What are tips on how to step out of your comfort zone?
- Change your mindset — believe that you can
- Reframe your fear and anxiety
- Reflect, and write down your goals
- Find a support system
- Take action — small steps matter
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
We spend most of our lives in our comfort zones. It feels safe and secure — who would want to leave? Though everything we dream about achieving lies outside of it. Stepping out into the unknown can make you feel vulnerable
, afraid, and insecure. But in that struggle comes opportunities for growth and learning. Outside of your comfort zone is where you evolve. Starting before you’re ready isn’t easy — but it’s necessary. Stepping out of your comfort zone begins in knowing what it is.
What is a “comfort zone”?
Let’s define the term “comfort zone,” and how this concept affects us. A comfort zone is a self-imposed boundary. Pushing past this limit can fill us with nervousness and anxiety. As a result, you may hesitate or even avoid doing certain things that make you uncomfortable.
It’s easy for many to stay within their comfort zone. However, doing so may prevent you from experiencing new things, or finding happiness in life. After all, how will we know we don’t like something if we’ve never even tried it? This is why it’s important to step out of your comfort zone.
So to help you take that first step, here’s our guide on how to step out of your comfort zone.
Change your mindset — believe you can
When you start thinking about stepping out of your comfort zone, it’s common to say “Oh, but I don’t have the time for this right now,” or “I don’t think I can do it.” These are classic deflection techniques.
If you’re set on moving out of your comfort zone, then you have to change your mindset. Embrace the idea that you can do these things — or at least attempt to. Accept that you’re capable of figuring things out, that you’re able to make things happen. Train your brain
to value growth over comfort, and failure and effort over never trying.
Reframe your fear and anxiety
Society tends to think of all stress as “bad,” which is why we associate stressfulness with fear and anxiety. Likewise, we often see fear and anxiety as bad things. But there exists the concept of “eustress” -- positive stress that provides energy and motivation to push through. These feeling can be reframed as exciting and propels you out of your comfort zone.
The key here is to work with your feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety — not against it. Realize that your emotions are natural, and having this self-doubt and insecurity is temporary. As you continue to walk the path, you will eventually gain more self-confidence. Furthermore, you’ll attain experience, which will help you manage those emotions.
Reflect and write down your goals
Comfort zones are different for everyone. To step out of it, you should know what your current boundaries are. In addition, continuing to occupy your comfort zone in certain aspects of your life isn’t always bad.
For example, it might be fine to stay where you are in regards to your painting skills, but maybe you want to develop your photography. The point here is to reflect on your comfort zone and current situation then identify bottlenecks.
What areas of your life do you want to build? Which are doing more harm than good? Once you’ve identified them, write down actionable goals that will help you develop towards a more favorable position.
Find a support system
The company you keep can greatly affect your progress. The people around you can uplift you, but sometimes they can also shut you down. Hence choosing a support system
is important. Find people who see your drive and cheer you on — but don’t just keep the yes people around. Make sure they’re also practical and can help direct your energy positively.
Aside from moral support, they can have personal strengths as well that would be beneficial for you. Everyone has their own experiences leaving their comfort zone. They may also be someone you can approach for mentoring. The people around you are great sources of insight you can use throughout your journey.
Take action — small steps matter
Now that you know where to start and where you can go for support, decide which step to take first. Wherever you choose to move, what’s important is that you keep your pace. If that means taking small steps, that’s okay! Leaving your comfort zone isn’t always throwing caution to the wind.
Even the tiniest of steps can train your brain into becoming used to change. These can be eating at new restaurants, attending networking events, joining your company’s game night, reading a book of a new genre. Make this a routine, and you’ll be shocked by how much less intimidating everything becomes.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously. When we maintain a “do-or-die” attitude, everything starts to seem more intimidating. This seriousness often comes from our fear of failure. But remember it’s okay to fail — it’s inevitable in any risk that we take, and it’s not the end of the world. So laugh at yourself and your mistakes as they happen. Try to enjoy the process of stepping outside of your comfort zone and the fun of discovering new sides of yourself.
It may seem scary to go out into the unknown, but there are opportunities for growth out there. So use our guide on how to step out of your comfort zone and take the leap today. Remember — your journey is all about you, progress at your own pace. Eventually, you’ll feel more and more at ease about things that once seemed so dangerous to you.