Stop getting too comfortable; go further
How to move out of your comfort zone
It’s a nice, cozy feeling to be in your comfort zone. Things are easy, comfortable, and, most importantly, familiar. But it’s not the best place to be if you have goals to achieve and dreams to realize.
Your cocoon is a dangerous trap that puts a lid on your potential, stops all growth, and gets you stuck in mediocrity. No one in their right mind would want to stagnate in life, yet many do and sabotage their own success.
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Here are four ways to step out of your comfort zone and tread the path to success.
1. Stretch your boundaries
Everything you have, routinely do, or are accustomed to — including your lifestyle, the way you do things, your state of mind, thoughts, beliefs, and perspective — is your comfort zone. You are well-versed with them and are comfortable doing them without putting your mind or much effort.
Now, to take yourself a notch up and get to the next level, you must let go of the familiar, explore new things, and embrace the unfamiliar. For some, it’s a scary thought to venture into uncharted territory.
Pushing your boundaries and challenging yourself to do things you had never tried or thought were impossible is the real game changer.
Undertaking a new endeavor and treading in uncertainty may be unsettling initially, but it will open doors to new possibilities and bring endless opportunities your way.
Stretching your boundaries and pushing past your limits will help you accomplish what you want and prepare you for dealing with bigger challenges.
2. Confront your fears
Each person has their share of fears and anxieties. Many people either live in denial, hide them or learn to make peace with them and go to any lengths to avoid them.
Fear keeps you from taking action, confines you to your comfort zone, and mars your chances of success.
So if you want to step out of your comfort zone and make significant advancements in life, you must muster up the courage and challenge your fears.
Most times, the fear is all in your mind and is a figment of your imagination. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of public speaking, fear of change, fear of making mistakes, fear of being laughed at, fear of flying at, fear of missing out, and many other fears essentially grow and flourish when you tell yourself negative stories and play worst-case scenarios in your mind.
Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.
— Bear Grylls
To deal with your fears, begin by being honest with yourself and accept your fears. Next, make a note of all your fears and tackle them one at a time, starting with the one you think will be easiest for you to tackle.
Get to its root cause and understand where it is coming from. Practice positive self-talk and encourage yourself to experience the situations that make you anxious. This exposure therapy will help you to get over the fear slowly.
3. Start taking action
If you’re one of those who have enjoyed the warmth of your comfort zone for too long, you’ll be resistant to any change and would vote for the status quo any day.
However, to seize greater opportunities and choose growth over stagnation, you must walk past the barriers and create space for new things.
Action is the foundational key to all success.
— Pablo Picasso
Put an end to overthinking and decision paralysis by simply getting yourself going. Give yourself a few realistic and achievable goals, and create a doable plan of how you want to go about achieving your goals. This will get you off the fence and motivate you to take action.
When you’re pulling yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll be anxious about the uncertainty of the unknown. So go slow, take baby steps and focus on how your life will change once you get there.
The path to success is to take massive, determined actions.
— Tony Robbins
In the early stages, what matters the most is not how much progress you make but that you work consistently and stay in the game for as long as possible. As your comfort level increases, you can slowly raise the bar higher for yourself and set bigger challenges and grow as a person.
4. Learn new things
To better your life, grow and scale up, you have to stop being content with where you are and what you know. The world is fast changing. To keep pace and stay relevant, it is, therefore, not only desirable but critical that you keep yourself in the learning mode and teach yourself new things.
Broadening your knowledge base, improving your skills, increasing your expertise, and gaining more experience will help you get better at what you do and empower you to forge ahead toward your goals confidently.
Moving out of your comfort zone will also boost your sense of self and give you an edge over your competitors while giving you respite from your regular, boring routine and helping you escape the rut.
The hallmark of successful people is that they are always stretching themselves to learn new things.
— Carol Dweck
People who push themselves to learn new things succeed in expanding their mental horizons and are in a better position to appreciate things from a different perspective.
Moving out of your comfort zone also makes you flexible and adaptable. You can readily adapt to new situations and skillfully navigate through challenges.
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It is human instinct to gravitate towards things that put you at ease. But comfort is the antithesis of growth.
To get more out of your life and accomplish your big goals, get comfortable with being uncomfortable and explore beyond the realm of the known.
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone shouldn’t be something that gives you jitters. It will be much easier and fun when you convince yourself of the rewards, focus on the process, go slow and mix it up — the new with the old ways — to make a smooth transition. You’ll then, not only break out of the monotony and experience new things but also build momentum that’ll propel you to
Contributed by Dr. Roopleen
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