Being in your comfort zone feels safe, secure and familiar, which is why it can be so hard to get out of. When your activities and behaviours always follow a particular routine, you experience less stress and anxiety. However, problems arise with the onset of stagnation, which leads to lethargy and a lack of passion for life. That’s why it’s so important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone, in order to grow, achieve and succeed.
Here’s how to do it.
Move towards fear to experience the rewards.
Move towards fear and vulnerability
There’s plenty of research on why facing your fears and embracing vulnerability leads to personal and professional growth. For one thing, when you don’t, it’s quite likely you’ll be forced to anyway. While leaving your comfort zone may slightly increase stress in the short term, the long term benefits far outweigh the minor discomfort.
Fear usually stems from not wanting to fail or excessive worrying about unknown outcomes. However, if you’ve ever pushed through and conquered fears, you’ll know the sense of accomplishment that awaits, when you get to the other side. Pushing your boundaries regularly in this way helps you become more productive, deal with unexpected change, harness creativity and foster trust in yourself.
Even small changes, like trying new foods, helps you out of your comfort zone.
Make small changes everyday
It’s often everyday routine that lulls you into a false sense of contentment, that can rapidly turn to stagnation.
It’s often everyday routine that lulls you into a false sense of contentment that can rapidly turn to stagnation. When you make small changes everyday, you train your brain to be on the lookout for new challenges, which results in wider perspectives, intellectual development and inspiration.
Start with simple changes, such as driving to work a different way, eating new foods, or exercising outside instead of at the gym. Before you know it, you’ll enjoy the stimulation so much that you’ll seek new challenges, like learning a language or conquering your fear of heights.
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Learn how to manage risks
Identifying risks helps you alleviate the unnecessary worry that often comes with leaving your comfort zone. Rather than let the idea of risk stop you from achieving, start practicing risk management. This means figuring out the worst case scenario and whether or not it’s worth it to go ahead. Doing this helps you define preventive measures and contingency plans, in case your challenge doesn’t work out.
Remember, that if the worst thing that can happen is failure and temporary embarrassment, you’ll learn how to do better, next time. Embrace failure as a teacher and move on. The more you step out of your comfort zone, the easier it’ll be to take risks, as you start to experience the immense rewards.
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