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I’ve been blessed to have an unconventional life. At the age of four, I was diagnosed Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis which at the time, I didn’t know would alter how I would live my life forever. And then at the age of twenty-one, I was in a car accident that left me paralyzed. As a result, I got very used to always looking for the most comfortable option to avoid any physical discomfort. The side effect to living a comfortable life is that I became static in my way of thinking and how I viewed the world. Living life like this obviously didn’t do me any favors. I wouldn’t say that I lived a sheltered life, but I lived a safe life. I reached the point where I felt like I needed to voyage into the unknown (Qeue the song from Frozen) to see what I needed to learn and expand my world, and it could only be accomplished by putting myself into uncomfortable situations. The self-experiments have helped gain new insight on what comfort zones mean and how they increased my wisdom.
What going out of my comfort zone means to me
Discomfort. It’s not a popular emotion and most of us go to great lengths to avoid it. But what if we could learn to welcome discomfort? What if instead of being something to be avoided, discomfort became a source of wisdom?
Stepping out of our comfort zone is one of the best ways to learn and grow. It’s how we challenge ourselves to do things we thought were impossible. It’s how we push past our limits and discover new talents and abilities. And it’s how we build character and strength.
So the next time you’re feeling uncomfortable, remember that it just might be the universe trying to tell you something. Discomfort is often the first step on the road to wisdom.
The first time I ever went out of my comfort zone
Discomfort is often where I find the best wisdom. It is in those moments that I was forced to confront my fears and learn more about myself. This was certainly the case when I decided to go out of my comfort zone for the first time after I ended up in a wheelchair. Until then, I had always been content to stay within the familiar situation of having my dad drive me everywhere. But one day, I took a leap of faith and decided that I needed to be able to use the public transit system if I wanted to have any type of life whatsoever. In my home state of Utah, they offer individuals with physical disabilities a free pass for the bus, the train, and the trolley. As the miles slid by on my way to do the assessment and confirmation that I have a disability (as if the giant metal wheelchair under my butt wasn’t proof enough), I felt my heart rate begin to rise. By the time we pulled into the station, I was a nervous wreck. But I steeled myself and disembarked. As I rolled through the bustling streets, surrounded by strangers, I realized that there was nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it was invigorating to experience something new. Plus, it allowed me new sense of independence that I hadn’t felt in a while. Since that day, I have made a habit of seeking out new experiences and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. And each time, I have found that discomfort is indeed where wisdom lies.
How stepping outside of my comfort zone has increased wisdom
Discomfort is often seen as an unpleasant experience that we should avoid. However, discomfort can also be a powerful teacher. Stepping outside of my comfort zone has helped me to learn important life lessons and to become more wise. Each time I try something new, I am faced with challenges that force me to think creatively and to problem-solve. As I overcome these obstacles, I gain confidence in my abilities and a deeper understanding of the world around me. In addition, taking risks has helped me to meet new people and to learn about different cultures. As my horizons expand, I am able to see the world in a new light and to develop a more nuanced view of the human experience. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I have found that discomfort can lead to wisdom.
A personal story about how going out of my comfort zone led to an increase in wisdom
But what if discomfort could actually lead to wisdom? I found out the answer to this question the hard way.
A few years ago, I went with my family to California; Now, I had been to California many times and I love it every time I go. I always expect trying times when traveling in a wheelchair, but this trip had something else in store for me.
At first, everything was going great. I was enjoying that typical activities of Disneyland, the beach, and Angels games. I was having a great time. That night, my brother-in-law had the idea of whale watching in Dana Point, California. I hate boats! I couldn’t swim before my wheelchair, guess what I can swim even less now with only half my body working.
I was terrified of the idea, but I knew I couldn’t ruin this for my family and if I tried, there was a good chance they might kill me. When we arrived to the pier to board the boat, the set up to get aboard was not pretty. It had a steep wooden ramp down, so I thought my heavy motorized chair was going to crash through. Then I had to go up another ramp to get onto the boat and then there was a sharp turn to take. The captain, his crew, my brother-in-law, and my dad were warriors and got me and my chair on.
The first half of the trip, I was stationary and I couldn’t move to see and enjoy anything about it. Slowly, I started unclenching and enjoying the sites; it became an amazing experience with my family. We were able to experience seeing a pod of dolphins.
Even though it was scary, it also taught me a lot about myself. I realized that I was capable of handling situations that were outside of my comfort zone. And I also learned how to trust people I encounter to help create fantastic experiences for me to enjoy. In other words, discomfort led to wisdom and dolphins.
