Getting out of your comfort zone

comfort zoneI am and probably will always be an introvert. While I’m fully capable of initiating and engaging in conversation with strangers, it’s not something I seek out voluntarily, nor is it something I enjoy. But here I am, 3 months into my new job as Campus Representative for Kaplan Inc; a job in which approaching strangers, engaging in small talk and promoting Kaplan’s services describes my role in its entirety. Needless to say, it has not been the most comfortable experience for me, but it’s been an amazing learning experience and I feel it has benefited my personal development more than any job I have ever taken upon.

If you read my bio on the blog, you would know I am currently in pursuit of medicine; a job in which knowledge plays a large part, but patient interaction and engagement plays an arguably even larger role, especially with the rising stress on patient-centered care. I have realized and openly admit that I indeed lack those skills in conversation and interpersonal relationships required for my career goal, and am extremely grateful to have the uncomfortable, but welcomed pressure of developing them at this job.

While anxiety isn’t something that should necessarily be seeked, studies have shown that a little bit of anxiety and discomfort can be beneficial. In published study, when a little bit of anxiety was induced in mice, they actually performed better at a given task than they did when they were in their comfort zones.

So next time you come across some task, decision, or job offer that’s out of your comfort zone, I say take a leap of faith, and give it a try it. Discomfort only lasts a short while, but new skills and experiences are long-lasting. 🙂

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