What is this mystical "comfort zone" and why is society always trying to tell us to break out of it? What are the benefits of trying something new? What can we get out of new experiences that we couldn't glean from simply living life?

If you're anything like me, people are always telling you to "step outside of your comfort zone" and "try something new." Why in the world would I want to do that?! My comfort zone is exactly that — comfortable. Why risk failure when I know what I'm good at already?

The answer to that question, my friends, is simple. The reason to step out of your comfort zone is to learn about yourself! For example — I am not naturally a writer. I have always enjoyed reading, but I have never tried sharing my writing with other people. So when I applied to write for Odyssey, I was secretly thinking, "What are you doing? You know no one wants to listen to you, right?"

Turns out, I'm excited about sharing my work. I'm excited about learning more about myself and more about other people through the experience. I am looking forward to watching myself progress. Stepping out of your comfort zone is all about perspective — if you believe you will fail, you will. If you believe you will succeed and you do, that's fantastic! If you believe you will succeed and fail, you will learn something about yourself that you didn't know before and could lead to a success in the future.

Think about the first time you learned multiplication. It took practice and you made mistakes before you succeeded and had it memorized. That's exactly how life is — you make mistakes and continuously improve in order to become successful. As a society, we are far too concerned with failure as opposed to looking at it as a way in which to improve. I'm a victim of this, as is everyone else, but it's the change in perspective that will allow you to change your mindset.

In order to grow, you must step out of your comfort zone. Think about the last time you accomplished something you were really proud of. Was it hard for you? Did you struggle? Did you have to try multiple times before you succeeded? Did someone tell you it wasn't possible, and then you achieved a goal? If the answer to any of these questions was "yes," then you stepped out of your comfort zone. ONLY outside of these zones will we learn, grow, and achieve.

For example, in this article from The Huffington Post, stepping out of your comfort zone can make you more creative, perform better, and can even help you age better! Trying something new every now and again can have its perks!

So, friends, what are you going to try this week that you've been too scared, too busy, too tired, etc. to attempt? Are you going to go to that hard workout class that you've heard about? Are you going to ask for that raise you've been meaning to ask your manager about? Are you going to start a blog and write down your thoughts for the whole world to read? What are YOU going to do that will allow you to step out of your comfort zone? Comment below if you did something this week that you were really proud of or that challenged you!