Why Leaving Your Comfort Zone Gives You a Chance to Grow

A little discomfort can lead to bigger and better things

Dec 26, 2016

We all crave comfort on some level, whether it comes from a cozy apartment, a stable job, or financial freedom, and it’s good to feel safe in certain situations. While there’s nothing wrong with feeling comfortable, there are also many surprising upsides to being uncomfortable every once in a while. This unknown heightened sense of awareness is where we learn the most about ourselves: what we like and dislike, our ambitions, strengths and weaknesses, and what we want out of life. It’s a viewpoint we only see when we try something new or are pushed to our limits. Although discomfort can be risky and terrifying, it can also lead to powerful breakthroughs and insights that propel us forward.

1. IT PUSHES US TO OUR LIMITS (IN A GOOD WAY)

Facing the unknown - whatever that unknown may be - allows us to challenge ourselves and accomplish things we didn’t think were possible. We adapt, become faster, and more creative as we work around obstacles. When we realize we don’t have a choice but to succeed, we’re much more resilient and determined.

2. IT FORCES US TO MOVE ON

Whether it’s a personal or a professional setback, discomfort forces us to move forward no matter which pace we set for ourselves. When we face certain challenges or feel stuck, we ultimately have two options: remain stagnant or move on. And only when we decide to focus on the later do we grow and evolve. Discomfort is just that, uncomfortable, but it accelerates our growing process.

When we decide to focus on moving on we grow and evolve.(Shutterstock)

When we decide to focus on moving on we grow and evolve.(Shutterstock)

3. IT MAKES US STRONGER

When we take ourselves out of that comfortable place, we experience our fair share of highs and lows. This might seem exhausting (and to be honest, it is at times), but it’s also beneficial because we’re better prepared for those sudden curveballs life throws our way. From every learning experience we become stronger, more aware, and more confident.

4. IT EXPOSES TO NEW EXPERIENCES

All new experiences are a learning opportunity, no matter how awkward they feel at the beginning. We meet new people or pick up new skills that ultimately help us become better equipped for overcoming future hurdles. We grow wiser and with that wisdom comes power to make sound decisions that bring us closer to achieving our goals.

All new experiences are a learning opportunity. (Shutterstock)

All new experiences are a learning opportunity. (Shutterstock)

5. IT HELPS US FIND DIRECTION

The more we expose ourselves to discomfort, the more direction we’ll have. Foregoing the safe options means we have the opportunity to figure out exactly what we want in life. We can choose any direction we wish based on those situations that may have been uncomfortable...at first.

REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.