graphic © eminentlyquotable.com | photo – Publicdomainpictures.net
“If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.”
Trying out new things contribute to personal growth which leads to self-actualization. Located at the peak of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is defined by Maslow himself as “What a man can be, he must be.” It refers to the desire for self-fulfilment, one that can be achieved through getting out of one’s comfort zone.
Every person has a strong impulse to grow, said psychologist Abe Arkoff. However, there are roadblocks along the way that interfere with one’s progress. One of them is the “I’m stuck” syndrome coined by Harold Bloomfield and Robert Kory, authors of “The Holistic Way to Health and Happiness”. As implied by the name, it is the tendency to stay stagnant because of routine and the fear of the unknown.
According to psychologist Rich Walker, people who try various experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones compared with people who have fewer experiences. In another study by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, she suggested that the optimal ratio of positive to negative emotion is 3 to 1 and below 11 to 1. Once the ratio of positive and negative events hits 1 to 1, the person becomes vulnerable to disorders such anxiety and depression.
To quote a Chinese proverb: “Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.” Taking risks requires courage and getting out of the comfort zone, but it takes one nearer to self-actualization which is the highest form of satisfaction.