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How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone Comfortably

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Everyone has a comfort zone, that safe space where we feel most at ease and in control. It's where we can predict the outcome of our actions and know what to expect from the world around us. However, staying within this space for too long can lead to stagnation, complacency, and missed opportunities.

Whether we like it or not (spoiler alert—I hate it) we have to get out of our comfort zone from time to time if we want to grow as people, as writers, and as freelancers.

What is a Comfort Zone?

As the name suggests, a comfort zone is a psychological state where we feel comfortable, safe and secure. It is where our actions and behaviors fit into familiar patterns that minimize stress and risk. This may involve specific habits or routines that we develop over time, such as certain foods or drinks, particular social situations or hobbies.

The problem with staying within our comfort zones is that it often leads to missed opportunities for growth and development. By avoiding new experiences or challenges outside of our familiar routine, we limit ourselves to what we already know instead of pushing ourselves to learn more about the world around us.

Why Is Stepping out of Our Comfort Zones Important?

Although initially stepping out of your comfort zone may create feelings of anxiety or fear due to being in an unfamiliar situation with unknown outcomes – it is through these experiences that you will grow as an individual.. If you want to achieve success in any area of life – whether it be personal growth, relationships or professional goals – you need to be willing to step outside your comfort zone every now and then.

Beyond just personal growth there are also practical reasons why stepping outside your comfort zone can be important. It can help build confidence in yourself as well as provide alternative perspectives on situations you find yourself in due to tackling new experiences with a fresh mindset; leading ultimately towards greater satisfaction with both yourself and your life as a whole.

Is it Really That Bad to Stay Inside Your Comfort Zone?

Before we move too much further into this, there is something I really want to address here.

It is important to step out of your comfort zone from time to time to learn and grow and to experience new things. But it's just as important to spend some time in your comfort zone so you can reflect on that growth and experience.

Have you heard that saying, “nothing great ever came from within your comfort zone”? Or maybe you've heard “everything you want is outside of your comfort zone.” Or even “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Well let me tell you something: these sayings are a load of toxic crap. They're right up there with “all you need is a positive mindset” and “if you believe hard enough you can manifest the life you want.”

Whoever said these sayings was clearly not a writer, artist, or any other creative entrepreneur.

Some of the best writing I have ever done—and some of the best writing I have ever read by other authors—came from when they were so deep within their comfort zone that theirs was the only voice they could hear…drowning out the haters, the self-doubt, the fears, the anxiety…

Hot Take: Being inside your comfort zone is where the true growth occurs from all that experience you gained from stepping out of your comfort zone.

But that's another post.

I just wanted to get that out of the way so you don't think that because it's so important to get out of your comfort zone, that it must mean you have to stay out there.

It's not necessarily about getting out of your comfort zone: it's about striking a balance between stepping out of your comfort zone when you need to and stepping back into it at the right times.

Why is it difficult to leave our comfort zone?

It's no secret that stepping out of our comfort zone can be a daunting task. While the idea of trying new things may seem exciting, the reality of it is often met with hesitation and fear. Three common reasons why people struggle with leaving their comfort zone include fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and fear of judgment.

Fear of the Unknown

One reason why it's challenging to leave our comfort zone is that we fear what we don't know. We are creatures of habit and thrive in familiarity because it provides us with a sense of safety and security.

However, when we venture into uncharted territory, there's a lot we don't know or understand. It makes us feel vulnerable and exposed which can be quite uncomfortable.

The unknown can trigger feelings of anxiety and apprehension leading to self-doubt and second-guessing. For instance, if you've always been afraid to travel alone because you're not familiar with the language or culture, it's natural to feel anxious about taking that first step towards adventure.

Fear of Failure

Another reason why people struggle to step out of their comfort zones is due to fear of failure. We all want to succeed in life, but when we try something new, there's always a risk that things may not go as planned.

