They say that a boat is safe on the docks, but that’s not what boats are made for. How can you grow if you choose to stay within your comfort zone?
Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones. We have to break the rules. And we have to discover the sensuality of fear. We need to face it, challenge it, and dance with it. -Kyra Davis
Most people spend a huge amount of time in their comfort zones because they are too afraid to step out into the unknown. After all, the comfort zone gives you a form of mental security where you know everything is in its place, and you know how everything works. But doesn’t that sound absolutely boring?
How to get out of your comfort zone
The comfort zone revolves around routine and habit, and it adds safety in a constantly moving world. The only problem with this is that when you are in your comfort zone, you are not trying new things or moving ahead from your past and present.
It’s impossible to progress when you are only playing it safe. So how do you break out of your comfort zone to achieve new things?
#1 Know your habits. Habits play a huge part in the comfort zone. They are things you will be doing instead of trying something new. For instance, if you are invited to a party but you stay at home to watch television because that’s your routine, then you are staying in your comfort zone. If you only eat at one restaurant and never go anywhere else, then you are staying in your comfort zone.
You need to know what habits you have, so you can break them. Try taking a deep look at your routine, and try to mark out all the times that you succumbed to your habits, as this will help you know what to avoid when it comes to breaking out of your comfort zone. You might find that nearly everything you do is a habit, like only going one way to work or only using one type of washing detergent.
Understanding your habits and your comfort zone entries will, in the long term, help you break out of them. You can’t fight an enemy that you can’t see, right?
#2 Know what you want to do. It’s one thing to break your habits, but it’s another thing entirely to know what you’ll be replacing your old routine with. It’s important to remember that it is easy to think about the things you might lose, but that takes the focus off what you might gain.
For instance, if you go to the party, then you might miss out on your favorite television show, but you might meet some amazing people who might become lifelong friends. That, to me, is worth missing out on a show, even if it is part of your routine.
You really have to focus on the positives that you can take out of the experience because you if you focus on the negatives, then you will face the challenge negatively, and that will only make it harder.
#3 Time for change. One of the best ways to break out of your comfort zone is to make small changes over a period of time. By this, I mean foregoing your favorite restaurant in favor of a slightly more adventurous gustatory option. If you only listen to pop music, give the alternative rock genre a try. These little changes might not seem like much, but they can effectively help you leave your comfort zone.
There is no point in trying to run out of your comfort zone with all guns blaring, as you will end up out of your depth, especially if you have spent a long time developing your comfort zone around you. You will have a lifetime’s worth of habits that you will need to break before leaving your comfort zone becomes easy.
So take baby steps, try changing one thing in your routine each week. If you find that at the end of the week you liked the change, then keep it. If you really hate it, then at least you have tried something new. These little changes will, in the long run, make big changes easier to deal with.
#4 Start to let go. One of the hardest things about leaving your comfort zone is letting go of your routines and habits. After all, these are things that you have built up over years of your life. You need to want to change, and for this to happen, you need to say goodbye to a couple of things… At least until you’ve let them go as your security blanket.
You need to let go of your idea of perfection as well because once you leave your comfort zone, it won’t be a garden of roses. This shouldn’t put you off though, because sometimes, you need to fail to succeed. You might have a routine that works perfectly for you, but if you want to experience something new, then you need to accept that it might get rough for a while.
Choosing to walk away from your routine will give you much more control over your life. You will gain a freedom that up until now has been locked away by fear. You will be in full control of your life and what you do, and you won’t be holding yourself back, but to have this, you need to let go.
#5 Never be afraid of failing. The fear of failure is what stops most people from doing what they want to do. No one wants to fail, no one wants to humiliate themselves, and no one wants to be wrong. You can’t let this stop you, though. You can’t allow the fear of failure to hold you back. If you do, then you will never leave your comfort zone.
As hard as this might seem, you need to block out the fear of failing. Every time your brain tells you that you can’t do something, imagine yourself doing it. Show your instincts that you can do it, and then when it comes to the time, you will believe in yourself 100%. This is really important because if you don’t believe in yourself, then you are setting yourself up to fail.
All this might seem a little overwhelming to someone who has never broken out of their comfort zone, but the important thing to remember is that you can do it. Fear is an obstacle that you can overcome, and if you stick at it, you will gain so much more than you ever could.
Your comfort zone is the easy choice in life. It’s that place that you go to when you don’t want to face the challenges of the outside world. It’s like a time lock where nothing ever changes. And if you spend too much time there, you might end up wasting your life.
Breaking out of your comfort zone can make you more productive, it can make you more daring, and it can bring things to your life that you never dreamed of.
In 20 years’ time if you stay in your comfort zone, where will you be? You will be in the same place that you are now. Yet if you break out of your comfort zone, in 20 years, you could be anywhere!