A comfort zone is a low-stress situation or place where you feel at ease and/or safe. Staying within your comfort zone is appealing because it avoids risk. Opening yourself up to the unfamiliar is usually more challenging, but allows for potential new experiences, skills improvement, and opportunities for both professional and personal growth.
Your comfort zone is tempting. It’s that comfy couch that calls you over, wraps you with warmth, and then sulks you deeper into its core. It’s seductive. But linger in it a little too long and it becomes harder to stand up again—the gravitational pull is too strong.
And that’s the reason you stay stagnant where you are.
You’re not in motion or moving out. When you’re not moving, you’re not exploring. And when you’re not engaging in new experiences, you’re not learning or building new skills—you’re just there, existing in time, but not evolving through it.
The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.
In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.
Inspiring Life provides you with the 5 steps to come out of your comfort zone.
5 steps to come out of comfort zone.
1. Discover more about the challenge.
First, what does it mean to get out of your comfort zone? The more you know about a new challenge or situation, the less scary it becomes. You can overcome your fear of the unknown by finding out what you are getting into. Reviewing tutorials and articles online, reading books about the topic, and talking to subject experts can help reduce any uncertainty. After collecting enough information, you’ll have clearer expectations and better knowledge as you prepare to handle the task.
2. Devise a plan.
Next, you’ll want to create an action plan to expand your boundaries. Start by identifying the major obstacles you’ll encounter with this new challenge and what you’ll do to overcome them. Then, write down each step you’ll take to get out of your comfort zone, starting with the easiest task. You can also create benchmarks or mini-goals to track your progress.
3. Take small steps.
Taking small steps outside your comfort zone allows you to slowly familiarize yourself with a new situation and gain the confidence needed to achieve your goal. Divide your main goal into smaller, more manageable tasks so it won’t seem too overwhelming.
It’s said that the longest journey starts with a single step, and this is true. People may have a goal of running a marathon, but since that distance is so daunting, they don’t start.
If you have a goal and break it down into doable segments, that you then start doing, your attitude will change. You’ll be able to think positively about this goal because you are on the move toward it.
4. Stay positive.
As you try to leave your comfort zone, you have to ignore — or better yet, overcome — the negative feelings that may prevent you from achieving your goal. While you should prepare yourself to face unfavorable situations, try to stay positive and convince yourself you can handle any negative outcomes. See negative situations as opportunities to learn how to break free from your comfort zone.
5. Surround yourself with a supportive group of people.
Keep company with the ones who will uplift you, not the ones who will shut you down. The ones who you will see your enthusiasm and cheer you on, not the ones who will dampen it with vain. Your environment will play a big role here. Let go of the critics and hang onto the supporters. There’s nothing bleaker than having your spirit wrecked because of someone’s lingering pessimistic presence.