Life is full of opportunities to get out of the comfort zone, but grabbing hold of them can be challenging.
The ability to take that risk by stepping outside one’s comfort zone is the initial way one grows. But people are often afraid to take that first step.
In truth, comfort zones are not about comfort. It is about fear. Break the chains of fear to get out. And when you do, you will learn to enjoy taking risks and growing.
Here are six (6) ways to aid you in stepping out of your comfort zone and being closer to victory.
- Ways to Step Out of One’s Comfort Zone
1. Make changes to your daily routine. This is an easy task because it teems with change opportunities. Leave early at work, park a few blocks from work and walk. Walking (for pleasure) is a lost art, rediscovered during the pandemic. Shelter in place, no nonessential travel, and all that. But no one said you could not take a walk. There are a few fantastic ways to practice physical distancing. A short walk is an excellent way to spend a lunch break. Do you always watch the evening and morning newscasts at specific times? Skip it. Use the time to listen to music or read a book. Try a Language Learning Tape or a Book on Tape as you commute.
2. Reframe stress. Physiologically, there is no difference between anxiety and excitement, as research would say. Both entail a ‘stress response,’ but whether they are perceived as negative or positive is a labeling matter. Society tends to perceive all stress as something “bad,” but the idea of “positive stress” or “eustress” challenges this. Eustress gives the energy to go on a romantic date, get through a public speech, and so on. These stimuli can be reframed as propelling, exciting individuals out of their comfort zone.
3. Physical change, mental change. In getting out of your comfort zone, you make that physical change, such as taking on a fitness program and diet plan (with the guidance of a physician). Physical exercise can boost your mental health. To improve your mental health, take time out from the noise, news, and electronics by unplugging. Even if you only take a one-hour shutdown, the peace you achieve is worth the disconnect. You may like this so much that you will try doing it daily.
4. Get comfortable with discomfort. One way to move outside of your comfort zone is to expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort. Like in a social setting, if you start panicking when talking to someone you have just met, try staying with it a little longer than you usually would before returning to comfort. It will become less uncomfortable if you wait and practice often enough.
5. Practice honesty. When employed sensitively, honesty can be a significant motivation for personal growth. Whether telling someone close how you feel or being direct with yourself in a private journal, honesty forces individuals out of their comfort zone. You can understand yourself better through honest communication and build deeper bonds with others.
6. Challenge your beliefs. Exploring alternative perspectives can be uncomfortable, but it enables insight and growth by challenging entrenched beliefs. This might take several forms, such as diversifying who you talk to, reading varied book genres, and visiting new places. Getting stuck in your ways is easy, but this can lead to complacency, a hallmark of being in your comfort zone.
Similarly, Joyce Nealy, author of the book Jojo’s Adventure, and his love for his Family and Friends, including Sparky, a special friend with whom Jojo spent a lot of time. It is about embarking on a great adventure and getting out of one’s comfort zone to grow. In the book, one fine day, when Jojo saw how happy Sparky was playing outside, he decided to take a chance and leave his comfortable cage and his Favorite snack of unsalted peanuts. He wanted to see what was on the outside of that door. Jojo was not prepared for the adventure that was about to begin.
For more of Nealy’s inspirations, check out her website and grab a copy of her book online.