Fearful thoughts like “What if I fail?” or “What if I embarrass myself?” start creeping into our minds which makes us hesitant about taking risks. The truth is that failure is an inevitable part of life.

The most successful people in the world have failed many times before reaching their goals! It's important to embrace failure as an opportunity for growth and learning rather than something negative.

Fear of Judgment

Another reason why people find it challenging to leave their comfort zone is due to fear of judgment. We're all social beings, and what others think about us matters to some degree.

Unfortunately, when we try something new, there's always a chance that we'll be judged negatively by others. For example, if you've always been a quiet person and decide to join a public speaking club, it's natural to worry about what others will think of your performance.

However, it's essential to remember that we can't control how others perceive us. The most important thing is how we feel about ourselves and our personal growth.

Stepping out of our comfort zone can be difficult due to fear of the unknown, fear of failure and fear of judgment. However with time, patience and practice these fears can be overcome so that we may grow personally and professionally in areas beyond our current comfort range.

How to get out of your comfort zone comfortably?

faceless person wearing a mauve button-down shirt with a name tag that reads "Hello, I'm leaving my comfort zone" for the blog post "how to get out of your comfort zone comfortably."

Start small and gradually increase challenges

The thought of leaving our comfort zone can be overwhelming, but the key is to start small. Take baby steps and gradually increase the level of challenge.

For example, if you're afraid of public speaking, start by talking in front of a few friends or family members. Then move on to speaking in front of a small group.

As you become more comfortable, challenge yourself to speak in front of larger groups. Another way to start small is by trying new things that are outside your routine.

This could be as simple as taking a different route to work or trying a new type of food. The idea is to train your brain to become comfortable with change and new experiences.

Set better QUALITY goals

I'll be the first to admit that I hate “SMART goals”. I don't think there's anything smart about them, especially for people working toward creative goals.

Instead of using SMART goals for things, I prefer to set QUALITY goals:

  • Quantifiable — will you be able to measure and evaluate your progress toward that goal.
  • Uplifting — will the journey toward the goal benefit or enrich your life in some way as much as attaining the goal would?
  • Ambitious — will the goal push you far enough outside of your comfort zone to spark real growth? Will it challenge you?
  • Lasting Consistency — will the goal require you to work consistently toward it, or will taking a break derail the entire track?
  • Impact — will attaining the goal have an impact on some part of your life or the lives of people around you? How significant will that impact be?
  • Thrilling — does the prospect of achieving that goal hold enough excitement to keep you motivated and driven toward it? Will you be compelled to continue striving?
  • Your True Value — will attaining that goal bring you closer to your sense of self?

QUALITY goals help you build up the perfect balance between stepping out of your comfort zone to take a risk and achieve something great and stepping back into your comfort zone to reflect and build yourself up on everything you've learned; they take all the best parts of SMART goals, like the measurability, and combines it with things you can't measure, like ambition and thrill.

Best of all, QUALITY goals help ensure that what you're trying to accomplish actually aligns with what you want to accomplish. And believe me, there is nothing worse than waking up one day and realizing that all the work you did for 9 years didn't actually do anything to help you achieve your goals.

Embrace discomfort and learn from failures

Stepping out of your comfort zone will inevitably cause discomfort and even failure at times. However, it's important to embrace this discomfort as an opportunity for growth instead of shying away from it.

When faced with failure or discomfort, take time to reflect on what went wrong and what you can do better next time. Use these experiences as learning opportunities that will help you tackle bigger challenges in the future.

Surround yourself with supportive people

Having a supportive network of friends and family is crucial when trying to step out of your comfort zone. These people can provide encouragement, advice, and accountability as you take on new challenges.

It's important to share your goals with those closest to you so that they can help hold you accountable and celebrate your successes with you. Surrounding yourself with positive influences will also help boost your confidence and make the process of stepping out of your comfort zone more enjoyable.

