, you may have to experience some growing pain, but in the end, the rewards are innumerable.
Now, it is your turn. Tell me when was the last time that you got out of your comfort zone. Was it a pleasant or agonizing experience? Looking back at it today, what lessons did you learn from getting out of your comfort zone?
Peace and Love to you,
Raja Mishal, PhD