So next time you’re feeling discomfort, remember that it could be the first step on the path to wisdom. Embrace it and see where it takes you. You might be surprised by what you learn about yourself.
Some tips for those looking to go out of their comfort zones in order to increase wisdom
1. Understand your comfort zone
We all have our comfort zones. That sweet spot where we feel safe, supported and in control. It’s a place of comfort and predictability where we know what to expect. But it’s also a place where we can get stuck. This is because our comfort zone is also a place of stagnation, where we’re not challenged to grow or stretch beyond our current abilities. So how do we find the balance between staying in our comfort zone and pushing ourselves to grow? The key is wisdom. We need to be wise enough to know when it’s time to stay put and when it’s time to step out of our comfort zone. With wisdom, we can find the courage to take risks, secure in the knowledge that they are necessary for our growth.
2. Identify the risks and rewards of stepping out of your comfort zone
There’s an old saying that “Wisdom Comes From Experience”. In other words, we learn from our mistakes. This is certainly true when it comes to stepping out of our comfort zones. Every time we take a risk, we open ourselves up to the possibility of failure. But if we’re never willing to take risks, we’ll never grow or accomplish anything new. So stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary, but it’s also essential for personal growth. Of course, it’s important to carefully consider the risks before taking any major leaps. But as long as you’re prepared for the worst case scenario, chances are you’ll end up just fine. And even if things don’t go according to plan, you’ll at least have the satisfaction of knowing that you gave it your best shot. So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and face the unknown. It might just be the best decision you ever make.
3. Make a plan to gradually step out of your comfort zone
We all have comfort zones. Mine is in the predictable situations, doing things I know and enjoy. But comfort zones are also mental states — ways of thinking and behaving that we fall into because they’re familiar and safe. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, wisdom comes from knowing ourselves and our limits. But it can also lead to stagnation and a fear of change. If we’re not careful, our comfort zones can become prisons that prevent us from growing and achieving our full potential.
The good news is that it’s possible to break out of our comfort zones, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort to change the way we think and behave, but it’s worth it. Stepping out of our comfort zones is how we learn and grow as individuals. So if you’re feeling stuck, make a plan to gradually step out of your comfort zone. Push yourself to try new things, meet new people, and learn new skills. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.
4. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
If there’s one thing that wisdom comes with, it’s the realization that life is uncomfortable. From the moment we’re born, we’re thrust into a world that is unfamiliar and often frightening. We cry and wail, unable to express our needs or desires. As we grow older, we experience the discomfort of acne, awkwardness, and heartbreak. And even as adults, we face struggles and challenges that can be daunting and overwhelming. But it’s important to remember that discomfort is a necessary part of life. It’s through embracing our fears and uncertainties that we grow and develop as individuals. So next time you’re feeling uncomfortable, instead of trying to escape it, welcome it as a sign that you’re on the path to wisdom and growth.
5. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adjust
The wisest people are not always the ones who have been through the most, but the ones who have taken the time to reflect on and learn from their experiences. This is why it is so important to be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adjust. It takes wisdom to grow, and wisdom comes from making mistakes and learning from them. So, if you find yourself struggling, don’t be too hard on yourself. Take a step back, breathe, and remember that everyone goes through rough patches. With a little time and patience, you will get through this too.
6. Celebrate your accomplishments, big or small
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget to take a step back and celebrate your accomplishments, big or small. But if you don’t take the time to appreciate your successes, you’re missing out on an important opportunity for wisdom and growth. By taking a moment to reflect on what you’ve achieved, you can gain valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses. You can also learn to be more humble and appreciative of the challenges you face. So next time you reach a milestone, take a deep breath and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. You deserve it!
Closing thoughts on the matter
Going out of our comfort zones can be a scary proposition, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to grow as individuals. By gradually stepping out of our safe spaces and welcoming discomfort, we learn new things, meet new people, and develop new skills. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. So if you’re feeling stuck, make a plan to push yourself out of your comfort zone. And be patient with yourself. It takes time to adjust, but you will get there. Congratulations on taking the first step!
Andres Wiest is the CEO of Millennial Zen Coaching. He lives in Utah and graduated with a degree in Entrepreneurial Management. Andres is a business consultant who has had a unique life. At the age of four, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and learned how to adapt to trials at a young age. When he was 21, he was involved in a car accident that broke his neck in two places and left him paralyzed. After many attempts of trying to work for companies in the state, Andres realized his love of coaching and helping people maximize their potential. He loves dogs and playing with nieces and nephews.