Try New Things

One of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone is to try new things. This can be as simple as trying a new restaurant or taking a different route to work, but it can also be as big as skydiving or bungee jumping. The key is to start small and gradually work your way up to bigger challenges.

By taking on small challenges, you can build up your confidence and become more comfortable with trying new things. Over time, you may find that stepping out of your comfort zone becomes easier and more natural.

If you're not sure where to start, consider making a list of things you've always wanted to try but have been too afraid to attempt. Then, pick one item from the list and make it happen!

Overcome Fear and Anxiety

Fear and anxiety are two of the biggest obstacles that prevent people from leaving their comfort zones. However, there are several techniques that can help you overcome these feelings. One effective strategy is mindfulness meditation.

This involves focusing on the present moment without judgment or distraction. By practicing mindfulness regularly, you may find that your fear and anxiety decrease over time.

If mindfulness doesn't work for you, consider seeking professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide guidance on how to manage anxiety and cope with fear in a healthy way.

Take Risks in Personal and Professional Life

Taking risks is an essential part of leaving your comfort zone, whether it's in your personal life or professional career. If you're thinking about applying for a dream job or promotion but are hesitant because it's outside of your comfort zone, remember that taking risks can lead to great rewards.

The worst thing that can happen is that you don't get the job, but you'll still have learned something about yourself and your ability to take on challenges. If you're considering starting your own business, it's important to remember that it will likely involve a lot of risk.

However, with risk comes the potential for great rewards. By starting your own business, you can take control of your career and pursue something that truly excites you.

Challenge Beliefs and Perspectives

One way to leave your comfort zone is to challenge your beliefs and perspectives. This can be done by engaging with people who hold different views or by reading books on unfamiliar topics.

When we surround ourselves with people who think like us, we become complacent in our own beliefs. By engaging with people who hold different views than us, we are forced to confront our own biases and consider new ideas.

Similarly, when we only read books on topics that interest us or align with our beliefs, we miss out on new perspectives. By reading books on unfamiliar topics or from authors with different backgrounds than our own, we can expand our knowledge and challenge our assumptions.

Travel to a New Place

Traveling to a new place is an excellent way to get out of your comfort zone. When you travel somewhere unfamiliar, everything from the language to the food may be different from what you're used to.

This can be scary at first, but it's also an opportunity for growth and learning. By immersing yourself in a new culture or environment, you'll learn new things about yourself and the world around you.

If traveling internationally isn't feasible for you right now, consider exploring a nearby town or city that you've never been to before. Even taking a day trip somewhere new can help shake up your routine and get you out of your comfort zone.

Final Thoughts on Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone Comfortably

Stepping out of your comfort zone may seem daunting, but it is essential for personal growth and development. By facing our fears and trying new things, we can expand our knowledge, skills, and experiences.

And the good news is that you can do it comfortably! The key is to start small and gradually work your way up to bigger challenges.

Remember that it’s normal to feel uncomfortable or even anxious when doing something new or different. But embracing discomfort is a great way to learn about yourself and gain confidence in your abilities.

By setting QUALITY goals and surrounding yourself with supportive people, you can make stepping out of your comfort zone a positive experience. Trying new things is a great way to expand your comfort zone.

Whether it’s trying a new food or taking up a new hobby, each experience can teach us something about ourselves and the world around us. Joining a group or club related to your interests is also an excellent way to meet like-minded people while stepping out of your comfort zone.

Overcoming fear and anxiety may be necessary for some individuals before they can step out of their comfort zones comfortably. Mindfulness practices such as meditation can help reduce anxiety levels while challenging beliefs and perspectives by reading books on unfamiliar topics or engaging with people who hold different views from ours will broaden our minds.

Remember that stepping out of your comfort zone comfortably starts with small steps towards achieving realistic goals while embracing discomfort every step of the way. It's okay not to have all the answers or know what's going to happen next; what matters most is the journey towards growth as individuals who are capable of embracing change positively!

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