3 Steps To Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone (And Why You Need To)
What happens when you dare to get uncomfortable? Life looks risky, you might fail, things will change. What happens when you DON’T dare to get uncomfortable? You won’t know what you’re capable of and you won’t experience all the achievements and success found out there - beyond your comfort zone.
Leaning into what’s uncomfortable will help you achieve your goals and increase your emotional resilience along the way.
So, how to take that risk, do something new, face down that uncomfortable this-might-go-pear-shaped feeling?
Here’s how to get outside your comfort zone - and why you need to…
1. Do the research
Knowledge is power - it’s true. The more you learn about a challenging activity the less scary and ‘out there’ it will seem. Anxious feelings come from a fear of the unknown so arm yourself with information.
Let’s say you want to leave your comfortable uninspiring office job for a creative freelance career but the uncertainty is terrifying. Gather as much how-to information as possible on your new career idea. Once you have all the information, start working on a plan and start taking small steps. Perhaps the freelance experience starts with working for friends and relatives while you build a client base. Perhaps it’s undertaking an online course or membership. If going to the gym is outside your comfort zone, a small step would be to simply turn up and try walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes.
Get all the information, have a plan and take baby steps. No need to blast through your comfort zone with skydiving (unless you want to!) simply nudge the boundaries, and expand them as you go.
2. Start seeing yourself in a new way
Once you’ve taken some small steps outside your comfort zone, your confidence will grow.
The more you push your own boundaries the more you will prove to yourself what you’re capable of.
Keep track of this. Record your wins even if they are small. You turned up at the gym? That’s a win. You enrolled in a course? That’s a win. Watch and record as you become accustomed to operating a step or two outside your comfort zone. Start seeing yourself as someone who dares. Someone who dares takes on new challenges with the certainty that it’ll be uncomfortable, there will be fails and setbacks BUT the rewards for being daring are reason enough to keep on doing it.
3. Develop a Yes mindset
When we are safely cocooned in our comfort zones we are effectively saying No to new experiences. We turn down opportunities and decide against being daring because it feels uncertain. Saying Yes – especially when you’re not completely ready – pushes you to handle a challenge. Handling that challenge leads to more and more Yes moments until you are effectively in a new zone. Saying Yes to work opportunities, new friendships and new experiences expands and enriches your life.
Ask yourself ‘Does this scare me - but do I want what’s on the other side?’ Then say Yes. Remember, do the research, take small steps, expand the boundaries of your comfort zone as you go and, when an opportunity comes along you know only fear is holding you back from, say Yes.