In order to live a happy and fulfilling life, we need to leave our comfort zones regularly. However, it’s not only about pushing ourselves to do the things that we believe to be uncomfortable – that would be silly.
Some things, no matter how hard we try or from what angle we approach, we won’t enjoy. Life isn’t about learning to enjoy everything, even those things that we loathe; it's about experiencing enough of the world to understand what it’s all about, finding our place in it all.
Leaving our comfort zone is important – don’t get me wrong. It’s important because it opens us up to things that we otherwise would have never realized we enjoyed, things that otherwise never could have become a part of our lives.
But before you go off and start doing everything that you find likely to be uncomfortable – not like you’re jumping out of your seat to do so anyway – why not do something a bit less scary and more likely enjoyable?
Our comfort zones only make up a part of our reality – the part way out on the edges. We also, however, live inside bubbles – bubbles that can and should be popped, all with minimum risk of discomfort.
To experience life isn’t always to face your fears and risk un-pleasantries. It’s also about doing all those things you’re sure that you’ll enjoy. You live in a bubble whether or not you realize it. Pop that sh*t and live a little more.
1. Where you’re living now isn’t necessarily where you need to be living – at least not your entire life.
Some of us move around a lot. Others not so much. It’s nice to have a place to call home, a place where you feel safe and secure.
However, where that place is depends on you. You won’t know where you’ll enjoy living the most until you try it out. We say that the grass is always greener on the other side… but sometimes it actually is. You need to burst your bubble and it really all starts with changing your surroundings.
2. If you’re not looking to move, then at least do yourself a favor and travel a bit.
It may be that where you are living now really is the best place for you. You may love the area that you live in and the people with whom you have surrounded yourself. If you are such an individual then unless you feel a need to move, don’t. Sometimes we are great just where we are.
However, if where we are is always where we are then you’re doing yourself an injustice. Human beings have come a remarkably long way from the animals we used to be. We now have the ability to see the entire world within our lifetime – and it’s not nearly as expensive as one would think.
You don’t need to get up and move, but you do need to get up and move around. This is your planet. See it for yourself; you’ll be happy you did.
3. Try all those things that you know you want to do.
People are funny this way… we all have a list of things that we want to do, want to try, want to experience and take part in.
Yet, most of us don’t bother to do any of them. We find reasons as to why we can’t or why we shouldn’t. The truth is that we can and should.
If you have things that you know you want to try, then why not try them? Sure, there are other things that you believe that you "need" to do, but do you really need to do them? It’s surprising how much time we can find if we need to… we just don’t bother trying. Life isn’t a race.
I know that it can feel like it sometimes, but it isn’t. Slow down and do what you want to do or you’ll end up not doing what you want to do. Now, that’s scary.
4. Talk to people that you wouldn’t normally talk to.
We’re quick to judge people by the way they look. It’s a very useful trait. Unfortunately, people aren’t as easy to understand at a glance as we’d like to believe them to be.
People tend to hide their true selves behind a façade of their own creation – it’s a way of protecting themselves from enemies they can’t yet see. This, sadly, works as a deterrent for all those who don’t know them. People like to hang around with people similar to themselves.
Which makes sense as finding people who are similar to you makes it more likely that you’ll get along. But we don’t really know whether or not we have things in common with someone until we talk to them.
The cover may be very deceiving of the contents inside. Furthermore, interacting with individuals that do differ form us in certain ways is only beneficial to us.
It exposes us to the way someone else sees the world – it may very well be a more beautiful reality. Why not have a conversation?
5. Keep searching and keep expanding your horizons.
Life only ends when you stop living. Some people's lives end when they die; others’ end when they are still living. You don’t need to force yourself to do all the things that you aren’t sure of, but you do need to try all the things you believe you should be doing.
We all have our lists, but few actually cross things off that list. Until that mid-life crisis hits and then we try to squeeze everything into a short period of time – which, unfortunately, ends up doing more harm than good.
The trick is to live your entire life – never falling in line simply because you’re being asked to. If you have a bucket list then start crossing things off while you’re young. The truth is that the more things that you cross off that list, the more you will add.
You’ll literally never finish that list – or rather, you’ll finish it many times over within a lifetime. But only if you get out of the bubble that you and your environment have put you in. Stay hungry and stay vivacious. Life is meant to be lived by your own rules.
Photo via We Heart It