“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” – Robin S. Sharma
“The hardest thing to do is leaving your comfort zone. But you have to let go of the life you’re familiar with and take the risk to live the life you dream about.” – T. Arigo
“We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone.” – Ray Bennett
Once you step outside your comfort zone you will be able to change your life in many positive and productive ways. Although you have heard this advice many times, you are still probably afraid of heeding it. Indeed, the very idea of having to step into the unknown, facing your fears and doing something that you have never done before can be scary. Indeed, sometimes stepping outside your comfort zone can be a source of anxiety and worry. We are all used to our daily routines and even if we feel bored sometimes, we still prefer to stay where we are.
Although indeed leaving your comfort zone can be stressful, there are still some tactics that you can employ to make this process less painful and more beneficial. As a matter of fact, it does not have to be painful at all. In this short article, we are going to look at the ways of leaving your comfort zone so that you feel less stressed and more empowered.
Do Something Different Every Day
If you look around you, you will be able to find various opportunities for self-development and growth. There are also ample opportunities to start initiating changes in your behaviour. For example, if you are used to having dinner with a smartphone in your hand, the next time you have dinner – put away your smartphone. Or if you are used to going to work by car, next time you do that – take a tram. Pay attention to things around you and you will see how many of them have been overlooked by you. This fresh look will provide you with a fresh perspective on things, which will automatically initiate positive changes in your perception of reality.
In other words, break the pattern! Don’t be stuck in a rut! Change things that you do every day and that feel monotonous and repetitive. Make friends with people around you. Not sure how to do that? Well, let’s say you to a coffee shop every day. Make friends with baristas! Or get a cup of coffee that you have never ordered before.
Learn New Skills
Learning something new is a great way to step outside your comfort zone. If you learn new skills, you increase your employability and boost your self-confidence. In our Shiminly articles, we have already discussed the link between learning and creativity. If you are not sure what skills you should start mastering consider these ones: public speaking, a foreign language, writing skills, negotiation skills and many others.
Learning a foreign language can be a particularly useful skill. The good news is that you don’t have to invest in expensive courses or private tutors to learn a language. You can find all the necessary learning materials on the Internet. Indeed, there is no shortage of grammar books, pronunciation guides and entertaining videos in foreign languages on the Internet that can help you master a language.
Start an Exercise Routine
Remember about the importance of exercising and its enormous benefits for your mental health. Although it is very unfortunate, many people tend to underestimate the tremendous benefits of exercising. Some people even look down on those who have a solid gym routine.
If it is difficult for you to find the motivation to go to the gym, find a gym buddy. Doing things together is always more fun than doing things on your own. It can be your friend or even a family member. You can even set a daily goal – going to the gym three times. Or you can set another goal – going on a hike every week. If your gym buddy is aware of your intention to step outside of your comfort zone, then it is even better. They can support you in that as well.
Extensive research has proven that physical exercise is extremely beneficial for our physical health as well as our mental health. If your mental health is in order, then you will be more likely to succeed at anything you do.
Conversely, if your mental health is poor, then any intellectually rigorous pursuits and projects are unlikely to be completed. So, if you are one of those people who tend to avoid physical exercise, getting a gym membership can be your first step outside your comfort zone. The good thing about exercising is that you can feel the benefits immediately. You will feel calm, and relaxed and at the same time, you will feel reinvigorated.
It is easier said than done. But if you learn how to think positively, you will be able to embrace challenges with less fear. There are several ways of fostering positive thinking. One of them is to start visualising your challenges and thinking of them as opportunities to gain experience. For example, constantly remind yourself that stepping outside your comfort zone can make you feel happy and fulfilled.
For example, when if you are applying for a new job and feel scared of the idea that your boss may not like you or the interview process will be tough, just imagine what will happen if you get the job. You will earn more money and you will get more opportunities for self-growth. You will challenge yourself and you will surround yourself by like-minded people. Finally, you will be immensely proud of your achievement.
Break up large task into small parts. Indeed, if you are facing a big challenge and need to do a big project you may feel intimidated and even helpless. But if you treat it as a project, involving several steps and stages, then this tactic should make your task more doable. One of the problems that many people face when dealing with big tasks is procrastination. Procrastination is likely to arise when we are trying to bite more than we can chew. S take it slow, take baby steps and you will surely get everything done.
Yes, leaving your comfort zone can be challenging and scary. But it is breaking out of your comfort zone that can give you more opportunities in life. The feelings of anxiety that experience is completely normal, and you should not let it get the best of you.
In this article, we have given you some advice on how you can start stepping out of your comfort zone. As you can see, you don’t need to make radical changes to your daily routine. Instead, you can start slow. This will help you feel less anxiety and give you a feeling of empowerment and being in control.
You can also educate yourself on the concept of the “comfort zone” and learn more about the strategies that can help you to step out of this zone effectively and minimise discomfort. There are many books devoted to this topic. In fact, reading is also a good way to expand your horizons and leave your comfort zone. Reading can make it easier. Equipped with knowledge and understanding of the potential difficulties on your way, you will be able to make sure that you are doing everything correctly and smoothly.
It is important to remember that if you jump outside your comfort zone, it can overwhelm you and even discourage you from progressing. So, take baby steps. If you feel like you have made a mistake or have done something wrong, don’t punish yourself for that. Don’t berate yourself for that either. Just tell yourself that making mistakes is fine, it is a way to learn as well. Take a deep breath and continue doing what you are doing.
Check out our recent Shiminly articles written by our experts, where they share their knowledge and expertise on important topics and concepts crucial to one’s professional success and personal happiness.
Russ Gadzhiev obtained his PhD in history and politics from University of Melbourne. He also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Moscow State University of International Relations, a top-ranking diplomatic school. Russ is a strong education professional with a history of working in the higher education sector of Australia and effectively communicates with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. He is enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring, writing, curriculum development, research, information management and public speaking. He is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish and Portuguese.