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Every day in DARE the Youth Specialist AoD Program team challenge young people to try new things and get outside of their comfort zone, so Youth Specialist AoD Practitioner Peta Finnegan thought it might be time for the team to practice what they preach.

‘Getting outside of your comfort zone allows you to try new things and experience new opportunities that you may not have done before. Research shows that starting small is the way to go. By starting small, you can ‘test the waters’ on new experiences without making big changes. 

‘I have a very strong housework routine – so for me it was washing the dishes in a different order – this may seem small, but when you have an inbuilt routine of a way that you do something, it can be difficult to break that routine!’ Peta shared.

A comfort zone is a situation or environment where you feel safe and at ease within your environment and this is something the DARE team strive for young people to achieve in the program. While a comfort zone serves a purpose to help you feel safe and at ease, the first step in getting out of it is to recognise when your comfort zone isn’t serving a healthy purpose or allowing you to live to your full potential.

Making changes can be hard and by starting small you can allow yourself the chance to try something and if it works, great, but if not, that’s ok and you can try something else. Getting out of a comfort zone is different for all different people. Young people in DARE work to outline their own specific goals around getting themselves out of their comfort zone with the team supporting them along their journey.

Team DARE are all working on getting themselves out of their comfort zones in small ways so as to develop empathy with clients who are making (sometimes massive) changes to their daily lives and routines that they acknowledge have served for them a purpose for a long time.

Here are the rest of the DARE teams Comfort Zone challenges!

  • Jess – wearing clothes she has in her cupboard that she isn’t totally comfortable wearing to build up my confidence and try new styles.
  • Kate – Go for morning ocean dips to increase mental health and try something completely new that has always scared her a little bit (Kate DOES NOT like to be cold).
  • Gabi – Leaving at a different time to get to work – anyone who knows Gabi knows that she is very prompt and always on time so leaving 5 minutes later for Gabi is stepping wayyyy outside of her comfort zone!

The team are going to try new things each week and are going to be tracking the way it makes them feel on their Instagram page –  @daresouthwest.  They would love others to follow along and even let them know what they did to step out of their comfort zone!

Youth Specialist AoD Practitioner –
Peta Finnegan
  • Start Small! You don’t need to make massive changes immediately – test the waters and see how you go. You can always up your game as time goes on.
  • Re-frame how you feel – sometimes you can feel nervous about trying something new and this might be butterflies in your stomach, sweating or racing heart beat – BUT this can also be the same way you feel when you are excited! Trust yourself and know that you wouldn’t put yourself at harm to try something new.
  • Learn from what doesn’t work – if you try something new and it doesn’t work out exactly how you wanted it to, that’s ok! That opens up the opportunity to try something else! Don’t be hard on yourself; you need to try new things to find out what works for you and what challenges you.