Why You Should Push Yourself out of Your Comfort Zone

Ella on bridge over river with mountains at Wast Water, The Lake District

This picture was scary to take. The ledge I was on was pretty narrow, but you wouldn't know that looking at the picture!

I went on a very last-minute camping trip last weekend. It was an incredible experience filled with adventure and fun. However, I almost didn't go. Inside I was torn between having an adventure and leaving my comfort zone. Had I listened to my anxious, comfortable side, I would probably be stuck in the same low-mood as I have been the past few weeks. Instead, I now feel motivated and like I'm living my life a bit more. Quite a difference, right?

I used to be very adventurous and care-free. I almost didn't question going away and leaving my home behind me for a while. I'm not entirely sure what's happened but somewhere within these last few years, I have become more afraid of leaving my comfort zone. How could it have crossed my mind that staying at home last weekend would have been right for me? Every night my dreams had been plagued with adventure - I knew it was what I was craving. So, how is it possible, that I nearly turned it down?

Sadly, it was so easy for me to think about the potential mishaps that I could experience along the way: bickering, tiredness, getting lost, getting a poor night's sleep. I thought of the negatives and then immediately thought of staying at home in the warm with my cat next to me. I was tempted to give in to this comfortable, soft evening. Yet at the back of my mind I knew that it wouldn't make me happy.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but it was actually my partner that convinced me to go camping last weekend. Without his motivation, I would have had another evening of nothingness, longing to be somewhere else.

It sounds stupid but when you have a busy and stressful lifestyle, 'adventure' can make you almost feel overwhelmed. I felt it when I went to the Seychelles last winter.

But enough with the doom and gloom! Pushing myself out of my comfort zone last weekend was the best thing I have done all year. It's one of the few times I have pushed myself and the rewards of this have been fantastic.

Ella at Wast Water, The Lake District

The great thing was, once I'd made that initial push to go, the rest was easy. As soon as we began our trip on the road, I felt like a different person. I was confident, excited and thinking about all the things we could do. My mind cleared. Instead of being busy with thoughts and dreams, I was able to focus on the here-and-now, making me feel more alert and less-drained. I forgot about all my worries back home and everyone else in the world. Everything was on that moment, that adventure.

I had an awful night's sleep whilst camping. Yet, strangely, I woke up feeling the best that I'd felt in ages. Clearly my constant tiredness is linked to not going out and doing things. Whether it's just a lack of motivation or a mental tiredness, I don't know. I can confirm that doing more things that I enjoy really helped that. My partner felt the same too.

Ella by river and forest in The Lake District

I've been back for nearly a week now and the effects of pushing myself out of my comfort zone are still present. I've been more motivated with work and just life in general. I feel like I have more of a purpose. Doing nothing every weekend can make you lose who you are. I wasn't doing what I wanted. My life was work, sleep, rest, repeat. There's not much else in there which can be dull. I also think I'm quite extreme with my drive to get out and see the world. I get incredibly agitated when I haven't been travelling for a while.

So, my message for you would be that if you have a dream to do something, do it. Even if it seems scary, if it's possible, why not take the chance? At the end of the day, I believe that we only regret the chances that we didn't take. Camping for 1 night was only a small step for me but it's a step in the right direction. Now, maybe I can have weekends away more often.

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