As much as it may pain us to do it, stepping out of our comfort zone is where we find growth. Remaining where we feel comfortable often leads us to miss out on important and exciting opportunities. This can lead to both regrets and being trapped in the same routine. If you’ve had enough of letting your fears dictate your life, then this article will give you some doable steps to get out of your comfort zone.
Here are 7 techniques to help you do just that:
1. Acknowledge what you are afraid of
An important step to getting out of your comfort zone is to acknowledge what it is that is holding you back. A good way of doing this is to set aside some time and write down your fears.
Set a 10-minute timer on your phone, mute all distractions and put into words what worries you about events that take you out of your comfort zone. Through writing our fears down on paper, it helps to release them from an unhelpful thought spiral that can linger in our mind.
2. Rationalize your fears
Now that you have your list of what you are afraid of, the next stage is to rationalize those feelings. A helpful step is to take each fear in turn and flip it on its head. This is a technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy to help those suffering from severe anxiety to view their thoughts more logically.
Consider the evidence for and against your fear and logically decide how likely it is that the worst-case scenario you are envisaging will come to fruition. By reducing negative thought patterns, you can pave the way to taking a step out of your comfort zone.
3. Think of what there is to gain when you get out of your comfort zone
The next step is to consider what you will gain when you break your routine. Think about what you want to achieve and how getting out of your comfort zone will enable you to do this. With a clear view of the benefits there are to be had from stepping out of your normal routine and behavior patterns, it makes stepping out of your comfort zone more appealing.
4. Start small
There is no need to jump in at the deep end when you wish to leave your comfort zone. Be kind to yourself and set yourself small targets as part of a plan to get to your desired destination.
If you’re afraid of public speaking, for instance, there is no need to sign yourself up to speak at a full-blown conference straight away. A much better idea is to set up trial events with people you trust to get yourself used to speaking in front of others. Then you can gradually build yourself up to the real event.
5. Learn from your experiences
When we step out of our comfort zone, and it doesn’t go to plan, it can be easy to let this reverse all of the positive steps you have taken. Make sure that you don’t see false starts as a failure but rather something to learn from for next time. Stepping out of your comfort zone is itself an achievement and it’s important to remember that.
6. Try a new environment
Another great way of getting out of your comfort zone is to change your familiar environment. Routine means going to the same places, which can stifle inspiration and spontaneity.
When we take different routes home, try different cafes, visit new towns or explore other unknown territories, it can spark a desire to explore other new outlets in our lives. It can trigger new thought patterns and encourage us to break away from our traditional habits.
7. Speak to someone you admire
It is not helpful always comparing yourself to others, as it can often lead to feelings of inadequacy. However, it can be helpful to speak to someone you trust who has achieved some of the things you are afraid of. You may find that they too have had to leave their comfort zone to reach their goals.
By talking to someone who is further ahead in the journey, you can gain some helpful advice and reassurance about your own journey ahead.
What getting out of your comfort zone will do for you
Following these doable steps to get out of your comfort zone should help to spark some major changes in your life. Staying where we feel comfortable can make us incredibly unproductive. By embracing change, it can give us the drive to get stuff done, as well as making it easier for us to deal with the unexpected in the future.
Broadening your horizons not only provides the opportunity to live a more fulfilling life, but it will also help you to rationalize your anxieties and push away unhelpful thoughts in the future about what you can and can’t do.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is not easy, but by taking it one step at a time you will be amazed at what you’re capable of achieving.
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone” – Roy T Bennett