As human beings, most of us crave stability, the habits of the everyday. There’s a good evolutionary reason for this: For millions of years, unpredictability and uncertainty were tantamount to danger. There are plenty of benefits to having a routine — it lowers our stress levels and is a building block of good health. The “comfort zone” exists for a reason: to keep us comfortable.
Still, there is such a thing as getting too comfortable. While we may feel safer in a routine, a fear of the unknown can also cause us to live life on autopilot. Too much stability has been scientifically linked to a lack of growth or learning in our lives. As the old adage goes: “Old ways won’t open new doors.” Staying in your comfort zone can restrict you, cutting you off from new experiences or from taking a leap toward what you really want.
Maybe you’re aware it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, but you don’t know quite where to start — old habits die hard, after all. These 13 quotes can help give you that gentle nudge out the proverbial door — and into exciting new territory.
Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.
— Neil Gaiman
Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.
— Anthony Bourdain
Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.
— Brené Brown
If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
— Dale Carnegie
[People] make their best work when they’re riding that wave and a little bit uncomfortable. Sell your own myth, but never buy it.
— St. Vincent, musician
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
— Lao Tzu
Great people do things before they’re ready.
— Amy Poehler
Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.
— Louis E. Boone, author
Sometimes the place you are used to is not the place you belong.
— William Wheeler, screenwriter
And the thing about blooming is, nothing about the process is easy. It requires every part of you to stretch upward, with your roots firmly planted in the ground; and in the sun, and in the rain, and wind, you stand anyway, even against the pull of the soil. And through it all, one day you will see all along you were transforming.
— Morgan Harper Nichols, musician
Comfort can be dangerous. Comfort provides a floor but also a ceiling.
— Trevor Noah
A bird is safe in its nest — but that is not what its wings are made for.
— Amit Ray, spiritual leader
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
— Maya Angelou
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