Every exit is an entry somewhere else.Tom Stoppard
Break Free From Your Comfort Zone
The comfort zone may feel safe and familiar and as a result it can be easy to get stuck there. However, when you want to make changes in your life there comes a time where you’ll need to be brave enough to step out of the comfort zone and into your stretch zone where you can grow.
Below are 7 ways to break free from the comfort zone:
1. Face your fears with small steps
What keeps us in our comfort zone may be a fear that could stop us from moving forwards and the thought of facing our fears may initially feel overwhelming. Taking small steps can help you to pluck up enough courage to move closer to what you want to achieve, for example, you may feel shy or anxious when it comes to making new friends. To overcome this, you could start with a small step of saying hello to strangers you meet during your day or starting to communicate with more people in online forums or social media. When you convert your fear into smaller action steps, you’ll naturally start to feel more confident.
2. Try something new
A great way to move into your stretch zone is to try something new; this could be anything from trying a new exercise class to tasting a new cuisine. When you are brave enough to try something different which may be out of character for you, it helps you to build up your courage and be more adventurous with your choices.
3. Meet new people
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to meet new people with similar interests on websites like meet up or events which are advertised on social media. Exposing yourself to different environments with new people helps you to learn from others who may have experiences, opinions and interests which differ from yours.
4. Take a friend
Sometimes, it can be easier to try something new when we have our emotional comfort blanket in the form of a friend beside us. It could be anything from attending a dance class to trying scuba diving. If you’re feeling really nervous about taking a leap then you can always bring a friend along for some moral support.
We can, sometimes, allow our fears to seem scarier than the reality and talk ourselves out of doing something as a result. What if things weren’t as challenging as you imagine? Doing some research and getting some information from others, who have already done what you aspire to can help you feel more confident in taking action, and you may gain some valuable advice which could eliminate your worries altogether.
It can, sometimes, be the case that we play back negative experiences that we’ve had in the past and this can wash away any of our positive memories or achievements. Taking time to reflect on fun experiences that you’ve had when you have broken out of your comfort zone, despite what your thoughts or feelings told you is a great way to counteract your fears; maybe it was when you decided to go on holiday to a new destination or tried a new activity. When you reminisce on positive memories of times you got out there and took a chance, it may feel easier for you to feel comfortable doing something new.
7. Pump yourself up
As well as remembering positive experiences, there are other things you can do to help you shift your state into a more motivated one. You could:
- Use music: create an uplifting and motivating playlist!
- Imagine: visualise how great everything will turn out and how excited you’ll feel doing it
- Dress: wear something that makes you feel more confident, it could be a certain colour or piece of jewellery that helps you feel good
- Affirmations: say positive affirmations that help you maintain an encouraging mind-set.
- Give some of these techniques a try and see where your stretch zone takes you!