Let go of comfort to gain resilience
As a young man I struggled with challenges in my life. Difficult situations presented themselves and I took it personally. I let the fear of the unknown stop me from moving forward. It took years of struggles before was able to start moving past those fears that held me back.
I learned to become resilient.
Resilience is the ability to quickly recover from difficult encounters. You can cultivate the skill of resilience with time and patience. However, more than anything, developing resilience means stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone is the place where you feel safe and at ease. Thing is, growth and development do not occur in the comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone cultivates resilience by stretching you beyond your normal capacity and helping you learn to embrace the uncomfortable. You learn to cope and adapt to difficulties when they are encountered.
Here are three ways that letting go of comfort will increase resilience.
1. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Stepping outside of your comfort zone exposes you to the feeling of being uncomfortable. At first, this might seem unbearable but over time the exposure builds endurance. The more often you feel uncomfortable, the more used to being uncomfortable you become. Eventually, situations or circumstances that would have bothered you no longer matter. You easily deal not only with similar future situations but also with similar scenarios that would have triggered the same feeling. You become more resilient because you’re no longer emotionally impacted by those challenges and can better deal with them.
2. Better Manage Stress
Stepping outside of your comfort zone also helps with your management of stress. You experience a certain level of stress each time you are in a new, unfamiliar, or uncomfortable situation. While in these situations you learn skills and strategies that help you to cope and deal with stress. That knowledge allows you to deal with future stress. This leads to resilience because you are less likely to respond emotionally. Instead, you’ll have the skills to adapt and adjust as needed.
3. Conquer Fear
Just like when I was young, stepping out of your comfort zone can create a fear of the unknown. When uncertain about what to expect or what you may encounter the temptation to stop or freeze is strong. However, the intentional decision to step outside of your comfort zone forces you to face your fear. It demonstrates to yourself that challenges are more manageable than you may have thought. 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. In the future, when faced with hardships, you view with optimism, embrace the challenge, and work to find solutions.
Take the First Step
The journey towards resilience is just that, a journey. A journey that starts with a first step in the right direction – stepping outside of our comfort zone. The discomfort of those first steps leads to a big return in the pursuit of resilience.
Learning to embrace the uncomfortable, manage your stress, and conquer fear equips you to rise above the challenges you face, recover from them quickly, and step into your personal and professional power.
You become resilient.