When the decision comes to go out of one’s comfort zone, the question inevitably arises: how do I do it?
This famous zone remains a concept and is not delimited by physical boundaries, yet throughout our lives, we will experience the sensation of going out of it, voluntarily or not.
This is precisely what I want to talk.
Step out of your comfort zone against your will
Sometimes events in our lives can push us out of our comfort zone against our will.
We find ourselves in an unexpected situation and are forced to react. The most recent example that has affected the entire world is the health crisis that no one could have foreseen.
We all found ourselves in a situation that we did not choose, forced to adapt as best we could.
However, there are many less extreme cases where we lose control of our comfort zone.
It can be a divorce or a break-up decided by the spouse, breaking the routine of our daily life with all that this entails such as the feeling of loneliness, celibacy, the search for a new partner.
It can also be a professional layoff, an accident, an illness, etc…
As you will have understood, the vicissitudes of life will often take us out of our comfort zone without asking our opinion.
When this happens, there is no question of trying to return to your comfort zone immediately.
First of all, it’s time to act, learn and adapt to this new situation and then return to your comfort zone, which will never be the same again; the year 2020 is a perfect example of this.
Choosing to step out of one’s comfort zone voluntarily
Although life always has surprises in store for us, sometimes we become aware of the limits of our current comfort zone.
The monotony, the routine invades us daily; then, a form of uneasiness sets in and pushes us to consciously modify our habits.
This comfort zone has gradually turned into a golden cage where we are suffocated and where personal growth stops.
The realization that you have created your own mental prison is the first step in change.
This is precisely what interests us here, becoming aware that our comfort zone hurts our lives and especially how to get out of it. Here are 8 key steps to get out of your comfort zone easily.
Define your comfort zone
This is the first step to getting out, i.e., starting by defining it precisely and delimiting its contours.
I have prepared a straightforward exercise to help you define the contours of your comfort zone.
Take some paper and pencil, and take the time to inspect each area of your life: your mental health, your physical health, your career, your love relationship, your spirituality, your family, your friendships, your relationships, your finances, and the environment in which you live.
Ask yourself for each of these areas, on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest level of fulfillment, where are you today?
Once you have defined your level of satisfaction, take the time to write down your feelings for each score obtained and then define possible actions to increase your score.
To help you at this stage, use the following question: If I wasn’t afraid, what would I do?
Take the time to do this exercise before you embark on your journey of personal growth.
Having a clear vision will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run by preventing you from going anywhere.
Ask yourself what you don’t want anymore
Now that you’ve highlighted your current comfort zone let’s see what you no longer want in your life.
This is an exercise I like to do to improve when I feel stuck and can’t fully define my needs.
In my coaching sessions, I also notice that it is a much easier exercise to implement than asking my client directly what he wants.
Paradoxically, it is easier to find out what you don’t want in your life any more than what you really want. This facilitates the emergence of new ideas about what we want to achieve.
If you have problems defining the direction you want to take, repeat the exercise from the previous point for all areas of your life and ask yourself the following question: What do you no longer want in that area? Repeat for each of your areas.
Raise your standards
Your vision needs to be more evident now, and it’s time to take it to the next level.
Do you know that you live below your true potential, that you are not really using your abilities?
American author Marianne Williamson wrote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”
How many times have you thought, “What if I tried to.” How much longer are you going to stop yourself from realizing your dreams, from reaching your goals.
Stop thinking small and think big, you are great, and you deserve the best.
Human beings are designed for self-improvement, choose high standards, even those that seem unreachable today, and give yourself the means to achieve them.
Take the first step
Why is the first step always the most difficult?
It results from the appearance of our fears. We begin to imagine the worst possible scenarios.
This is the exact moment when we must take the first step without asking ourselves any questions. I’m not sponsored to tell you this, but you all know this very famous advertising slogan “just do it.” That’s the essence of the action.
The longer you stay inaction, the more your fears will grow, and acting will become more and more difficult.
When I start to procrastinate, I get up and tell myself “GO” to do a task for at least 5 minutes.
Once the task begins, you will see that your doubts will have vanished.
Stop thinking, start doing.
Do what you’re afraid of
It’s time to face your fears. I know it’s always easy to say that we all face a major dilemma when faced with our fears; either we face them or run away from them.
To step out of our comfort zone, there is no other choice but to fight them.
Say differently, do what you are afraid to do if you want to live fully, and not what you want to do.
No risk, no reward. Taking risks doesn’t mean putting yourself in danger. It just means pushing yourself to do something you’re not used to doing.
You may choose to change your haircut, change your fashion style, travel to a country you don’t know, etc.
Go gradually; it’s not a question of traumatizing yourself but moving step by step towards something that challenges you.
Do and Learn Something New
I propose an effortless way to explore the unknown, ask yourself the following question: When was the last time you did something for the first time?
In other words, do something new regularly.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, just new for you.
You can choose to eat something you never eat at your favorite restaurant, change your itinerary to go to work, or go to see a play instead of a movie.
The examples I give you, are of course only indicative. I leave it up to you to experiment by yourself.
Enlarging your comfort zone is not necessarily complicated. Above all, it is necessary to act and think differently from what our daily routine pushes us to do.
Take Baby Steps
If there is one good lesson that I have learned in more than 10 years of personal development and coaching, it is to learn to progress regularly on one’s objective to keep positive momentum.
The notion of baby steps means taking the smallest possible step towards your goal.
Contrary to the received idea that you have to take the big leap to succeed, it is indeed the constancy of work, rigor, and perseverance that leads us to success.
Stepping out of your comfort zone does not mean risking losing everything and putting yourself in danger. It means evolving, discovering, and doing it continuously.
Choose your small steps carefully while avoiding shortcuts that will waste your time.
If you want to get back into running, start with small sessions of 10 minutes and gradually increase the session time. Don’t make the mistake of running 1 hour at a time when you haven’t practiced sport for months or years.
Be patient and move forward daily. Your results will be exceptional.
Keep Expanding Your Comfort Zone
The most common trap when you’ve expanded your comfort zone is to settle for it again.
Your living space is more extensive than before, but it will start to freeze again as soon as you stop moving.
It is essential to continue to expand your personal space daily so that you will be more and more comfortable in various situations, and change will become an inherent part of your life.
People sometimes ask me how long I should continue to maintain a dynamic expansion; the answer is simple “forever.”
We are like water; what happens when water stagnates? It decays and becomes impure. We also need to be always on the move to stay healthy. It’s no coincidence that our body is 75% water.
Change is part of your life, so you may as well decide for yourself what diversity you want.
Explore. Discover. Try. Learn. Live.
Take the time and discover what exists beyond your own mental and physical boundaries.
I am not for 180° change as some people suggest. It rarely works in the long term when our environment does not impose it.
Favor progressive and constant change for an optimal result, of course, it will take time to notice changes, be patient and perseverant.
Finally, and if the ultimate secret is simply to have fun, it will be a long road ahead, so you might as well enjoy it fully.
Live your story with no regret.
Thanks for reading me, happy changing my friends.