Recently I have been on a completely different path in life, a path that has me operating at a superior level because it has extracted me from the norm – I have been in situations that were uncomfortable and challenged myself in many ways, this in turn has stimulated both professional and personal growth.
Too often we slip into a comfortable rut, it’s safe, secure and familiar but it inhibits growth.
“The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.”
It’s not easy to take that step into the unknown, sometimes we are forced into the unknown. Learning how to prepare and thrive through these times is crucial.
4 ways to step outside your comfort zone and grow!
1. Don’t take yourself so seriously –
It’s ok to play the fool, worrying what people think about us holds many of us back. No one wants to come across as arrogant, creepy, obnoxious etc but think about the most charismatic, magnetic people you’ve met. They were more than likely being themselves as opposed to being agreeable and passive.
It’s fine to be less than perfect and people will like you for it, so be yourself.
2. Confront fear –
Most of us are afraid of something in life, spiders, sharks, the dark…. But it’s the smaller fears that dictate our direction in life. Ask yourself why you avoid certain situations and the value of doing so – facing these fears may lead to a new adventure or a funny story you may otherwise have sidestepped.
3. Be comfortable with risk –
It’s called a comfort zone because you can navigate through life easily whilst in that zone because you know what to expect. The alternative, taking a leap of faith comes with an element of risk because you may fail. Examine the consequences of failure and be prepared in the event it occurs. The possibility of succeeding is equally important to examine – think about the sense of achievement and satisfaction you’l gain if you do, it may well be worth the risk.
4. Welcome the butterflies –
Doing the same things over and over will send you hurtling into a deep comfort zone. Be open to trying and doing new things, invite that healthy mix of anxiety and anticipation you get when you are unsure of what will happen next. Say yes more often and approach things with a positive mindset.
Don’t mistake taking risks with being reckless and silly. Think hard about the consequences and be open and accepting to the possibility of failure – If it does occur, it won’t be the end of the world.
“A ship in a harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships are for” John A Shedd