Why do I need to step out of my comfort zone?
The clue is in the name ‘comfort zone’ why would you want to step out of it? We know there are always plenty of opportunities in life to step out of our comfort zone but it can feel very difficult and overwhelming to actually do it. You will need to be clear on your reasons WHY.
What is the comfort zone?
it 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 feels secure, and you feel in control because you’re familiar with this space and know what to expect.
Stepping into the fear zone:
This is the second stage (see image above), that introduces fear and anxiety. Excuses, lack of self-confidence, and being persuaded to stay in the comfort zone are obstacles you may face when trying to leave the comfort zone. This is where you push through to your learning zone.
The learning zone:
As the zone title suggests, this is where you learn about the new endeavour you’re about to engage in and acquire new skills to overcome the challenge.
Focus on getting into your growth zone:
Here is where you take what you’ve learned and try it out. The growth zone is where you learn to set new goals and live them out, regardless of how well you do. The goal is to realize your strengths and use them to obtain new outcomes.
Why you may need to push out of your comfort zone:
You feel unmotivated, no new project or plan encourages you and gets you excited.
You close yourself off to new ideas since these do not fit with your perfectly structured belief system.
You are afraid to take risks, so you prefer to let good opportunities pass with the excuse that you could lose more than what you can win.
For months or years, you have followed the same routine, so it’s been a long time since you have experienced that incredible sensation of being alive that makes you try new things.
Ways to step out of your comfort zone:
Make a list of things that make you uncomfortable
Ask deep questions
Start a conversation with a stranger
Make small adjustments to your daily routine
Become a yes person
Try a new skill
Workout in a fun new way
Reframe your stress as fuel
Start a new creative activity
Read a random book
Be a positive force online
Switch up your diet
Give a compliment
The key for me is that we need to spend a certain amount of time in our comfort zone (for each of us this amount will vary). Being constantly stretched, challenged and in the fear zone can lead to overwhelm and burnout. Notice the extremes:
If you have become 'too comfortable' - mix things up and challenge yourself
If you have become 'too uncomfortable' - find a routine and get yourself in a comfortable space