We all have certain places in our lives that make us feel comfortable. It can be a place, a person or even an experience. Either way, because of this comfort zone that we have grown up in or created for ourselves, we are unable to step outside of it.
The border between our comfort zone and growth is a scary one because it thrusts us into the unknown. But there are ways to step outside our comfort zone even when it’s difficult…
In this post, I’m sharing my tips to help you step outside your comfort zone so you can be extraordinary.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian Tracy
How To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT YOUR COMFORT ZONE
A comfort zone is a place of, well, comfort. You feel safe and sound, and believe that if you can remain inside then you can never go wrong.
The truth is you can never go right either.
Remaining in your comfort zone is like living on a beautiful boat. You understand that it’s limiting but as long you don’t rock the boat you will never run the risk of toppling over.
But, that also means you will never go anywhere, or do and experience anything worthwhile.
You’ll never learn and you’ll never grow.
Leaving your comfort zone every day is crucial to your personal development. It is crucial to your success.
I know it might sound scary but there are so many amazing things waiting on the other side of your comfort zone. Though your comfort zone might be small, it must grow and evolve as you do.
You need to stick a toe out and test the waters so you can expand what you believe and accept as comfortable.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE AFRAID TO LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
A few years ago, after going through a difficult period at work and at home, I was officially tired. Tired of being unhappy all the time and tired of feeling like I just wasn’t growing.
My life just didn’t feel like or look like what it could have been.
I had lived in my comfort zone for so long that the idea of doing something new scared the potato chips out of me.
Taking a huge leap didn’t seem inviting. So I decided to find my zone of courage. Our zone of courage is a small area just outside our comfort zone.
As I said earlier, it’s like sticking your toe outside the boat. For people, like me, who were just not ready to leap full force, the zone of courage was heaven sent.
Instead of taking giant steps, I would take baby ones. I wanted to move to Japan but that was too much to think about at the time, so I started with taking Japanese lessons.
The more lessons I took, the bigger the steps I wanted to take and before I knew it, I was living and working in Japan!
Finding your zone of courage will make the transition outside your comfort zone so much easier.
1 TALK TO EVERYONE YOU MEET
When I was younger, I was incredibly shy. Meeting new people was hard and actually finding the courage to talk to them was even harder. A great way to step outside your comfort zone each day is to talk to everyone you meet.
It doesn’t have to be a long conversation either. Say hello, ask them how their day is (or was) and you might just find it easier and easier to open up to others.
If you find it hard to walk up to every person you meet, try saying hi to your server at the local Starbucks or strike up a conversation with the local bus driver.
Don’t be afraid to talk to that co-worker you’ve been seeing in the halls at work. The friendship you form might just be the best thing that has ever happened to you.
2 LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Having spent almost three years in a foreign country, I have learned that many people fear learning a new language. No-one wants to fail and no-one wants to be made to feel stupid because of mistakes they might make.
To be honest, learning Japanese was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done and I’d do it again 100%.
Is there a country you’ve always wanted to visit but feared not being able to communicate?
Now is the time to teach yourself that new language or take a class so you can learn. I guarantee that it will be an incredible experience. If you end up going to a community centre you might meet new people and make new connections.
Stepping outside your comfort zone isn’t easy but a nice baby step to take is to try a new language. There are awesome apps in the Play Store like Memrise or Rosetta Stone to help you have fun while you learn.
3 ALLOW A FRIEND TO PLAN YOUR DAY
I don’t know about you but a huge part of my comfort zone was having complete control over everything I did throughout the day. It gave me a sense of safety and security, and any deviation from the norm scared the living daylights out of me.
But a huge thing that helped me step outside of that comfort bubble was to allow a few friends of mine to take over my day. These chicks had complete control of where we went, what we did that day and what we ate.
Looking back, it was one of the days that stretched me most but also helped me to grow as a person. Release the reigns over your life a bit and give someone else the wheel.
For the past few months, I’ve also given God complete control of my life and have never been happier. He decides what direction I go in and it’s perfectly okay with it even when I don’t understand.
Moving outside my comfort zone has helped me to step into my greatness and it”ll help you step into your greatness as well.
4 VOLUNTEER AT A HOMELESS SHELTER
Remember tip one where I advised you to talk to everyone you meet? This step kind of, sort of builds on that one because it gives you so many opportunities to meet and connect with people from all walks of life.
Contrary to popular belief, just because someone is homeless does not mean they are crazy or dangerous. There are so many good, honest people who have fallen on hard times and thus ended up on the streets.
Get out of your comfort zone while giving back by volunteering to feed the poor, play games or even put together care packages and hand them out.
Not only will you get the chance to spread some cheer and make people smile, but you’ll also have an opportunity for growth.
5 STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND DO IT
Are you the kind of person who is always making excuses instead of doing the things you want to do? It’s time to stop making excuses and just go for it.
You are an incredible person and I know you have a specific vision for the life you were meant to live. But your life will only change once you decide that your dreams and passions are way more important than your comfort zone.
Stop making excuses and take that dance class you’ve always wanted to take! Who cares if you have cellulite? We all do! Shove your butt in that leotard and get going.
Move outside that comfort zone of an apartment you live in and get out there. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when trying something new.
6 TURN YOUR PHONE OFF
Yes! I finally got the chance to say it. Turn your phone off for a day or even a week as an opportunity to grow outside of your comfort zone.
We spend so much time on our phone because it keeps us connected. It keeps us feeling safe.
So today, unplug that computer, turn off that phone and take some time for yourself. You’ll have a better chance of getting to know yourself and you’ll become less dependent on that Instagram page you just have to see.
It might not seem like a big deal but try calculating all the time you spend on your phone each day and you’ll see that putting your phone aside is a huge feat!
7 SET A HUGE GOAL FOR YOURSELF
Setting goals for ourselves is something we do in our everyday lives. But what if we were to set such high goals for ourselves that it would push us to heights that we have never been to?
This is an excellent way to push yourself outside our comfort zones. How often do we make goals that are so easy we could achieve them without eyes closed?
Way too many times to count I can bet.
Remember that goals are meant to thrust us forward not keep us where we are. Each time we set a goal that stretches us even in the smallest of ways, our comfort zones expand and our confidence levels are boosted.
KEEP EXPANDING THAT COMFORT ZONE OF YOURS
Always seek to expand your comfort zone. If you don’t step outside that comfort zone of yours and face those fears you have, everything that terrifies you will just keep happening.
Find something that shakes you up and scares you when you think about doing it. Be brave and just go for it even when everything inside is trying to hold you back.
Breaking free from your comfort zone is the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself and others around you. It will be tough in the beginning, rocky as you go through but in the end, it’ll all be worth it.
Courage cannot come from our tiny comfort zones because courage itself cannot exist without fear.
I want to hear your opinion. Are you stuck in your comfort zone?