Get Out of Your Comfort Zone - How to Do New Things
I tend to stay in friendships, jobs & activities longer than I should because I like to be comfortable. I like to be safe & not have to worry about pleasing someone (if I can get away with it) or having to worry about what it would mean to make a change or have to put forth as much effort as I did in the beginning.
Why you ask? Because it’s scary. It’s scary & hard to step outside of your comfort zone because of the unknown, the deathly uncertainty & the fear of not knowing what the heck to do when you step out.
Usually for me, I have to be over zealous about whatever it is I want or need to do that would be considered stepping outside of my comfort zone. I have to be so overly hyped that it distracts me from all the fear I have of whatever it is. And this is a tactic I have used for years on end. It works well for me, but I have been working harder to just step out into new things, without needing to hype myself up, because I’d like to push through that fear & try new things on the regular.
But let’s recognize that stepping out of your comfort zone is really tough. It does get easier as time goes on, as with most things, but it’s natural to always hold onto a little bit of fear/excitement because of the initial jump out of the unknown.
The thing about getting out of your comfort zone that causes trouble for people is the fear of the unknown. Also the fear of your values & beliefs clashing with whatever this new experience will bring. Those kinds of experiences can rock our lives, leaving us unsure what to think or even feel, besides fear.
But what I believe we don’t realize & forget is that there is so much to learn & grow in when we decide to step outside. There is a feeling of increased anxiety & risk when doing something different & new, but it’s always so worth it. Even when it doesn’t turn out, it’s still a valuable experience because you for sure learned something.
So let’s chat about how we can get outside of our comfort zone:
1. Switch up your daily routine a bit.
It's so important for you to mix in a little bit of something you haven't tried, or maybe something you haven't done in a while just to change up your routine. Because I know that there are a lot of us, including myself, that have the same exact routine when you wake up, in the middle of the day and when you go to bed at night.
Adding in extra time in the morning to journal, meditate or reading a book could be something to shake up your morning. Or incorporating a walk or something else enjoyable during the day or as a break from work will help your day not seem so ridgid & boring. I honestly think you could shake up your routine quarterly or twice yearly, because it will help you to stay on your toes, but also refresh the routine. That way you don’t fall into a slump.
2. Make a point to learn something new.
I love to watch documentaries, read both fiction & non-fiction books, magazines, little articles online, all types of things that will facilitate learning opportunities.
You can also spend time chatting with people you know or don’t know, learn more about what they do for work or play & glean knowledge from others as a form of learning, as well.
My biggest point is to incorporate learning into your life every single day, which will help you bust out of your comfort zone & understand more from different mindsets & perspectives.
3. Identify certain things you want to overcome.
There is always something you can work on for yourself. And if you have this mindset, you will always be growing & becoming your best self.
But find things to overcome that will cause you to step outside of your comfort zone, meaning not easy. This could be managing your anger or anxiety, or maybe overcoming perfectionism or people pleasing behaviors. It could also be confronting someone & giving your personal feedback that maybe you were afraid to do in the past.
And you don’t have to come up with all the answers on your own on how to overcome these things. Seeking help from friends, family & professionals is advised.
4. Get more comfortable being uncomfortable.
I would encourage you little by little, to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. Be okay with not knowing the answer to something, be okay with people feeling awkward when you're asking questions or when you're trying to explain something that the other person doesn’t understand. Be comfortable speaking in front of people, if that’s not something you normally do or be comfortable confessing your love to someone. Or even be comfortable seeking out a professional to help you with whatever mental health struggles that you are currently going through.
The more that we can be comfortable being uncomfortable, the more we will be able to do and the stronger we will become, I promise you.
5. Spend more time with people that step outside of their comfort zones.
Find people in your life that are already stepping outside of their comfort zones and ask them questions, observe them and see how they get through those uncomfortable moments, those uncertain and exposed times in their lives. You could also use them as a mentor if you’re willing to have that kind of relationship with them.
I think it's always nice to have someone to look up to and someone you can trust to ask questions and figure out how to do something even better. And I feel like spending more time with people that do go outside their comfort zones would be very beneficial to you.
I hope these tips & anecdotes have helped you understand what it means to step outside of your comfort zone & how to accomplish that, if you aren’t sure how.
If you’d like to hear a few more details in regards to moving out of your comfort zone, please take a listen to episode #272, Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone - Be Your Own Mentor, of the RealPositiveGirl podcast for a little bit deeper of a dive into this conversation.