Out With the Old, in With the New

Most of us love familiar places and people. We like to feel comfortable with our relationships, jobs, opinions, thoughts and anything else that is part of our daily lives. But what is so special about the comfort zone? What makes it so appealing?

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None of us like to feel frustrated, uncomfortable or stressed out, but oftentimes we choose to engage in new, unfamiliar situations, for future benefits. Since this article is about maintaining your progress, we’re going to focus on replacing our old habits with new, ‘fresh’ ones. In other words, we’re going to turn you into a person that embraces optimism and spontaneity. Progress cannot be maintained by using the same old mindset.

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Why Is 'the Old' so Appealing?

When we say ‘the old’ we’re actually referring to your comfort zone. In simple terms, the comfort zone is that small ‘area’ in which you can go about your daily activities while feeling totally safe and secure.

It’s a small universe comprised of habits, rituals and pre-established actions. From the inside, it looks like the most beautiful place in the world, but from the outside it looks just like a prison. This is a special kind of prison because in here, you’re the prisoner and the guard, at the same time. Furthermore, it’s a comfortable prison because you built it to serve your own personal needs. But if it’s comfortable, why do we call it a prison? Because it prevents you from being truly free.

Why Is It Easy to Stay in the Comfort Zone?

People who deal with social anxiety, tend to avoid certain anxiety-producing situations. By doing this, they narrow their ‘universe’ and restrict their social interaction to a limited group of people. Instead of facing an uncomfortable conversation, they avoid social interactions all together. From this point of view, it makes perfect sense because it’s easier to avoid a confrontation than to get involved and possibly feel humiliated. In other words, that delightful sense of security is what keeps us in the comfort zone. We want to end this part of the article by asking you one relevant question: How do you expect to bring meaningful change and exciting new opportunities into your life, if you’re still stuck in your old ways? 

When Should You Act?

In order to achieve your goals, it’s absolutely necessary to take action RIGHT NOW. Even when it comes to change, people with social anxiety tend to use the same old strategies. For example, they want to change but not right now. Maybe tomorrow or starting Monday. The thought of doing something completely new and out of their comfort zone is enough to scare them.

Why Should We Embrace 'the New'?

Embracing ‘the new’ means to have a certain degree of adaptability which is more than needed in our ever-changing environment. Today, being stuck in your old ways is completely dysfunctional and counterproductive. Our world is changing at a fast pace and we need to keep up in order to achieve our goals and live a happy life. New problems require new solutions. Exciting opportunities are available for those who are not afraid to take risks.

Bring Novelty Into Your Life!

Bringing novelty into your life sounds like a colossal task but if you adopt a step-by-step approach (as always), you’ll be able to progress at a slow and steady pace. Start by changing the most basic actions, like the way you tie your shoes or wash a plate. For instance, if you wash your dishes with a clockwise movement, try switching to a counterclockwise movement. If you’re right-handed, try eating with your left hand from time to time. If you prefer sleeping on the left side of the bed, try sleeping of the right side.

Why Do It?

The whole purpose of these small changes is to get your mind accustomed to the idea of ‘change’. Eventually, you’ll be able to visit new places and engage in new activities, without feeling anxious or worried. Until you get there, implementing minor changes into your life.

Full reference: 

(Nov 30, 2015). Out With the Old, in With the New. Retrieved Dec 19, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new

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