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Change is one of the hardest things for humans. You know the feeling…there’s something you’d really like to change, or improve, but fear creeps in, or we revert to old habits. But did you know that pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone (or often discomfort zone!) is really good for us?

But why should we change?

As Einstein taught us, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting different results. Change, however uncomfortable, is a necessary part of progress.

Trying something new helps us overcome fears, and to broaden our minds. When we try something challenging, we learn heaps about ourselves too. We’re often capable of more than we realised, so change helps us to achieve our potential.

Is change good for us?

It can be. Your brain loves trying new things because it makes us release happy hormones called endorphins. This can give you a buzz that lasts a while. Trying new things can also be a confidence boost, and it might just trigger an idea about where your future might lead.

Why is change so hard?

Changing too many things at once can be unsettling or confusing. Our existing habits are comfortable and require less effort.

Change is hardest when you have unrealistic expectations – for example, if you want to leave your comfort zone to run a marathon, you might need to have a training plan that builds up in stages, starting with a 5km Parkrun.

How can I improve my chances of success?

When you push yourself out of your comfort zone, there is no guarantee of success but there are definitely some behaviours that improve your chances.

Be clear about the benefits and remember why you want to do it in the first place. Some people put reminders on post-it notes to help them stay motivated.

Spending time around people with a similar goal can really help, too. Whether you want to learn to play a guitar or are aiming to master a sport you always wanted to try, you’re more likely to keep up the effort when the people around you share that passion.

Is it just about learning new skills?

Trying something new isn’t limited to the obvious. Consider a new way to deal with a tricky situation, or a fresh approach to a problem that never seems to go away. We all face roadblocks sometimes, and trying a different approach might just be what finally gets you past an obstacle that has been holding you back.

What if it doesn’t work out?

<p class=”p1″>That’s OK, not everything you try in life will be a blinding success but if you never give it a shot, you’re not giving yourself a chance to come out ahead – as Aussies like to say, you’ve got to be in it to win it.</p>
<p class=”p1″>Just remember, unsuccessful attempts are part of the journey. Learn from it, but if you really want something, don’t let it stop you.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>If you read about your favourite sports star, performer, or a scientist you admire, you can guarantee that they had a few missteps on the way to the top – it is how they handled it and persisted that led them to their goals.</p>
<p class=”p1″>You don’t have to try something wild and crazy to experience the rush. Just adding a new twist to a favourite activity can send the happy hormones into a spin. If you’re stuck in a rut, look at your daily routine and see where you can change things up a little.</p>

Ready for a positive change?

With so much to be gained, start by asking yourself, when was the last time you tried something for the first time? And then ask, ‘what’s stopping you’?

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