Did you know that our mind has the ability to change the brain and the way it functions? Scientists call this behavior neuroplasticity. Do you feel stuck in life and are frightened to take action? Are you having difficulty seeing visible changes in your personal and professional life? If you nodded your head with a “Yes,” chances are you’re living inside the comfort zone. Not expanding your boundaries or trying new things in life limits you from the magic that happens outside the comfort zone. Stepping out of your zone benefits social, personal, and professional growth in life. Here’s how to come out of your comfort zone, face your fears, and grow in life.
The Science Behind Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone
The idea of being in a comfort zone dates back to a classic experiment in psychology from 1908.
Psychologists John D. Dodson and Robert M. Yerkes explained that a state of relative comfort creates a steady performance, preventing you from giving all that you got. However, when we are outside our comfort zone, our stress levels are slightly higher than usual. Scientists call this space “Optimal Anxiety.”
But, too much anxiety and we’re too stressed to be productive, and our performance declines sharply.
So, take small steps outside your comfort zone to get the best results.
Why Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone?
Real growth happens outside the comfort zone.
According to the New Yale Research, it has been confirmed that the human brain is structured to learn, and the only way to learn is through uncertainties.
Stability in life shuts off your brain growth and limits it from exploring new experiences, essential for:
- and professional growth.
As much as the fear of the unknown holds back, only when you step out of the comfort zone do you really thrive in life.
What benefits do you get from forcing yourself out of your element?
Reasons Why Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
I have done some pondering and researching on this topic and have come up with some answers. A lot of these come from personal experience to attest to their validity. So here are the reasons why you should start getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
1. Being Comfortable Holds You Back
The truth of the matter is that you aren’t going anywhere sitting in stagnancy just because you’re too afraid to go beyond the comfort zone. It is one thing to be grateful, but how will you get better if you don’t push yourself?
I knew I loved to write, and I also am a fan of social media. I even knew it would take discipline to get up in the morning, start working towards those goals and attempting to make a career out of it.
But until I got myself into high gear and did what I needed to do, I was in the same position. Nothing changed in my behavior, and I never got anywhere with my goals. To get different results, you have to exhibit unique behavior. That requires you to get out of your comfort zone.
2. Being Uncomfortable Helps You Grow
Have you ever had or witnessed someone else have back pain when going through a growth spurt? Maybe it isn’t even pain. Perhaps it’s just a little bit of discomfort in the spine. But then, you begin to get taller. Well, the same principle is how it works in life.
Being uncomfortable is the key to success and impart creative, personal, and career growth.
You have to experience a little discomfort to grow.
If you want to become a better person, the old habit has to die, and that’s never comfortable for anyone. Once you’re willing to grow and come out of your comfort zone, you pick up more skills along the way because you’ve allowed yourself to learn & evolve.
3. It’s What Separates You From The Rest Of The World
Many people out there talk about how they always wanted to do this or that, and you can tell just by how they sound that they’ve accepted that it will never happen.
It isn’t because they aren’t talented enough or aren’t capable. It’s because they are comfortable.
As said before, people who are the most successful do things others won’t. That means for you to work harder than the next person, you have to be willing to be more uncomfortable. You have to be willing to sacrifice that snug position you’re in where it’s safe, and nothing can go wrong.
One of the things my best friend and I always say to each other for inspiration when we’re feeling lazy or unmotivated or don’t want to take a risk is:
- You gotta risk it all to have it all.
- Put yourself out there past all of the limits.
- Most restrictions you think you have made up yourself.
4. Being Outside Comfort Zone Helps To Promote Self-Confidence
The more you push your limits and reach past your self-placed boundaries, the more you realize how much you’re capable of. Often, our fear of not achieving that next step or hit that new level of success is our fear.
However, when we reach it, we see just how much we’ve been selling ourselves short, and it gives us the motivation and strength to keep going.
It also allows us to see ourselves in a more positive light, and before you know it, you’re doing things with confidence because you’ve proven to yourself to be able to do great things!
In short, come out of your comfort zone to flaunt self-confidence.
5. Nobody In The History Of Greatness Became Great By Being Comfortable
Think about all of the people you look up to and aspire to be like. When you hear about successful people and listen to their stories, you find out they went through a LOT to get to where they were.
They didn’t coast on by being comfortable. They had to push themselves past their limits and fight through their own insecurities.
