By Estra Roell – Life Coach
“If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.”
~ Roy Bennett
“Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end. Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett
The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels safe, at ease and secure, surrounded by the familiar.
It’s a necessary place to be, as we all need to feel safe. We’re actually hard wired to seek comfort. However, it is equally necessary to occasionally step out of that place of the familiar in order to grow and to live fully.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
As children, we did it frequently. As a former teacher of young children I can tell you that children delight in experiencing new things and if it doesn’t go right it’s no big deal. They’re happy to try again. That’s how they learn about the world around them.
So, what happens along the way that causes so many people to stay stuck in their comfort zone? We learn fear.
We become afraid of the results ending in ridicule or failure. As a result, we stymie our growth and our potential for more success, more joy, more enrichment.
Getting out of your comfort zone need not be excruciating. Taking risks and experiencing a little anxiety is what helps us grow. And the other side of fear is truly exhilarating!
Here are some tips to help you:
1. What are the things you see as worthwhile that you’re stopping yourself from because they feel uncomfortable?
Make a list and pick one to start.
2. Start with small steps.
Taking too big a jump will be overwhelming and send you back into your comfort zone. Break it down into small steps. If you want to speak in front of people, practice in front of a few trusted family members or friends first. If you want to be more adventuresome and explore new places, start by taking a different route to work.
3. Grab a partner!
Join a meet-up group or a gym with a friend. It’s easier to enter new territory with a friend.
For example, I wanted to do a radio show shortly after becoming a coach, but was afraid to get started. So—I co-hosted with another coach. We were both nervous to start, but less so than we would have been alone. We ended up having a blast and interviewing so many wonderful people! Later, I hosted a radio program solo and loved that as well.
4. See mistakes or “failures” as learning experiences.
That’s what they really are, after all. With every so-called failure you learn something new that you can utilize the next time to increase your chances of success. Be willing to let go of taking yourself so seriously!
5. Be honest with yourself about what’s really going on.
Instead of making excuses about why you can’t do something, admit that you are feeling fear. As soon as you own your feelings, it gets easier to deal with them. You can then move forward with more clarity.
6. Visualize the outcome you want.
What would it feel like to go on the trip, play on the sports team, speak in front of an appreciative audience, get the dream job? Inject a feeling of fun into it!
7. Focus on the benefits of breaking through your comfort zone.
What will you gain by trying something new? How will you grow personally or how will it advance you in your career?
Estra Roell, Certified LOA and Life Purpose Coach – www.AmericasLifePurposecoach.com