Over the past weekend, I found myself in a weird place: Specifically, Cleveland. I’ve never been to Ohio. I was genuinely excited to get out of Jersey City for a few days and fling myself headfirst into the unknown. This particular brand of unknown equated into meeting my boyfriend’s extended family for the first time. In a different state. With a different culture. Pushing aside a small series of self-induced panic attacks, I was introduced to new people, new types of food, and new Russian words to add to my small vocabulary bank (Currently, I can name 4 types of animals, ask for a beer, and say “pharmacy”). I visited an amazing waterfall in Chagrin Falls. I attended a beautiful Russian-style birthday celebration, complete with no less than 8 rounds of food, toasts in abundance, and dancing to traditional music. It was frickin’ amazing, but admittedly in my discomfort zone. And that made the experience even more amazing.
The Perils of Being Too Comfy
Wrapping yourself in a warm blanket of familiarity can breed boredom and keep you sated with the ordinary. Symptoms of being too comfy include:
- A perpetual case of the “mehs”
- A lack of interest in anything faintly unfamiliar
- A fear of the unknown
Shake the Cozy Habit
You can instigate creative thought by forcing yourself out of your usual routine. Walk a different way to the bodega. Take a book recommendation from a friend. Attend an art opening in another city and make yourself mingle.
Take Back Your Power by Being Uncomfortable
One often does not know what they’re made of until they are forced to deal with new challenges or unforeseen adversity. Shaking up your routine and finding yourself smack dab in the middle of your discomfort zone can often yield happy results: Increased confidence in your business dealings, aptitude in embracing new environments, and the exposure to new experiences that you can utilize in the future.
TL;DR: Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable at least once a day and revel in your freedom from the mundane.