Today you’re going to learn how to step out of your comfort zone.
Stuck in a comfort zone? A comfort zone is a state in which you don’t feel the need to change anything and challenge yourself. You’ve probably heard many times about the idea that people should leave their comfort zone.
For many people, this is a concept that has not been fully understood. We are beings whose functioning is largely based on habits. Why should we change something when we are already accustomed to something? Why try something new when it’s already working pretty well? Why change something and disrupt the safe status quo?
There are probably many arguments against leaving your comfort zone, but there are also many reasons why it is in your best interest to break out of the routine. This may seem difficult at first, but it’s something you can experience and it’s worth it.
Staying in the comfort zone
One of the main reasons people don’t want to leave their comfort zone is because it’s a familiar space that fits their behaviours and habits perfectly. Everything in it is known. Sure. Predictable. Proven. In their “organized” world they feel at home, practically nothing can surprise them when they can do the same thing over and over again.
Everything is familiar, repetitive, they have developed an answer and a reaction to every situation they already know. This is designed to minimize risk and create a stress-free environment. When you benefit from doing things that make you feel happy and less stressed, why should you try to change and break this balance?
But research around the world has shown that staying in a comfort zone doesn’t really help if you want to succeed. The best version of you can only come out if you’re under a little more stress than normal.
The feeling of too much comfort and convenience in doing something prevents you from developing and doing something more. Conversely, being in an excessively stressful environment where you are pushed too far out of your comfort zone may also prevent you from achieving good results and doing your best.
In both cases, your productivity and efficiency levels are falling. Research has also shown that people tend to stay in their comfort zone only to reduce their fear and risk. So remember, life begins outside your comfort zone.
Benefits of leaving the comfort zone
To motivate you to leave your comfort zone, think about all the benefits it gives you. First of all, you will be more productive. When you feel too comfortable and confident doing the same thing every day, you lose the motivation to do something better.
You are no longer interested in learning new things. You stop demanding from yourself, you don’t challenge yourself, you don’t push yourself to do more, to finish work faster and to experience new situations and experiences.
1. You do things you don’t normally do
When you move out of a comfort zone, you do things you don’t normally do. You expose yourself and allow yourself to be vulnerable in some way.
You’re ready to make mistakes, maybe even fail, so you can start something you’ve never done before. This pushes the limits of your abilities and makes you do it better with every attempt you make.
2. You grow and move forward
Another benefit is that you are constantly moving forward. When you start to cross your boundaries, you will have no problem doing so in the future. You already know that you can do this, that you can go beyond your comfort zone, beyond your familiar area.
You will start to face new challenges and this will allow you to develop further. Trying something new will probably still cause you some anxiety, but it will be easier for you to adapt.
3. You stimulate creativity
You are also starting to think of new ideas that you might not have thought about before. Going beyond the comfort zone, you become more creative and begin to integrate your skills and experiences from the past to come up with something new, innovative and better. You are looking for new ways to live, new impressions, new experiences. You develop intellectually and emotionally.
How To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone:
The best time to get out of the comfort zone is now. This is not something you should plan and analyze for too long. You just have to start. You will never know what it’s like to leave your comfort zone if you don’t try to do it.
Getting out of a comfort zone takes a lot of courage. The hardest part is taking the first step. Don’t be afraid to start slowly, you don’t have to suddenly make a big difference.
Do it in small steps. Identify your concerns and then handle them step by step. Start with small changes that do not pose any real threat. It’s a simple way to get started and then you can make more drastic changes over time.
Here are a few ways to help you leave your comfort zone:
1. Get out of the routine
When you do the same thing at the same time every day, you are already in the comfort zone. In your everyday life there are small things you can change.
For example, if you wake up at 6am to have enough time to get ready and commute to work, you can start getting up even earlier so you also have time to exercise. Choose different routes to and from work or university.
Try new dishes. Try a new restaurant without first checking opinions on the Internet. If you have a meat diet, eat vegetarian food for a week or a month.
Visit new places. Try the new operating system on your computer. Look for small changes in your life that you can make that are different from your current habits.
Break out of routine and look for new experiences in your life. These may be small things but they will help you to make bigger changes and push your comfort limits. Look for the perspective that comes from any such change, even if it turns out to be negative. Don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work as planned.
2. Make decisions faster
Taking the time to make a decision makes you feel comfortable. You analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each option before you choose which option is better. If you allow yourself to make quick decisions, you push yourself to the limit.
You may experience the risk of careless weighing of options. When you make the right decision quickly, you’ll experience the benefits of making quick decisions, even if you don’t feel comfortable with it. If the decision is wrong, draw conclusions for the future, but don’t give up.
Trust yourself and make quick decisions (1). This may help you to launch many new personal and professional projects and teach you to trust your own judgment. Eliminating the need to think about a decision makes the process of leaving the comfort zone much easier. In addition, quick decisions increase self-esteem.
3. Do what you are afraid of and do not choose a safe variant
Often, when you make a choice, one choice is safe and comfortable, while the other is more risky and uncomfortable. A risky and uncomfortable choice is the one that will teach you the most and make you grow the most, so this is the option you should choose.
