Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
Definition: The comfort zone is a psychological state in which a person feels familiar, at ease, in control and experiences low anxiety and stress. In the zone a steady level of performance is possible.
Task: To begin to step outside your comfort zone you must know where the boundaries of that comfort zone is. Think about your day to day life, the places you visit and the things that you do every day. Think of the routines you currently have and what happens when those routines are disturbed. What makes you anxious and why? Think about the things that you would love to do but you feel anxious or resistant at the thoughts of actually doing them.
What is the comfort zone?
The comfort zone is a very comfortable place. There are no challenges, no risks, no anxiety or resistance within yourself. The comfort zone is a place that we are in most of the time and we put up a big wall or boundary around that zone and god forbid if anyone breaches it!
Our comfort zones are completely unique, individual and personal. What is comfortable for me might be completely uncomfortable to somebody else so it is totally relative to each individual person.
It is comfortable to us because we don’t have to push ourselves within it. We can be resigned and use the age-old excuses we have been using for years. This can make us quite resistant to change and we start to resist the natural flow of life – this can cause suffering within your life.
Our comfort zone has also got a great deal to do with our confidence within ourselves and how much we love ourselves. The more we love ourselves, the more confidence we have within ourselves, the more comfortable we become with life and everything around us – the bigger our comfort zone gets.
How staying within your comfort zone can negatively affect our lives
The affect our comfort zone has on our lives, depends on how aware of it we are. It can also affect many areas of our lives, relationships, confidence, progress and change.
If we are unaware of where our comfort zone boundaries lie then it will hold us back. It will stop us from facing our fears and living life to the fullest. It will stop us from having fun and will more than likely keep us in a rut that will contract further and further around us.
Staying within our comfort zones can adversely affect not only our physical health and wellbeing but our mental and emotional health and wellbeing also.
It can stop us from being open to change and progress in our lives.
Living within our comfort zones can make us fearful of life and take away our ability to have a say in our lives.
Life is not meant to be lived only within our comfort zones, if it was there would be no such thing as taking risks.
Benefits of stepping outside our comfort zone
- There is no end to the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone!
- Gain more confidence in yourself.
- You will begin to become more comfortable with change and the unknown.
- Spontaneity is the spice of life!
- Meet new people and make new friends.
- Discover new places that you never would have before.
- Learn something new – educating yourself certainly doesn’t have to be boring!
- You will have more fun.
- You will gain more life experience.
- You will have a new lease of life and create a life that is full of joy and beauty.
How to step outside your comfort zone
The first thing I always advise people is to take small steps at first. This is not a race but a journey. You are creating new boundaries for yourself and this takes time.
Look at the bigger picture of your comfort zone. Where do your boundaries lie? Where could you relax them?
What are you missing in your life? Fun, Joy, Love? Let that be your guide!
Set yourself a target/goals and make a plan to achieve them – write out the small steps you could take towards achieving them. What is going to support you?
The more you step outside your comfort zone the more comfortable you will become with doing it!
Be spontaneous it can lead to unexpected fun and experiences!
You might have to push yourself at first and you will feel resistance but this is a sure sign you are on the right track!
Bank your successes! Keep track of everything you do that has taken you outside that comfort zone of yours!