Everyone has a comfort zone. It’s that place where you feel secure because you know what to expect. Risk and stress are minimised when you’re in this safe place, meaning it’s very easy to stay there and avoid anything that makes you uncomfortable.
While it may be scary, there are many rewards for stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing new experiences. This applies for kids as well as adults.
Courage and curiosity are two of the most valuable qualities parents can nurture in children. Kids who aren’t afraid to try new things gain many benefits over those who are too afraid to stretch themselves.
Here are five benefits kids gain when they step outside their comfort zone:
- Confidence. True confidence comes from conquering fears and knowing that you can meet any challenge life throws your way. The only real way to gain this kind of confidence is by taking risks and overcoming hurdles. This is how children find out what they’re made of. Those who remain in a safe cocoon throughout their childhood are never forced to confront fear and uncertainty, and their lives will be poorer for this. As we all know, success breeds success.
- Resilience. Life is not all about winning, and no one is successful at everything they attempt. Children need to learn how to fail gracefully and to keep persevering with tasks they find difficult. If they are shielded from difficult or uncomfortable situations, they lose valuable opportunities to develop resilience. This is one of the greatest qualities to possess when life gets tough, and those without it often find themselves at a loss when things don’t go their way.
- Stress management. We’re taught to think of stress as a bad thing to be avoided, but stress can push people to perform at their best. Anything in life worth striving for is going to cause some tension, and children need to learn how to manage these feelings. Stepping outside their comfort zone allows kids to get to know themselves and how they react under pressure, helping them develop stress management techniques.
- Leadership Qualities. Leaders don’t hang back and stick to the same comfortable routine day in day out because it’s easy and safe. They step up to the plate and take risks, inspiring others to do the same. Encouraging kids to be brave and strong is a great way to create leaders who stand out from the crowd.
- A Spirit of Adventure. A safe life is a boring life. Without challenges and risks there can be no growth. Kids need to stretch themselves and reach for the stars to have the rich and meaningful lives they deserve.
Encourage kids to be brave by:
- Being courageous in your own life
- Trying new things together
- Praising their efforts
- Not feeding their fears
- Taking one step at a time
The pace of life is only going to get faster, and those who have the skills to deal with uncertainty and change will flourish above those who don’t.