Taking bold decisions and choosing potentially riskier options can help you achieve more and get out of your comfort zone. Do what you are afraid to do. The new way of thinking is this: does it scare me? If it’s what I have to do, it’s how you overcome your fear.
Courage isn’t about not being afraid, fear will accompany you, but you will learn to act in spite of it.
4. Learn to say no
You can feel comfortable now because it’s easy to follow what others say and think. You don’t mind someone else telling you what to do. You also think it’s in your best interest to do what other people think is possible to do instead of what you think could be done.
If you say ‘no’ to specific tasks, opinions, you will provide yourself with space for development. Be confident to have the courage to have a different opinion from others.
5. More often say “yes”
This may seem contradictory to the previous advice, but it is about more courage to take on new things. Say yes even if you don’t think you’re ready. If you work, say yes to “new projects, new tasks, new roles – even if you haven’t done so before, it opens up opportunities for development.
If someone suggests you try something new, it could be a new dish you’ve never eaten before, visiting a place you’ve never been before, etc., or being open to change and new experiences.
6. Ask for more responsibilities
This is advice especially for people who work for someone. It may seem strange to ask for new responsibilities, but it’s a good way to challenge yourself and develop yourself. Don’t wait for someone to come to you and propose something to you.
It may also come as a surprise to your boss and others who may not normally see you as someone crossing their boundaries, but when you tell them your intentions and your desire to take on additional responsibility, they are unlikely to stop you and help you grow.
As already mentioned, new tasks, projects and responsibilities in areas you haven’t dealt with before are a great way to learn, break out of routine and comfort zone.
7. Read books
Reading will increase your vocabulary, help you better express your goals, open your mind to new ideas and perspectives. Research shows that performing life-stimulating activities such as reading can help to stop Alzheimer’s disease (2).
In addition, reading develops imagination and concentration. New ideas for change in your life will begin to emerge in your head.
8. Find new traffic hobbies
Try to paint, dance, learn how to play a musical instrument, sing, and so on. Especially if you haven’t done such things before, it will be a good way for you to find yourself in a new situation.
In addition, there are studies that show that there is a connection between generating big, creative thoughts and doing something with your feet, mouth or body.
9. Give something from yourself and help others
If you haven’t done it before, get actively involved in the charity action. Choose an organisation and volunteer to help others.
Giving induces good endorphins. Not only will you find yourself in a new situation, you will go beyond the comfort zone, but you will also be useful and do something good.
Visiting new and different places is probably one of the best ways to broaden your perspective and experience many different unforgettable experiences.
Try to visit a place you’ve never been before at least once a year. They don’t have to be trips abroad, even in your country there are many different places you can visit.
11. Learn foreign languages
It seems that nobody needs to be convinced about the advantages of foreign language skills. Knowledge of languages is useful not only in professional life, but also in personal life. By immersing yourself in a new language you can also better understand how people live in other countries, get to know their habits and the way they look at the world.
Learning a language is also a turbocharger for your brain. Multilingual people are better at coping with many tasks at once, adapting faster to demanding conditions.
If you have this opportunity, go to the country where the language is spoken. There, surrounded by subtitles, sounds, television, speaking people, you will be stimulated. A new environment, place and country is also a way out of the comfort zone.
12. Identify triggers and create challenges for yourself
Decide on a few challenges to push yourself beyond the comfort zone in the areas you want to develop and identify the triggers for them, e.g:
- Next time you see a pretty girl (trigger), you have to go and talk to her (challenge).
- Next time you go to buy a cup of coffee (trigger), ask for a 10% discount (challenge).
- Next time you make eye contact with a stranger (trigger), keep him in touch until the stranger turns his eyes away (challenge).
- The next time someone asks you how you feel (trigger), you say you are in a great mood and you are being consumed by energy instead of a laconic “good” (challenge).
Define your triggers, situations in which you will take a specific action and do not make any excuses. After some time your actions will become a habit.
13. Remember that tomorrow is a new day
Remember that what doesn’t kill you really makes you stronger – you will survive, recover, learn something, have a better chance that next time you will leave unharmed.
Getting out of the comfort zone can be difficult, it will be associated with mistakes, temporary failures, but in the long run you will become mentally stronger, more confident and more able to use your potential.
There is no single pattern and formula for success. If you want to be successful, you can’t just do the same thing over and over again.
It is also important to remember that just because you’ve tried to push your limits and you haven’t succeeded, that doesn’t mean you should stop demanding more from yourself and defining your next challenges. It just means that you have to make another attempt.
We are ruled by our habits. We do things the same way we know them because it’s convenient. But the risk of being in a comfort zone is that it creates psychological barriers that can lead to real limitations.
Since we have not done anything new and dynamic for a long time, we start to think that we cannot and cannot do it.
52 weeks a year offers plenty of opportunities to try something new, look for new ways to develop, test yourself and your capabilities. You can take on bigger or smaller actions and challenges.
You should always be a better version of yourself, don’t be afraid of the consequences, learn from your mistakes and find the motivation to do something more that will improve your life.