Conference organizers, whatever scares you when planning your event, plan to do it now!
That’s right, run to your fear and escape your conference comfort zone!
Why? Busting out of your conference comfort zone leads to a longer, happier, smarter life with increased confidence, gratification and satisfaction, to paraphrase author Ken Budd.
Too much monotony in your conference planning strategy can actually decrease your life expectancy.
That’s right! Doing the same thing, the same way, every time you plan your conference, and planning the same schedule and agenda can lead to a tedious profession. According to researchers at University of London, those that lead tedious lives are twice as likely to die young.
People who complain of high levels of boredom are at double the risk of dying from heart disease or a stroke than their counterpoints. They are also more likely to turn to smoking, drinking, drugs and other unhealthy habits say the researchers.
Yes, you can be bored to death!
Your Brain Is Begging For A Challenge
If your brain is a garden, new activities and challenges are mental manure, says Budd.
Trying something new, planning a new conference experience, breaking the habit of the old traditional conference schedule actually improves your cognitive capacity. It increases your brain’s plasticity and delays your neurological decline says neuroscientists and education researchers James Zull, Terry Doyle and Norman Dodge.
And it’s extremely beneficial to your conference attendees to mix it up! It helps them grow their brains too.
Every time you do something new and different and break your old habits, you fire new neurological synapses. It improves your neurological scaffolding. And it improves your mental health as well.
That’s why your brain is begging for a challenge!
Discomfort Leads To Happiness
“But I like my comfort zone,” you might say. “It feels safe and snug here. I don’t like change.”
Many of us won’t leave our comfort zones because of fear. That fear becomes a club that hangs over our head ready to hit us if we make a mistake. It keeps us from taking risks says author Alina Tugend.
And according to the Journal of Psychology and Aging, risk-taking diminishes for people over the age of 50. When we stop taking risks, we stop engaging the brain with new challenges which leads to diminished cognitive abilities.
Your life is like a snow globe. It’s a lot more fun when we shake it up says Budd.
If you keep on the same path, all the time, doing the same thing, the same way, every minute of every day of every month of every year, your brain will get bored. And boredom kills, although it does feel easy, comfy and secure! Boring can be a great comfort zone which can lure you to an early death.
Instead, we need to run to the fear. Mix it up. Do things differently.
Anxiety, fear and nervousness are not warning signs of danger. They are signs that you are considering moving forward says Dr. Susan Biali.
And remember, once you embrace change, your brain becomes more engaged!
Don’t get lured by your comfort zone or bludgeoned by fear of change. Instead embrace every opportunity to learn, challenge the brain and do it differently. Fire and wire your brain!
What are some tips you have for creating new habits of embracing risks and escaping the comfort zone? How can we shift our fear of doing something new and felling ignorant or stupid might actually be a good thing?
Theron Mathis says
Find out what events outside your niche are doing. For example, if you are a marketing conference, look at religious conference or sci-fi conventions and see if anything they are doing can be added to your own event.
The folks at Catalyst (a religious leadership conference) has done a great job incorporating elements outside the traditional religious space.