Be brave – step out of your comfort zone
The comfort zone – that wonderful place where your tracksuit pants and stained but much-loved Princess Diana commemorative coffee mug are free to roam. A place without hustle or hassle, a place of routine and familiarity.
But is it time you ventured out of your comfort zone and discovered if there is indeed more to life than the predictable cycle of the 8.10am bus, spaghetti Bolognese for dinner and Netflix?
When we think about stepping out of our comfort zones, we might be confronted with images of bunging jumping off cliffs or of celebrities in the jungle eating cockroaches. But the process need not be that dramatic. It may be as simple as becoming a volunteer.
Volunteering can open your eyes to a whole new world and take you many interesting places – from camping out under the stars helping with wildlife conservation projects to facing into the harsh realities of life for the disadvantaged who are doing it tough a mere three train stops away.
Benefits of shaking up your routine and trying something new through volunteering include.
1. Ignite new ideas
There is nothing like the new and unfamiliar to inspire fresh thinking in us – similar to the effect of a holiday. Surrounding ourselves with new sights, new people and new experiences inspires us and may just be help you with that big new idea for your work or personal life.
2. Meet new people
It is well documented that more and more people are feeling lonely or socially disconnected. Volunteering can help introduce you to a raft of new people with whom you may share similar interests or values. Love cooking? Help out preparing meals to feed those in need and meet fellow foodies. Passionate about education? Work with like-minded others to help out with literacy programs at your local library.
3. Learn something new
Whether volunteering becomes an ongoing part of your life or just a one-off experiment beyond the comfort zone, you will undoubtedly learn something new from the experience. Learning not only fuels our creativity but helps us deepen our understanding and perceptions of the world and ultimately gives us a huge sense of accomplishment and pride.
So why not surprise yourself, step out of your comfort zone and into a new challenge with volunteering. You don’t need to do it forever but the positive impacts may well last forever.