Over the past couple of years, since I have started to recover from my depression, I have really started to step out of my comfort zone.
I have started to say 'yes' to things that I perhaps wouldn't have done before. I have started to be myself more around people that I don't know so well. I have done two skydives and travelled around the world for 2 months. I have tried lots of different food and made so many new friends. I have become more creative - my blog here is an example of this. I just seem to have put more effort into life in general.
Previous to this, I would have spent most of my time in bed, watching TV, or chilling out only with people who really knew me, who I knew wouldn't judge me for being myself. And yes, I still do all of these a lot of the time, but occasionally I like to push myself a little bit - I guess scare and challenge myself. But in a good way.
Your comfort zone is the routine that you have on a day-to-day basis, where you carry out behaviours that minimise stress and risk. You will feel secure and comfortable in your comfort zone, and it will be the most familiar place for you to be.
So why step outside of it, I hear you ask? Well, I truly think that one of the massive reasons that I am happier now is because I stepped out of my own comfort zone. I strayed away from my normal pattern of behaviours that had become part of my depressive nature and attitude. I started to challenge myself and become the real me, a person that I am proud to be. And to be honest, my comfort zone had just become a little bit boring and unsatisfying.
I think it is so important that we step outside our comfort zone so that we allow ourselves to grow. Even if it's just small changes, such as saying 'yes' to that drink with an old friend, or going on a spontaneous weekend trip away. How are we ever going to grow as people if we don't challenge ourselves once in a while? A little bit of risk taking and a small amount of anxiety can be good for you.
After breaking out of habit and challenging my repetitive behaviours, I now feel so much more fulfilled in life. I have done things that have made amazingly happy memories that I will remember for the rest of my life - I guess the sort that I'll tell the grandkids. I can say that I have truly been myself, and I have learnt a lot about the person that I am along the way. I've also learnt what I want from life, and that I need to challenge myself and satisfy my ambitions to be truly happy. Although a few days in bed with Netflix and chocolate for company won't go amiss!
The moment I stepped out of my comfort zone was the moment that I really started living and appreciating life for the beautiful thing that it is.
I didn't come this far, to only come this far.