“The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.” ~Benedict Cumberbatch
Sometimes what keeps us from getting what we want in life is our reluctance to change our routines and habits. We want to minimize the stress and risk that breaking the routine may cause. Can you blame us? Life is stressful enough. However, we may know in our heart of hearts that the job or relationship is not right for us. We endure them because we fear what is next, or we are stuck in a neurotic pattern based in our experiences. Whatever it is – we can break out of these patterns and create positive change.
Here are 10 ways to step out of your comfort zone and into greatness:
1. Face a fear that you have – Do you have a fear that’s been hanging around awhile? It comes to mind and then goes dormant for lack of pushing yourself? Many people fear public speaking. Maybe it’s asking for a raise, or forgiving someone who has hurt you. Think of that one fear that may be holding you back from your potential and set a goal to tackle it in the next three months. When you achieve that fear, reward yourself for your victory and for improving yourself.
2. Do what scares you every day – Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” How powerful that would be to make a conscious effort to do what scares you? What would open up? New friendships? New opportunities? Start out by making a list of three things at the beginning of the week and challenge yourself to do each one during the week. Make it fun and see what good things transpire.
3. Make a bold move towards a goal – Sometimes we just need to throw our hats over the wall and take a big risk for big rewards. For example, many people dream to leave their corporate jobs to pursue a hobby that has been a passion and just need to figure out how to make it happen. The first step is to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal, a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-limited. Here is an example: I will leave my corporate job by September 1, 2015 to pursue a freelance writing career. Just make sure the goal is realistic and achievable within the timeframe you set. Then create a plan with action steps. Now take one small action everyday towards your goal, or at least once a week. Before long, you will have made real progress and feel good about yourself too.
4. Change your mindset – Changing our thoughts can help us move in the direction we want. This takes mental stamina and discipline. A helpful way to start retraining your mind is by creating affirmations having to do with what you desire and/or whom you want to become and say them every day. Eventually these affirmations will become a part of your belief system.
5. Explore your fears – There are certain general fears that we have that keep us stuck like the fear of success or the fear of failure. To get unstuck, you first need to explore and identify what fears may be holding you back. Then you can work to face and resolve them so that you can move ahead with what you want in life.
6. Grow to your next level – What we perceive as negative about ourselves can limit us. Perhaps something happened and then we made a decision not to go down that path again. It takes courage to step up our game and be willing to bear the pain of this growth. Author Saji Ijiyemi said, “A lot of people desire to go to their next level but only a few are determined to grow to their next level.” To “grow to your next level”, first find out what this means to you and then be willing to take on the challenge.
7. Change your look – Our interior world, our thoughts and beliefs, are often reflected in our exterior world and not just in our behaviors but in our physical appearance. For example, you may be struggling with self-confidence and, unknowingly, are trying to hide yourself to avoid attention by playing down your appearance. A makeover can boost your confidence! You can wear brighter clothing, get a new style haircut or lose some weight. It may be uncomfortable at first to make these changes, but you will send a powerful message to your inner self that you are strong and worthy.
8. Have a tough conversation – “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have,” says Author Tim Ferris. Having a conversation with a friend, loved one or co-worker about something that bothers you in the relationship is one of the most difficult and courageous things to do. Also, one of the most responsible and effective way to create deeper connections and build confidence.
9. Practice believing in yourself – Our belief systems or thoughts can paralyze us. If we think negatively about our abilities, then we create ruts. To get out of a rut or bad habit, explore ways that you can practice believing in yourself. Some ways might include creating a vision board of various goals and inspirational messages and/or practice visualization to help manifest your dreams and who you want to be.
10. Try something new – A way to step out of what is familiar is to explore new and different things. You can start by creating a bucket list, a list where you write down all the experiences you would like to do in your lifetime like travel to certain places, run a marathon, do yoga, write a book, play an instrument, ride a zip line, become an entrepreneur. This bucket list is a great way to help you think of new ways to step out of your comfort zone.
Which one of these 10 ways will you tackle first? Let us know by commenting below. We’d love to hear from you!