Steve Harvey, for example, was homeless for YEARS. Do you think that was comfortable?
I spent a few months living in a car, and thinking about doing it for years is something I am not sure I could do, but he did. Now, look at him. The man is sitting pretty because he was willing to do things other people aren’t and be uncomfortable.
6. People Are Doing What You Want To Do With Half Of Your Skill
Before I decided to create a blog, YouTube Channel, etc., I watched other people do it, and I remember thinking I would be so good at that. Why aren’t I doing it? It may sound arrogant, but I saw some successful people at things they were only okay at that I knew I could do better.
So why are they successful in my dreams, but I’m not?
They weren’t afraid of discomfort. If you know you’re excellent at something, why sit back in your comfort zone bubble and let someone else be the best at something, and you haven’t so much as shown people what you can do?
10 Ways To Step Out Of The Comfort Zone?
So far, we have talked about the importance of stepping out of our comfort zone. But you must be thinking- how to do that in real life? Do I have to take huge steps to get out of my comfort zone?
Well, to answer that, getting out of the comfort zone isn’t rocket science, and you can do that by making small changes in your life.
Let’s dive in to see how to do that!
1. Sign Up For A Weakness Class
We often live in our own bubble and dismiss our shortcomings while staying inside our comfort zone. If you know what your weakness is, just take the plunge and sign up for it!
Telling yourself, you’ll expose yourself to your fears favors you to keep postponing it. By signing up yourself and committing to a set time and place means you’re more likely to go through with it.
Save the talking, and just do it!
In case you are unaware of your weaknesses, try the SWOT analysis.
- S – The strengths that you possess can be leveraged to attain goals.
- W – The weaknesses that you need to work on to flourish.
- O – The opportunities you seek through your strengths.
- T – The threats that you may encounter.
2. Be Aware Of Your Fears
As discussed earlier, we shield ourselves inside a cocoon due to the fear of the unknown. The first step to overcoming your fears and expanding your comfort zone is identifying what factors in life restrict you from doing things.
For example, many people experience anxiety about public speaking due to the fear of judgment. Now, it could be a minute of things in your life.
If all this while you have been dependent on others for doing the smallest tasks for yourself, you could be having a fear of doing even the simple tasks in your life like cooking, doing the dishes, grocery shopping, etc.
Get a notebook and write down different areas of your life—health, money, career, and relationship. Note down any possible fears that you might have attached to these areas.
3. Plan Out Actionable Steps To Conquer Your Fears
Now that you’re aware of the factors that scare you the most, you can frame out an actionable plan to conquer those fears. You cannot come out of your comfort zone if you don’t set your foot forward to taking action.
For instance, if the idea of cooking your own meal scares you, then starting from the basics like how to turn on a stove and cutting vegetables would be a sensible idea to learn before you jump to the cooking part.
Similarly, learning the basics and embracing the attitude to consistent growth is an effective way to step out of the comfort zone.
4. Solo BackPack To A Culturally Different Country
Have you ever wished to go on a solo trip and learn about new cultures and ethnicities but couldn’t because of the fear of traveling alone? Trust me; travel can change your life in ways you’ve not imagined.
If you did, let me tell you that backpacking solo and going on a vacation can force you to get outside your comfort zone in so many ways.
From the food you eat to the people and culture, there is so much you would learn to see from a different perspective, which eventually can help you get outside the comfort zone.
You will be surprised to see how liberating it is to try new things. Even if you cannot afford a trip abroad, you can always travel solo to places outside the city. Visiting a place weekend getaway all by yourself is a sensible way to get familiar with traveling alone.
5. Embrace Uncertainties
We know the fear of the unknown can paralyze humans from trying and exploring unfamiliar experiences. After all, the human brain is always structured to shield and protect us from possible dangers.
However, humans learn and grow through uncertainties. Not only do you grow, but uncertainties in life also account for being resilient.
In psychology, resilience is a crucial factor in adapting to the challenges that life throws at us.
Resilience is one of the miraculous gifts that stepping out of the comfort zone presents you with. Start by doing one thing every day that scares you the most.
6. Take Small Steps To Push The Boundary
If signing up for a class or an event sounds too aggressive to you, consider taking small, measured steps to push beyond your boundaries.
For instance, if the idea of public speaking gives you anxiety, consider practicing talking in front of the mirror first, and then gradually transcend to record yourself while speaking.
