The simple definition of the “comfort zone” is a status of staying in a familiar environment to avoid increased stress or failure. As stable and comforting routine could be, it could also be boring and confining over time. Breaking out of your comfort zone is not about signing up for your first bungee jump. It is about renewing your energy and stimulating your brain via experiencing new things even if they could seem frightening.
Why is it important?
Minimizing sources of stress and feeling comfortable, why would anyone want to disrupt that? Simply because you will be missing out on your life. It is like living as a statue and life just happens around you, leaving you to wonder why everyone else is accomplishing. Avoiding failure is avoiding success since failure gets you a step closer to your goal. Thomas Edison explained his 1000 failed attempts to invent the lightbulb “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The lightbulb was an invention with 1000 steps”. No matter how delightful your comfort zone may seem and how risky leaving it may sound, staying in it costs a lot. Life provides wonderful possibilities, but you can’t take advantage of them without passing the obstacle course. So, don’t conceal your most important dreams and aspirations and break free now.
Still, doing that giant leap out of your familiar environment is not going to be piece of cake with rainbows everywhere, but the destination is definitely worth the journey. So get prepared to start transcending limitations by following these steps;
Start with small steps
The first step is always the most difficult. Any task that seems daunting can be broken down into smaller steps. Eventually, your series of small steps become the path to your goal. Some people can leap towards change, others need to take things gradually. In general, small steps result in success as a slow process can help reinforce and enrich the experience.
Adopt new habits
Take a different route to work, school, gym or home, instead of driving your car or taking a bus as usual. Try to explore something different even when you are on your way to a daily destination. Take a walk in the morning and get some fresh air before starting your day, start taking meditation or Yoga classes, or read a few pages before going to bed. There are millions of positive habits that you can adopt to provide yourself with the energy and openness to try new things.
Break the fear barrier
Make a list of your fears and include everything. Face them slowly but surely; make a plan to face your fears one at a time. There are simple fears that you can get over just by simply facing them. And some may need more sophisticated methods of intervention. If you have a phobia, for instance, reach out for help to overcome it. The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) has a remarkable track record of curing phobias. Cross these fears off your list one at a time and enjoy every achievement no matter how little it may seem.
Start trusting your gut
People are different. While some are perfect on snap decisions, others are more comfortable thinking of all of the possible options several times. Sometimes making a snap decision depending on the little information you have and your gut feeling is needed just to get things moving. Trusting your gut can help you jump-start your delayed personal projects and increase your self-confidence.
Learn a new thing
Try to take on a Spanish class, sign up for arts and crafts school, or learn Karate. Learning something new will let you meet new people and add to your knowledge or skillset. It can widen your horizon, open new opportunities in front of you, and most importantly it will be a lot of fun.