If you want to know how to get out of your comfort zone so you can be more confident, productive, and fulfilled in both your personal and professional life, we’re sharing 7 tips to help! Getting comfortable with feelings of discomfort takes practice and perseverance, but it’s instrumental in helping us unlock our full potential so we can live our lives with purpose and authenticity. Keep reading for 7 simple ideas you can use to push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of.
What Is Your Comfort Zone?
Our comfort zone is where we feel safe, relaxed, and at ease. We spend most of our time living inside of our comfort zones, and they are unique to each of us. The things that bring me peace and comfort may make you feel anxious or bored, and vice versa. Remaining in our comfort zone helps us avoid feelings of stress and anxiety, but also holds us back from growth. Living in our comfort zone 24/7 keeps us stagnant, making it hard to pursue our goals and dreams, and preventing us from living a fulfilled life. When we reach beyond what feels comfortable, we:
- Achieve personal and professional growth
- Become less fearful of the unknown
- Handle stress more effectively
- Feel more confident and focused, resulting in greater productivity
- Recognize and unlock our full potential
How To Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
1. START SMALL
When we set out to make positive changes in our lives, our inclination is often to make a lot of big changes all at once. And while we should be commended for our enthusiasm and dedication, the reality is that we are more likely to maintain new habits if we start small and build upon them over time. If you want to know how to get out of your comfort zone, identify a few areas where you can challenge yourself without feeling too overwhelmed and go from there. As you become more comfortable with adversity and discomfort – and begin to reap the benefits of pushing yourself beyond what you feel you are capable of – you will feel more confident in yourself, and will inevitably feel motivated to take risks in other areas of your life.
2. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT EACH DAY
If you feel simultaneously excited and terrified at the idea of stepping outside of your comfort zone, a great way to warm yourself up to the idea is to challenge yourself to do something different each day. For example, you might:
- Workout in the morning instead of the evening
- Wear something bright and colorful instead of conservative and boring
- Style your hair differently
- Drink tea instead of coffee
- Drive a different route to work
- Order something different for lunch
- Unplug from all of your devices after dinner
None of these things are particularly earth shattering, but if you’re a creature of habit, subtle changes such as these will probably still make you feel uneasy, offering a simple way for you to push yourself beyond the things that bring you comfort.
3. ACTIVELY CHOOSE DISCOMFORT OVER COMFORT
If you want to know how to get out of your comfort zone, you need to consistently reach beyond the things that make you feel safe and secure. A great way to do this is to actively pursue the things that feel slightly beyond your abilities. Instead of always defaulting to the easiest, safest option, choose the one that scares you a little bit. The internet is full of mantras designed to push you beyond your limits:
‘Fear is a liar.’
‘Great things never came from comfort zones.’
‘Growth and comfort do not coexist.’
‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.’
…the list goes on and on!
The more you practice stepping outside of your comfort zone, the closer you will get to long-lasting, positive change.
4. STOP AGONIZING OVER DECISIONS
Decision-making can be especially tricky for those who struggle to venture outside of their comfort zone. The need to weigh the pros and cons of every decision can be all-consuming, causing many people to procrastinate and miss out on important (and sometimes life-changing) opportunities. If this sounds like you, challenge yourself to make split-second decisions over the smaller, inconsequential things in life, like choosing what outfit to wear, deciding what to order for dinner, and selecting a movie to watch.
5. SAY ‘YES’
If you’re someone who actively avoids things that make you uncomfortable (i.e, applying for a new role at work, volunteering for a cause that’s important to you, accepting an invitation to a party, etc.), commit to saying ‘yes’ to something new each week. Start with something small, like volunteering at your child’s school, joining your co-workers for drinks after work, or signing up for a new dating app. The point here isn’t to commit to things you don’t have time for and/or that are outside of your interest or skill set – it’s more about challenging yourself to go beyond that which feels comfortable in the pursuit of something that enriches your life. With practice, you will feel more confident in reaching for bigger things, like a promotion, signing up for a half marathon, or asking someone out on a date.
6. FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
If you want to know how to get out of your comfort zone in the pursuit of personal and/or professional achievement, finding an accountability partner can be extremely helpful. Whether it’s a mentor who can groom you for a promotion at work, a nutritionist who can help you stay accountable to a healthier eating regime, a personal trainer who can help you reach your goal of running a half marathon, or a friend who can keep you consistent with your daily workouts, having someone to encourage you to keep reaching beyond what feels comfortable can be extremely motivating.
7. MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS
My final tip for those who want to know how to get out of your comfort zone is to actively track your progress over time. Write down the things you intend on doing differently each day, and how those small changes in your routine make you feel. Make a note of any in-the-moment decisions you make, and whether they make you feel more inclined towards spontaneity in the future. Keep a list of the things you say ‘yes’ to throughout the week, and brainstorm additional events, activities, and challenges you’d like to progress to over time. While it may feel silly to write these things down on paper, it can be extremely helpful not only to map out your progress, but to visually see the positive impact these small changes have on your motivation to pursue your full potential.
If you want to know how to get out of your comfort zone, I hope the tips and ideas in this post prove useful to you! Remember to start small, to push beyond the things that make you feel safe and secure, to stop sweating the small stuff, to say ‘yes’ more frequently, and to monitor your progress – no matter how small it is!
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