I like traditions. I rely heavily on routines.
I hate surprises. I hate anything that obstructs my planned out schedules.
I like being able to predict everything. I like being in the safe zone. My personal bubble is what keeps me alive… I think.
But once I really think about it, being in my comfort zone was restricting me to an endless loop of days which are all the same. And more importantly, I remain stagnant. I am living the life of a human robot who has to follow what was expected of her. Go to work, get stuck in traffic for an hour, do my 9-5, go home, sleep, and repeat. And on the weekends? I do not even have the energy to go out because the whole week drained the life out of me – I needed to recharge.
In a nutshell:
By staying in my comfort zone, I say YES to:
- Being in control
- Being comfortable
- Being secure
On the other hand, this leads me to saying NO to:
- New opportunities
- New experiences
- New lessons and learnings
- New stories to tell
I don’t know about you but I perceive this outline as: Being uncomfortable is the key to success. Feeling discomfort means you are actually doing things that will help you move forward in your life. It means you are finally yearning for something more.
And I thought I was long overdue.
Hence, I took the first step to stepping out of my comfort zone to welcome the unknown. I quit my 9-5, a stable and secure job. And I started to live my life ever since.
I started a blog all on my own with my own savings. In turn, I reached a global readership which I would have never imagined happening.
I delved into freelancing which promises no stability whatsoever (especially if you are a first timer). In turn, I was offered a project that gave me the opportunity to go on a business travel to different countries.
Through that opportunity, I was able to experience traveling alone which was also one thing that I would have never imagined me trying!
Now the question is: What are the steps to help you get out of your comfort zone and welcome discomfort into your life? Lucky for you, I have these 5 easy steps made just for you:
You can start off as simple as going to the mall by yourself or watching a movie by yourself. This might be an easy thing for some, but for people with anxiety (like me), this is a great challenge. And trust me, if I was able to do it, you can as well!
You see, by having the courage to leave the house and do things by myself gave me the confidence to be out there. I was able to lessen my fear of showing myself to people or accidentally catching their gazes. I realized that no one will really notice me or no one will have the time to judge me. And if they did? Well, that is probably the first and last time they will see me, anyways.
You do not need to overwhelm yourself at the start of the process by suddenly jumping off a plane or riding the tallest roller coaster. That will be like one step forward and two steps back. Yes you’ve tried stepping out of your comfort zone but you might actually have scared yourself off from trying more things. It is perfectly fine to build your confidence and courage through baby steps. Trust the process and go easy on yourself. You will get there in no time!
So now I ask you:
- What is that one thing that you think is easy for others to do, but not to you?
- Will you be faced with harm once you do that?
- What’s the worst case scenario?
- But will you still be breathing at the end of the day?
- Will it really hurt to try?
Don’t listen to your head
When they say “It’s all in the mind”, it usually is—especially in this case. If you did not know, the concept of “comfort zone” all roots back to your subconscious mind. According to Brian Tracy, your subconscious’ job is to ensure that you stick to what you are programmed to do. It ensures you that you follow your routines and helps you to be consistent with your day-to-day patterns.
Hence, when you encounter something new, your subconscious will make you feel fear. It will whisper, “Stop. We have never done that before.” Because of this, your subconscious will bring you back to your comfort zone.
This time, it is actually best to not listen to your head.
When you think of something challenging or new to do, do it immediately.Try to start that action within 3 seconds. Don’t wait for your subconscious to wake up and drag you back to your comfort zone.
Make it a routine
Here is another scene where the subconscious plays a part. As mentioned, your subconscious’ role is to help you act in a consistent pattern. With this, you can actually make the process of being comfortable with discomfort an everyday activity. This is where you create and maintain new habits. Try to seek new challenges everyday. Maybe eat alone at a restaurant at day 1. Go to a movie alone on day 2. Wake up early and go on a hike on day 3. Expand your comfort zone everyday.
The success to this is through consistency. It takes tons of practice to be comfortable with discomfort.
Let me help you some more! Get your FREE 7-day checklist of new challenges to help guide you out of your comfort zone! Click here!
Look back on your previous achievements
Newsflash: You are not who you are today if you have not made any changes in your life. You did not reach this position in your life if you did not do something new. Now, I want you to think back to your achievements. An example is that time you gained a new friend. Or maybe that day where you received a text that you got the job. Think about that day and think about how you felt that day. Was your hard work all worth it?
Now ask yourself these:
- What did you do at that time to achieve that kind of reward?
- What risks did you take to reach that position?
- How did it help you grow?
- Do you think it is worth to try it again?
Take that first step
Note how I said it that way: “Take that first step.”
I did not say “Take the plunge” or “Dive right in”.
This is a process. You cannot just wake up the next day and say you’re courageous now to do everything and anything – it does not happen overnight. You are going to take baby steps. You will walk, you will run, and you might take a break to jog or return back to walking. But I will assure you that you will improve and grow. You will be open to new opportunities. You will welcome yourself to life-long experiences. You will be living life.
And there is no perfect time to start but now.
Feeling motivated yet? Let me help you some more! Get your free 7-day checklist of new challenges to help guide you out of your comfort zone! Click here!