This way, the unfamiliar becomes familiar, and the next time you think of learning something new, you would be more excited instead of dreading the uncertainties.
7. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress is an excellent way to be aware of what you have or might need to accomplish.
For instance, there might be a job opportunity that you would like to apply for. For that, you have created a step-by-step action plan like preparing for common interview questions, researching about the company, and having clarity about the job role.
Reflecting on the steps, you have completed so far will fetch you a clear idea about the parts you still need to complete to get that job.
Similarly, whenever you decide to do things out of your comfort zone, monitoring your progress will allow you to see how far you have come and how far you still need to go.
8. Listen To Podcasts
If you’re still unclear, there are so many podcasts available online that will motivate you to come out of the comfort slump. Listen to podcasts that provide you with information and strategies to feel more confident and comfortable whenever trying new things.
Here are a few strategies that help gain the confidence to get outside the comfort zone.
- Positive self-talk
- Daily affirmations
- Visualization technique
- Gratitude practice
9. Reflect On Past Accomplishments
Reflecting on past accomplishments helps you gain that lost confidence. It’s an amazing way to remind yourself about the times when you doubted yourself going after your goals yet accomplishing them in the end.
No matter how scary it is to expand the comfort zone, a little reflection on your past self will instill confidence and faith in you to come out of the cocoon.
10. Raise Your Game By Setting & Achieving New Goals
The best way to beat mundaneness is to set new goals and achieve them. But how can you do that?
Setting SMART goals can help you achieve the goals that you set. Most of us lack a clear understanding of goal setting, which is why you should follow the SMART technique of goal setting.
Start by setting small goals that scare you, or the ones that you had been thinking to do but just don’t act on it. Once you achieve this small goal, start by challenging yourself and set a new goal.
Rinse, repeat! And never stop growing in life.
This way could help you easily come outside your comfort zone.
A Word From AlignThoughts,
So, are you convinced yet?
The truth is that allowing yourself to go through life living in a comfort zone is just doing yourself a disservice. You cannot do the things you want to do in life without pushing for it. You never take steps forward when you’re sitting in a rocking chair knitting the mundane life you don’t even want to live.
So, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You won’t regret it. What reasons can you think of that I didn’t mention? What are some of the things you’ve done that were a step forward that caused you to have to step outside your area of comfort?
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Key Takeaways On How To Step Out Of The Comfort Zone
- A comfort zone is a psychological state where individuals feel safe and secure, restricting themselves from venturing into unfamiliar situations.
- Research shows that staying in the comfort zone obstructs the brain’s growth. It also impacts one’s social, creative, personal, and professional growth.
- Being comfortable in life all the time holds you back and cages you into the trap of stagnancy.
- Real growth happens when you embrace uncertainties and look at your fear in the eye.
- The more you expand your comfort zone and reach past your self-placed boundaries, the more you realize how much you’re capable of.
- Also, stepping out of the comfort zone contributes to resilience, which further helps one adapt to challenging circumstances.
How to get out of your comfort zone socially?
- Acknowledge your fears.
- Accept that you will fail the first time.
- Make a conscious effort to attend and interact in social events.
- Trick your brain with positive self-talk.
How to get out of your comfort zone at work?
- Seek out new opportunities.
- Take active parts in speaking sessions.
- Socialize with people belonging to different departments.
- Learn new skills to upskill yourself.
Where is your comfort zone?
Your comfort zone is an emotional state where you feel familiar and safe, lowering your stress and anxiety. It’s a safe zone where you feel protected from any possible risks.
Why do people stay in comfort zones?
People stay in their comfort zone due to the fear of the unknown and judgment. These two are the primary reasons people do not step out of their comfort zone.
Why is the comfort zone dangerous?
The Comfort zone is dangerous because it limits one from experiencing real growth. Humans learn through experiences, and if you stay inside the safe zone, you’ll never flourish in life.
What are examples of a comfort zone?
Here are a few examples of being in the comfort zone:
- Waking up late every day.
- Indulging in processed foods regularly.
- Always wearing the same type of outfits.
- Not learning skills out of my area of interest.
Why should you leave your comfort zone?
- Imparts creative, social, and career growth.
- Promotes self-confidence.
- Socializing with new people.
- To successfully achieve your goals.