Many individuals struggle daily with making changes needed to better their lives in one way or another. It is human nature to want to improve, but improvement can be troublesome when one has to step out of their comfort zone. People are constantly seeking advice from others for validation of their decisions because as humans, we occasionally need someone to push us to make these uncomfortable decisions.
When I made the decision to move from Orlando to Boston, some of my family members and peers were skeptical. What young adult just moves to another state without a plan of action? And how can a person just do it so suddenly? I felt it was necessary to step out of my comfort zone over the past year because I desperately wanted to make a change in my day to day routine. Without further ado, here are five concrete reasons to why you should always challenge yourself and embrace change:
- Challenging yourself is vital in self-improvement: Trying something outside of your normal routine is so incredibly important when it comes to making self-improvements. If you are looking to change something, whether it be that you’re unhappy or just exhausted with your daily routine, the only way to make a difference in those feelings is to change something about it. Everyone struggles with change and new beginnings, but ultimately it’s the only way you’re going to improve upon yourself. I felt that I was doing the same thing in the same city and I just felt so dissatisfied with my life at that point. Even though opinions were thrown left and right, I knew I had to do what was best for me at the end of the day. And those that wanted me to be happy were cheering me on the whole time.
- Change allows you to better understand yourself: Putting yourself in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar environment can allow you to focus more on yourself. You may start to pinpoint exactly what you want and how want it. Getting used to a routine in a specific place can stall your personal development and distract you from digging deeper into who you are. Spending four months in Boston gave me the opportunity to discover what I truly wanted in life. I was given a fresh start where I knew no one and nothing around me. It’s like when you finish a book and start a new one. They’re two totally different stories and it feels satisfying to start something new and original.
- Change makes you appreciate the things you once had: If you’re like me before I challenged myself, you’re struggling to find the positives in your every day life. You feel pessimistic and just out of touch with your reality because you’re so tired of doing the same thing every day. However, whether it be a minor tweak in your daily routine or a significant change, you will recognize what you initially had once it’s not there. For example, I moved to Boston from Florida in the winter. This was a huge “culture shock” in a way. I felt the humidity was difficult to live through when I was living in Florida, but then I experienced trying to commute in the snow. I suddenly appreciated the days in Florida that were hot and muggy because I didn’t have to worry about my compact car sliding in the snow during my commute to work. Eliminating that one thing allows you to appreciate it more once it’s no longer around.
- Challenging yourself allows you to develop self esteem: Challenging your daily routine is so incredibly important when it comes to developing your character and how you feel about yourself. You find a new sense of purpose when your constantly finding ways to challenge yourself. Although routines are vital to a degree, doing the same thing every single day can begin to feel pointless and mentally exhausting. Although my experience in Boston was strenuous, both physically and mentally, I know I did the right thing because it allowed me to realize what I really needed to do to find a greater purpose for myself. Because of the decision I made to make a significant change, I know I no longer have to fear change, rather embrace it.
- Challenging yourself allows you to see your power: It’s difficult to know truly what you’re capable of until you put yourself in a position where you have never done something before. You can tell yourself every day that you CAN’T do something, but until you actually do it you never know. Many individual go their whole lives without challenging themselves and that’s when they start to feel a lack of purpose. They never discover the one thing that makes them special. Going to Boston gave me the opportunity explore a career that I felt miserable in a majority of the time. However, I still appreciated the opportunity because I knew by the end of my time there that I was in the wrong environment. I found my power and love for wanting to help others in a way where I am also helping them improve. Without this change to embrace, I never would’ve made the decision to become a teacher and pursue my masters degree.
“Fall in love with the journey and not with the outcome.”
-Maye Angelastro, LMHC