It’s natural to want to stay within your comfort zone, simply because stepping into the unknown is scary. While some people live for a good challenge, the truth is that trying new things makes most people really uncomfortable.
Why does this matter? Because being outside of our comfort zone is the only way to grow in life. It’s easy to stay within the limitations of what you’re familiar with, but nothing big ever comes from that. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and watch the amazing ways your life will change. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Determine what you would do if fear wasn’t a factor.
So many of the things we want to do in life are put on hold because we’re scared. We stick to our normal routine because we’re worried about what others will think, we’re worried about what will happen if we fail, and so on. The first step to pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is being honest with yourself about the things you would do in life if you weren’t afraid.
Would you start that business you’ve always dreamed of? Would you spend 3 months traveling the world? Write these things down or add them to a vision board. If you’re unfamiliar with this tactic, a vision board is a visual representation of the things you desire that will help motivate you to make your dreams a reality. Read this article for ideas on how you can create one for yourself.
Relinquish your need for control.
Do you find yourself in need of constant control over every little thing? Are you feeling like you always have to make things happen instead of just letting them happen in their own way? For many people, being in control is a safe space, and when things happen outside of their control, they panic.
If this sounds like you, try challenging yourself to trust others and fully delegate responsibilities as often as possible, whether big or small. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but over time you’ll notice that this benefits your life by making you a lot less stressed and lot more comfortable trusting in others’ abilities.
Hang out with people who challenge themselves.
Remember those people we talked about who live for a good challenge? Try hanging out with these types of people as much as possible!
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to be on their exact level—if they’re like thrill-seeker Nik Wallenda who crossed the 1,500-foot Grand Canyon on a tightrope, you are under no obligation to do the same. However, being in the presence of people who face their fears head on and are fully comfortable being uncomfortable can help you adopt a similar mindset.
Start off small.
Just because skydiving is outside of your comfort zone, on your bucket list, and on your vision board, doesn’t mean you have to go do something that extreme tomorrow (unless you really want to). Pushing yourself to do new, big things doesn’t have to happen overnight. In fact, it’s best to take baby steps at the beginning.
Start by challenging yourself to do one small thing that’s uncomfortable for you each day, like going out to eat alone or even just waking up an hour earlier in the mornings (way easier said than done). Once you get over the fear and anxiety of the small things, it’ll be easier to start doing bigger and bigger things.
Author John Assaraf says, “Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” It’s all about constantly challenging yourself to reach new heights in order to gain life experience.