Your comfort zone – that place in your life well-worn by routine. It’s a place where you are less likely to encounter stress and risk, but it’s also devoid of excitement or challenge. It’s a place safely rooted in the ordinary. What could you add to your life if you were willing to step beyond your everyday boundaries?

To live up to our potential this coming year, we need to step outside our comfort zone to one called Optimal Anxiety. That’s right, anxiety. Optimal anxiety levels are just enough to increase performance and are only reached when we step beyond our ordinary comfort level. While too much anxiety hinders productivity, just enough will take us to the next level of performance.

When You Leave Your Comfort Zone…

You’ll be PREPARED for the new and unexpected.

Let’s not pretend that fear isn’t limiting us. We all have ideas and dreams that we would act on, if only we weren’t afraid of failure, embarrassment, or even success. Instead, challenge that fear by giving yourself an opportunity to confront it directly. By tapping into our optimal anxiety zone and taking risks, we can train ourselves to manage uncertainty.

You’ll become more PRODUCTIVE.

Comfort stifles productivity. You lose the ambition and the power to be more than what you already are or seek more than you have. You fail to realize the possibilities that come with expanding your horizons. Pushing your boundaries further out will allow you to grow as a person.

You’ll expand your creative POTENTIAL.

New experiences force us to develop new skills and adapt to new circumstances. Give yourself the opportunity to deal with a new situation as it unfolds. You may surprise yourself with your ability to figure out your next move as you go.

You’ll PROPEL yourself to new heights.

Once you expand your creative potential, make the resolution to be unstoppable. Don’t let fear or discomfort stand in the way of achieving incredible results in your life. Some examples of things to try might be taking new classes, asking someone out, or starting a new fitness routine. When the usual stumbling blocks come up — and they will — resolve to try something different in response. Instead of retreating back to the familiar, be bold. Your next level of achievement is just beyond what you can safely see from where you are.

Security is something we all can appreciate. But if we keep doing what we have always done, we will keep getting the same results we already have. Take your life to the next level. Embrace the uncertainty and take on something that will make a difference in your life!

By Stacy Hovan