Why may it be hard?

Comfort Zones are named in such a way as they indicate protection and shielding. They allow activities to be done at a low anxiety level.

Though to further develop as maturing adults it is important to reach out of our comfort zone and aim towards something that may seem unachievable. This can lead to anxiety and discomfort however in this blog we look at ways to overcome this anxiety and why this may occur. Progress is only made when mistakes are made.

Statistics show that individuals may fret to leave the boundaries of their limits as they are uncomfortable with making mistakes and being proven wrong. However, it is imperative to understand that this is a learning curve and as life does push back sometimes.

During this age and time, being judged by your peers is something that really has an effect on individuals.

This is called the “Spotlight Effect”.

As young adults, we perceive ourselves as the centre of attention and believing that everyone around us only sees our actions. Every individual sees themselves as the centre of attention because they always have the spotlight on themselves. Actually, this effect is taking place in everyone’s lives and we all see ourselves as the heroes of the story. We are but of our own story.

In reality, everyone is too busy with their own spotlight to be judging someone else so self-confidence is of the highest importance and should be developed within everyone in order to succeed.

Coming out of comfort zones may also be hard as opportunities may not be available or ones that may have appealed to you.

Opportunities are always available however due to the unappealing nature of boundary crossing, it may have never crossed to you that this is the very opportunity that will push you.

As aspiring medics, dentists and vets, coming out of our comfort zones is something that will have to be done however learning to accept that theseopportunities are not there as negatives but are there to aid in the development of yourself!

The importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone?

It is paramount to push yourself.

Pushing your limits is reported to have massive positive effects on mental and physical health. If this is done time-to-time it can result in a positive response to difficult unexpected situations.

Our brain and body hate change. This is due to the ton of energy it already uses on a daily basis and change usually brings more energy that has to be used. This is also important because when more energy is used it also results in a more fit and healthy individual.

Our brain craves routine and routine has its benefits such as getting work done.

However, leaving comfort zones means that development can occur and this cannot be done by routine.

Having growth mindsets is related to encountering uncomfortable situations when we go through them.

Our brains have been wired to expect the worst. Studies show that when individuals are put in a positive and negative situation, they react to the negative session in a stronger manner. Our brain is wanting to protect us which is why coming out of our comfort zones may seem like risks however development comes with reasonable risks and pushing our “so-called” boundaries that all reside within our head.

The journey to success may seem distant and impossible however our own development will allow us to become independent adults.

What activities can be done to push yourself out of your comfort zone?

Now that we have established the importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, the next stage is to actually step out of your comfort zone!

Here are some things you can do and make use of in order to achieve this.

First off, make use of Medic Mentor, it is a great resource. It is so rich in content and it is all tailored to help you as an individual develop fundamental skills such as confidence, you could start by enrolling on to the Medical Leadership Programme or even the Awards Programme.

Secondly, start saying yes more often. This is such a simple action but has shown to bring many opportunities to people, and it is crucial to seize these opportunities where possible. Saying yes to get involved in activities should do the trick.

Thirdly, take small steps to build up to your ultimate goal. By simply doing smaller things that relate to your goal, you can make a big difference in your confidence and self-esteem.

For example, you could begin with presenting in front of your family and gradually build up to your school and then a local level and so forth.

By doing this individuals are able to develop their presenting skills whilst also enabling them to comfortably step out of their comfort zone over time.

Remember to be kind to yourselves, if you don’t do so well out of your comfort zone initially, you should acknowledge the fact that you have decided to step out of it in the first place.

Underachieving is something that everyone fears, but it is essential to recognise that this is only one small bump on the path of success!

How to overcome the anxiety surrounding this?

Stepping out of your comfort zone can generate anxiety and fear in a large proportion of individuals, however, this issue can be solved if the correct mindset is present and can help us achieve what we desire whenever and wherever.

There are a number of techniques that you can incorporate into tackling this overwhelming feeling.

Here are some that may be worth considering:

● Focus on the positives that this opportunity will bring – Remember that the motive behind stepping out of your comfort zone is to develop your skills and essentially make you a better person. Think about how this chance could positively impact your life and how it perhaps outweighs the anxiety that comes along with it.

● Do something that you enjoy – It is important to unwind before or after taking part in an activity that is outside your comfort zone. Whether that be physical exercise, playing an instrument or watching your favourite TV series, it is crucial that you set some time aside to let yourself de-stress and participate in something that uplifts your mood.

● Talk to someone about how you’re feeling – Letting your feelings out can have a major impact on your wellbeing. You will feel as though you have gotten rid of your anxiety that you otherwise would have bottled up and tortured yourself with. As a result, it is possible to receive more support and advice on how to overcome your anxiety and explore in depth where exactly it is stemming from.

Having said that, if you feel like you do not know anyone who would be appropriate to discuss this with or would prefer not to tell, then talk to your GP or look out for online support groups and charities such as Young Minds, SMART recovery, 7 cups of tea or even us.

– Sanshika and Shraddha!

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My name is Erin Kelly.  I’m a second year medical student at the University of Glasgow.  I’m twenty years old.  My favourite colour is pink.  I like dancing, swimming and listening to music.  In 2018 I was diagnosed with depression and...

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