Comfort is a beautiful thing… we all know the exact feeling that comes with it. Whether it be the hot cup of coffee we drink in the morning to survive the day, the friends we see on campus or the familiar t.v. show we sit down to watch after a long day of school work, it is in these moments that we find peace and solitude. We can very much say that we find comfort in what is familiar to us, creating something known as our very own, “comfort zone.”
Since moving to Denmark, I have had to step way out of my comfort zone. I won’t even begin to explain my lack of tea situation, I often join my flatmates when I’m eating dinner and watch the news or a sitcom in Danish in hopes that I will some how learn even a word with the help of co-ordinating what’s being said with English subtitles and I am constantly interacting with a new face.
This may seem very comfortable, but in reality, through my days here, I have found the most simple way to find comfort in an unfamiliar situation is to have an open mind. It honestly makes things less stressful and more enjoyable. The thing about a comfort zone is that we don’t often notice the box we’ve allowed ourselves to be closed in. It is not uncommon for us to think that we will fear what is outside our box and we definitely don’t want to disturb the peace we’ve found.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is one of those things that is actually easier in real life than it is on paper. Here are a few pointers that I’ve found to be helpful.
- Introduce yourself and don’t sweat small talk: I think sometimes we hesitate to introduce ourselves to people just because we won’t know how to continue the conversation after. I’ve been told that Danes dislike small talk.. they don’t really talk about the weather like Canadians do.. This has actually made me realize that you should always allow a conversation to happen naturally. Things work out better this way 🙂
- Don’t be afraid to ask: We sometimes stay in our comfort zone because we’re afraid to find out about the alternative option. Knowledge isn’t something we should fear, nor is asking the wrong question something we should shy away from. We can only learn and create new perspectives from asking questions. Remember when you were younger and would always ask “Why this, and why that?”.. we did it for a reason.
- Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values: Stepping out of your comfort zone is one of the most invigorating feelings, but sometimes it is easy to lose sight of who we actually are. If you are ever being pressured to do something that conflicts with your values, that’s okay, you don’t have to do it. While it is okay to try new things, it’s equally important to maintain a balance between having an open mind and staying grounded.
That is all from me this week. I wish all listeners to take the time to think about their comfort zone, and then step out of it. It doesn’t have to be a big one, take your time. Finding solitude in an unfamiliar situation is best achieved with an open mind.