Our comfort zone is where we feel safe, not stressed, not threatened in any way . . . just comfortable! Inside our comfort zone are things that feel familiar and easy for us. And what’s outside our comfort zone is different for each of us.
Think about the many things you do without hesitation, like a walk with a friend, or playing a sport of interest—all activities that feel easy and relatively comfortable. While continuing those things is fine, stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to many challenging but rewarding experiences— it’s where the growth happens!
What words would you use to describe experiences outside of your comfort zone? As we move from the known and familiar into the unknown and unfamiliar we may feel awkward, uneasy, fearful, even challenged. But it can also be fun, exhilarating, and fulfilling.
Think back to your first day at a new school or SuperCamp, if you’ve attended. Finding your classroom, wondering if you’ll be accepted by others, or how your teacher might be. In those moments, many of us are out of our comfort zone and possibly experiencing some level of stress. But waiting for us outside of that comfort zone could be a new friend, mentor, or memorable learning experience. Stepping out of our comfort zone, allows us to achieve things we may have never known we enjoyed!
SuperCamp, by Quantum Learning, challenges you to step outside of your comfort zone, like Carisa did. Write down three of the activities that would be outside your comfort zone but, you sometimes think about doing. Maybe it’s trying out for a sport, performing in a show or concert, running a marathon, or even climbing a mountain. Or maybe it’s as simple as raising your hand in class to answer a question, or introducing yourself to someone new.
We may like to stay inside our comfort zone because it’s easy, familiar, and yes, comfortable. Everything outside may seem uncomfortable and perhaps risky. Here at SuperCamp, by Quantum Learning we challenge you to consider this:
- To grow and excel, we must push our inner limits to discomfort.
- Small jumps can drive large leaps.
- Every small step becomes part of your comfort zone and expands it permanently.
And one more thing—it’s important to remember the power of fimage in this process. Fimage is the fear of our image that holds us back from being the person we want to be and doing the things we want to do that will enhance our lives.
No Fimage = No Fear of Image
If we live in constant fear of maintaining our image, life will pass us by. How much energy do we use “acting” that could be spent “living”? Let it go and enjoy who you are. The more you challenge yourself to push out of your comfort zone, the less fimage you’ll experience and the more fun and growth you’ll enjoy!
Going back to your list of activities outside of your comfort zone, review each item you listed and consider how you would respond to the situation with and without fimage guiding your actions.
1. Activity #1:
2. Activity #2:
3. Activity #3:
Think about how often you go the route of the fimage response—it’s easier, it’s more comfortable, you don’t risk failing, being different, or feeling embarrassed. Now think about how you feel when you choose the no-fimage response. Whether or not you make that team, or kick that habit, or get the answer right, you feel good— you’ve moved forward, you’ve stopped worrying about maintaining your image, you’ve grown and learned from the experience. And best of all, you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone! And each time you step out of your comfort zone—into your learning and growing zone—your comfort zone grows and stepping out of it gets easier and easier.
Why not make it a personal project to take one small step out of your comfort zone every day, or just every week if that feels more comfortable for now! Consider some of those things that hover just outside your comfort zone—not those distant big ones like skydiving. Choose things at first that will make you stretch just a little bit, then move on to the bigger steps. When we stretch ourselves and take risks to step out of our comfort zone, we let go of our fimage that in the past has been holding us back—stopping us from doing the things that we want to do, from being the person we want to be. Our challenge is to find ways to be in a continuous state of growth. That’s when we realize our full potential—and we have fun in the process!
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
About the Author: Bobbi DePorter, president of Quantum Learning Network, is the founder of SuperCamp summer residential programs for teens. With more than 80,000 graduates worldwide, SuperCamp inspires and empowers teens to excel in every area of their lives. Since 1982, SuperCamp, Monthly Mentor, has inspired and empowered thousands of teens to feel confident and motivated, and to excel in school and beyond. Held on U.S. college campuses including Stanford, CSU Long Beach, and Villanova, SuperCamp offers residential programs lasting six, seven, and ten days for students in middle school, high school, and first-year college. Living on a college campus is a great experience for teens and most of our grads go directly to a four-year college after high school. As teens from around the world gather at SuperCamp, they are inspired to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve, and they acquire learning and life skills that empower them to thrive in all areas of their life.
Bobbi DePorter, president of Quantum Learning Network, founder of SuperCamp is the author of more than a dozen books on teaching, learning, and teens, including Excellence in Teaching and Learning—The Quantum Learning System, The Seven Biggest Teen Problems and How to Turn Them into Strengths, The 8 Keys of Excellence Principles to Live By, and The Quantum Upgrade Series (six books for students based on SuperCamp’s curriculum: Quantum Learner, Quantum Reader, Quantum Writer, Quantum Memorizer, Quantum Thinker, and Quantum Note-Taker. Read More…