We’re all familiar with our own personal comfort zones. They are unique for every individual, but essentially they’re a place where our subconscious puts all of our habits. The things we do without thinking, the things we enjoy, and the things we find, well, comfortable.
The problem is that while we remain in our comfort zones, generally we’re not learning or growing as people. Being too scared to step out of your comfort in the long term can prevent you from achieving your goals or improving your level happiness.
Growth is uncomfortable – so if we want to achieve growth in any area of life, we need to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
In this article, I’ll share some key tips and insights to help you step out of your comfort zone.
One: Remember there’s a first time for everything
When considering stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new, a way to make it easier for yourself is to remember that the majority of what’s in your comfort zone now didn’t start there.
You probably weren’t comfortable when you joined your current job, but I’ll take a guess and say now you are. You weren’t comfortable the first time you drove a car, but you probably are today.
At some point in our lives we do everything for the first time, however as these new things become habits embedded into our daily lives, they move from unfamiliar and new to feeling comfortable – often without us even realising it.
Two: Acknowledge the challenge
Accept there are going to be challenges that come with stepping out of your comfort zone in any area of life, otherwise you’d still be inside your comfort zone. One way to come to terms with this when you’re feeling nervous about doing something new is to imagine the worst possible outcome of what you’re going to do and think about how you would deal with it if that occurred.
For example, public speaking is something many people fear and avoid in order to prevent embarrassment. If you decide to start developing your public speaking skills you could start small by speaking or presenting more frequently in team environments. The worst thing that could happen here is that you get nervous and stumble a little bit through what you’re saying. Given the amount of people who fear public speaking, chances are if this were to happen, everyone would understand, and maybe not even notice.
Often the repercussions of trying something new aren’t as bad as we imagine, and if you’re armed with a plan on how to deal with a negative consequence you’ll probably feel more in control.
Three: Think of the benefits
It’s human nature to focus on the negatives or the worst that could happen, but remember to flip that and consider all the benefits that could come with trying something new. Consider the opportunities it will create and how it could unlock a new level of growth.
Four: Accept it’s okay to fail
Remind yourself that things don’t always work out the first time. Failure is a normal part of life and in fact, there aren’t many successful people in this world who haven’t taken a risk and failed at some point.
If things don’t go the way you want, think about what you can learn from it and start the process again. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that this is exactly what personal growth is supposed to feel like.
Consistently committing to getting out of your comfort zone can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding.
If you can do small things often enough and for long enough, your comfort zone will expand and you’ll find yourself quickly growing as a person. The things that once scared you, will soon begin to become part of your regular routine, and you’ll wonder why you were ever concerned in the first place.