How to step out of your Comfort Zone?

Popular Comfort Zone quotes:

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

– Neale Donald Walsch

The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone

– Karen Salmansohn

As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal

– Robin S. Sharma

Most motivational quotes will have you feeling that one of the biggest hurdles to success is living in your comfort zone. Life however makes you run from one end to other just to create a comfort zone, create a safety net where you can live a contented life.

Two extremes–the solution has got to be somewhere in between. I personally believe it’s about comfortably stepping out of the comfort zone to keep growth alive!

Comfort zone meaning:

Comfort zone is a combination of beliefs & behaviour patterns that lead to a familiar & predictable outcome.

Let’s accept–uncertainty produces discomfort. Comfort zone is a place which does not have any perceived threats. Comfort zone also helps us with decision fatigue.

Is it time to step out of the comfort zone?

As we can see, it’s not bad to have a comfort zone, but it’s imperative to step out of it once the comfort zone has outlived its usefulness–we all had the comfy blanky when young. No doubt the blanket is still comfortable, but then we don’t carry it everywhere anymore.

The issue is at some point the comfort zones stop serving its purpose and become obsolete. A core challenge for many is establishing what makes up our comfort zone, when it stops serving its purpose and how to get out of it.

Here are some indicators that tell you that your current comfort zone no longer serves its purpose:

  • You feel stuck and stagnant – Do you find yourself longing for some freshness?
  • You don’t experience joy
  • You want a change but cannot make it happen
  • You are getting frustrated that your actions are producing the same results
  • People around you are pointing out that you are doing the same thing repeatedly.
  • The major indicator – You feel you have become too comfortable!

What do you need to step out of the comfort zone?

Stepping out of the comfort zone requires two things – readiness to change and enduring the process of change.

If you don’t see any benefit in making changes, it will have a direct impact on readiness. Without readiness, the finest of tools & techniques are a waste. The better you are satisfied you need to change a behaviour or a situation, the easier it will be for you to endure the process of change.

When you resolve to change, understand that it will also indirectly ask of those around you to change – you change, their familiar reactions will also need to change. So you can expect some resistance from those around you. If you lack endurance, it becomes challenging to deal with these people and as a result most retreat to known and familiar behaviour patterns aka comfort zone.

How to step out of comfort zone, comfortably?

  1. Sit with you journal and recall all your first time experiences: first time you went to a new school, first time you entered college, your first job, the first time you attended a yoga class, the first time you travelled alone – You did it! You were at times alone in the experience and at times you had friends. Some new experiences were by choice and some circumstantial. None the less, you embraced a new experience. Remembering these firsts can ignite the neuropathways that reaffirm your ability in embracing new patterns.
  2. Push the boundaries little at a time. Sudden change can be overwhelming for your system.
  3. You don’t have to do it alone. Keep loved ones involved when stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s easier to do it when you have cheerleaders along the way.

What most people forget is that we don’t keep on changing, it’s more like we change a bit – stay there for a bit and then change again. The current comfort zone seems like it was something you were born with, but make no mistake, it has taken you some time to reach this current comfort zone.

If you feel you are ready to step out of your comfort zone, you can do it!