Science talks about open and closed systems. This concept has direct application to the way we behave as individuals. Whether it is a personal growth or personal suffering experience the idea of visualizing an open or closed system has significance.
A closed system is rigid and non-resilient. It has little or no interaction with the environment and does not evolve. An open system, on the other hand, is adaptable, resilient because of the ability and choice to grow and evolve.
As human beings we are a complex open system designed to grow, change and evolve through learning and life experiences. If we stretch and allow ourselves to move out of our comfort zones we are forced to handle new situations and learning occurs. We become more resilient to the ups and downs that characterize our lives. The more we experience life the more resilient we can become.
Resiliency is tantamount to confident living. Knowing you can handle circumstances in life offers a sense of well being. The trick seems to be to allow or even force ourselves to risk experiencing new situations without becoming overwhelmed with the changes. If change, in general, is so overwhelming, maybe taking small steps could be the answer.Just as an athlete trains to run a race, for example, they do so in stages. They don’t simply go out and decide they are going to run a 10k race and achieve their best time on the first go of it. They work up the strength and endurance by pushing their bodies bit by bit until they are able to perform at the level they so desire.
If we think about this analogy, the same is true of our emotional well being. Staying in our own comfort zone may help us feel, temporarily, more at ease or secure but over time our open, complex systems need greater stimulation, more experiences to thrive. There is a major difference between surviving versus thriving. Our emotional well being is predicated on the assumption that as life happens to us, regardless of the difficulty of our experiences, we will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start once again on our chosen path in life. It is, indeed, a challenge to push our comfort zones but it is invaluable to our overall happiness.
The choice is always up to us. Pushing ourselves to experience the new and different can cause all of us discomfort and a momentary feeling of being unsure. However, after each new experience we are basically moving up the next step on the ladder to greater peace, acceptance and resiliency.
Sure sounds to me like it is worth the try! Have a great few days!