Many of us like to stay within our comfort zone and we convince ourselves that we have everything we need within the zone and do not need to stray from there. Once we take the chance and move beyond our fears of failure, being the center of attention and other issues, and venture outside the borders, we may find that although it initially makes us ill at ease, we may reap some benefits.
These benefits may be external items such as a promotion, new interest or new love, or internal items such as discovering something about us, gaining self-confidence, and opening the door to new opportunities as our comfort zone expands. The journey of moving outside one’s comfort zone is one of discomfort, excitement, one step forward, one step back, and pushing yourself to the edge.
Halloween gives us an opportunity to dress in an unexpected costume that may be contrary to usual style. Halloween provides the chance to step out of character reach beyond our comfort zone. Halloween enables us to show off another part of ourselves that may be different from the actual uniform or unofficial suit-and-tie uniform. These parts include, for example, the confident manager, the baseball fan, the KISS fan, the scared teenager, or the child who hated clowns and still hates costumes. Although we can bring different facets of our lives out for Halloween, we cannot pretend to be something that we are not, because it is very emotionally draining. Integrating our parts is a lifelong process as we develop new interests, grow and enter new phases of our lives. Halloween is a great opportunity to bring forward a usually undisclosed part or interest that may be different from the persona we adopt for the various roles we play in life.
Whether we put on a mask for Halloween or reveal a new part of ourselves, Halloween will impact how others perceive us. This is no different from other times when we “dress” or “act” the part, such as formalwear, wedding dress or dressing for a date or job interview. At the same time, we need to be true to ourselves and feel comfortable with the Halloween and other choices we make in life. When it comes time to step out of the comfort zone, whether Halloween or otherwise, there are some tips to remember:
Everyone has their own problems, issues and responsibilities and there is no need to be self-conscious because very few people are paying as much attention to you as you think.
- New challenges will help you to grow and learn something new about yourself and the world
- You can learn from failure. What could you have done differently? How can you take what you learned and use it for the next new comfort-zone expansion?
- Moving out of your comfort zone for one challenge will make you more open to new possibilities and more self-confident about the next change that comes along.
What keeps us in our comfort zones? Is it fear of failure or the potential that you won’t like what happens? In either case, the best strategy is to pick yourself up and move on to the next challenge. Sometimes the fear is not about the actual event. A fear of costumes may go back to when you had a big rip in the back of a costume. That can be avoided in the future by assuring the size is correct and wearing a T-shirt or long underwear under your costume so you won’t be exposed if there is a rip.
When writing this blog, I came across a TEDx talk from Ken Hughes. In the talk he explained how for 2014, every day he stepped out of his comfort zone to do something new. While some of his tasks may be beyond the realm of possibility for many of us such as piercing someone’s ears, and wearing only a towel to the supermarket, the concept is intriguing and can be applied to our own lives on a smaller scale as we take risks and remain open to new opportunities, find new ways to solve problems, or even just making small changes on a daily basis such as speaking up at a status meeting, trying a new food, or reading a book instead of watching TV.
Happy Halloween. What thing scares you that you are willing to try this Halloween?