Sometime you have to push yourself and step outside your normal routine to test yourself. How do you know if you could deal with a situation if you’ve never done so yourself. This could be a new skill, a new job role, a new piece of software or a new chore. That new piece of software maybe harder use but might be more efficient when you finally master it. Pushing yourself out of your bubble to socialise within your industry might be the key to that lead or client sale you needed to keep your company alive or help it grow.
This week I have been forced to learn new skills for my video editing by a client – something I might admit was needed to do so, and helps me learn new skills or tools to improve my own works. I also had to become full and only adult in the household this week as my other half went into hospital and I had to learn her half of our life, and learn how to be a stay at home carer – the organisation of how to get a 3 year old to nursery mixed with how to lift and clean someone after surgery.
Step outside your bubble and learn a new life sill.
Challenging yourself can help you perform at your peak.
Stepping outside one’s comfort zone is an important, and almost universal, factor in personal growth. How can we expect to evolve in our lives and careers if we only stick to habit and routine? Reaching new heights involves the risk of attempting something we might not succeed at.
A little anxiety can help us perform at our peak, psychologists have found — in other words, when we challenge ourselves, we tend to rise to the occasion.
Taking risks is what helps us grow.
As children, we’re natural risk-takers. But as we get older and learn to fear failure, we start holding ourselves back and attempting fewer new things.
This comes at a high cost to our tremendous potential for lifelong growth and transformation.
“We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure,” the author John Gardner wrote in Self-Renewal. “It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure — all your life. It’s as simple as that.”
Trying new things can make you more creative.
Creativity is innately risky — when we share creative work, we open ourselves up to vulnerability and possible rejection. At the same time, risking failure increases the possibility of great creative achievement.
“Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often,” Forbes contributor Steven Kotler wrote in a piece about Einstein.
Stepping out of your comfort zone even once makes it easier and more likely that you’ll do it again. Case in point: 2012 research found that studying abroad resulted in boosts in students’ creativity. Students who spent a semester in Spain or Senegal scored higher on two different tests of creativity than students who did not study abroad.
In becoming a person who regularly takes calculated risks, challenges yourself, and tries new things, you’ll cultivate openness to experience, one of what’s known in psychology as the “Big Five” personality traits. Openness to experience — which is characterized by qualities like intellectual curiosity, imagination, emotional and fantasy interests, and a drive to explore one’s inner and outer lives — has been shown to be the best predictor of creative achievement.
Embracing new challenges can help you age better.
Our comfort zones tend to shrink as we get older — but if we can keep expanding them, we’ll open ourselves up to greater fulfillment and improved well-being as we age.
A 2013 study found that learning new and demanding life skills, while also maintaining a strong social network, can help us stay mentally sharp as we get older.
“The findings suggest that engagement alone is not enough,” the study’s lead researcher Denise Park, a psychologist at the University of Texas, told the American Psychological Association. “The three learning groups were pushed very hard to keep learning more and mastering more tasks and skills. Only the groups that were confronted with continuous and prolonged mental challenge improved.”