When one thinks about resilience it is our capacity to encounter difficulties and recover from those difficulties we encounter in a quick manner. Resilience is a skill that can be cultivated with time and patience. However, more than anything the development of resilience requires a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone is the place where you feel safe and at ease, but if you feel comfortable you can almost always ensure that you’re experiencing no growth or development. Stepping out of your comfort zone sets the foundation for resilience to be cultivated by stretching you beyond your normal capacity and helping you learn to embrace the uncomfortable. Thus, you’re better able to cope and adapt to difficulties when they are encountered.
How Abandoning Comfort Leads to Resilience
There are several ways that forsaking our comfort zones helps in our pursuit of resilience. The following outlines a few of those benefits.
1.Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable:
Stepping outside of your comfort zone most obviously helps expose you to the feeling of being uncomfortable. While initially, this might seem unbearable, over time the exposure to uncomfortable situations essentially builds endurance. The more often you’re uncomfortable, the more used to being uncomfortable you become.
Eventually, you realize you aren’t nearly as bothered by a particular situation or circumstance. This equips you to deal with that situation if you encounter it in the future but also trains you to deal with any scenario that might trigger the same feelings of discomfort. You then become more resilient because you aren’t as negatively or emotionally impacted by challenges and can better deal with them (Mook, n.d.).
2. Better Manage Stress:
Stepping outside of your comfort zone also helps with your management of stress. There is a certain level of stress experienced each time you are in a new, unfamiliar, or uncomfortable situation. When you are in these situations you learn skills and strategies that help you to cope and deal with stress.
Armed with that knowledge you are then better equipped to deal with future stress you experience (Buckley, 2019). This leads to resilience because you are less likely to have a purely emotional response that leads to breakdown and inactivity. Instead, you’ll have the skills to adapt and adjust as needed.
3. Conquer Fear
There is also a measure of fear attached to stepping out of your comfort zone- fear of the unknown. When you are uncertain about what to expect or what you may encounter the temptation to remain stationary because of fear is strong.
However, the intentional decision to step outside of your comfort zone forces you to face your fear. In doing so you demonstrate to yourself that challenges are more manageable than you may have thought or that you’re more capable than you may have believed. This leads to resilience by empowering you to see that you are competent and capable. Thus, when faced with future hardships you’re able to view them from an optimistic lens, embrace them, and work to find solutions or navigate through them.
The journey towards resilience is just that, a journey, but it starts with a first step in the right direction- stepping outside of our comfort zone. The initial discomfort of those first steps will yield a big return in the pursuit of resilience.
By learning to embrace discomfort, manage stress, and conquer our fear we will become better equipped to truly rise above those challenges we encounter in our lives, recover from them, and be wiser and better people as a result.
Buckley, F. (2019, 12). Building resilience for those stuck in their comfort zone. Breaking News. https://www.breakingnews.ie/business/building-resilience-for-those-stuck-in-their-comfort-zone-971435.html
Mook, M. (n.d.). Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to build resilience. Pro-Development. https://www.pro-development.co.uk/pushing-yourself-out-of-your-comfort-zone-to-build-resilience/