Last October, as I handed over my keys to my beloved apartment that I had called home for 3 years, I cried. It was a major moment of resistance, but one I needed to go through. My fiancé and I were about to move to Costa Rica and closing the door to our first home together was terrifying. My fiancé saw my panic and reassured me we were making the right decision. To build the life we wanted, we had to get out of our comfort zone.
Let me back up for a moment: last summer I began to feel underwhelmed by my life and overwhelmed by the fact that life just wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Then came the opportunity to change it all: the offer to move down to Costa Rica for several months, followed by an offer letter from EpicSelf to be a fellow in March.
It was everything I needed and wanted. The time in Cotsa Rica would hold the time for me to get clear on what I wanted and the Fellowship would give me the space to make it happen. It was daunting and exciting, mostly because this was pushing me way out of my comfort zone on so many levels.
Here is why getting out of your comfort zone is so important:
1. New Perspectives
Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our day to day lives that we start living in auto-pilot. When we are outside our comoft zone, we become sharp. We take in all sorts of new information and have to process it and react. This awakens our creative platforms so that we can think with new clarity.
2. Meeting New People
I have met so many new people in Costa Rica which really forces you to explain why you are here. I’ve changed the story a few times which has helped me drive down into why I am really here and what I want to attain. We often don’t tell our closest friends and family what we do on a semi-regular basis but being in situations where you have to forces you to get real with yourself.
3. New Experiences
Moving to Costa Rica was one kind of get out of my comfort zone. Doing new things is another. This past week I hikes the second hardest hike of my life at Nauyaca Falls. I was channeling my inner Cheryl Strayed a lot. But here is what I learned: my body is stronger that I think it is and if I trust my body more, I will experience more. I wouldn’t have pushed myself back In Raleigh the way I did this week here.
4. Appreciation and a New Attitude
Costa Ricans live by Pura Vida – or the good life. This shift has made me calmer, more aware, and more appreciative. Yes, I miss home, but I appreciate not only what has entered my life, but also what is so important back at home, like loved ones. I would never have had this mindset back at home. This new way of looking at life was hard at first but now I don’t see how I could see it anyway else.
Almost five months after turning in our keys later I am stronger. I have a stronger understanding of what I envision for my life, a new business plan and company, a deeper connection to my body and spirit, and am new job starting in 3 weeks. Now of this would have happened if I had stayed stuck in my bubble and not pushed myself to live outside my comfort zone.