While this is a little drastic for what I’m writing about today. It’s something I want to do. A couple years ago I never would’ve thought about it at all.
The Ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way we grow. But often we are afraid to even take a step towards it.
Comfort zones are not really about comfort they are about fear. We need to break the chains of fear to get outside. Once we do we will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.
Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone.
What are the things you believe are worth doing, or are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential of disappointment or failure. I can tell you mine was talking, I was punished for 18 year for talking being hit or locked away., being told what I had to say was not worth anything. That no one wanted to hear what I had to say it didn’t matter. It took me many years to get the courage to even say to someone “Hello.”
Here’s a exercise I want you to try. Draw a circle on a piece of paper on the inside write everything within your comfort zone. On the outside everything outside your comfort zone. This process will allow you to clearly identify your discomforts and comforts, and become clear of what your aiming for. Take the list on the outside of your circle and go deeper. Remember your primary goal is trying to overcome your fear.
How does fear apply to each situation be very specific. Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks? Are you afraid of being ignored?
One way to get outside your comfort zone is to expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort. Let’s say in a social meeting if you start feeing panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay a little longer than you normally would before retreating in to your comfort zone.
If you stay long enough and practice often enough it will start to feel less uncomfortable.
Some of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams. Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from that experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance for success.
Don’t try to just jump out of your comfort zone all at once you will become overwhelmed and jump right back in. Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to try something like public speaking start be taking every opportunity to speak in small groups like families or friends. when I started this I would get very emotional and cry every time. Tears are okay, tears are just words your heart cannot say. You will get stronger as time goes on.
There is no substitute for this step right hear. If you want to become better at something you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start imitating them. Almost inevitably their influence will start to have an effect on your behavior.
Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses. Don’t say “Oh I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.” Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance on moving forward.
Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will involve failure and setbacks that’s how life is for everyone. Everyone looks foolish at one time or another. Be happy to roll with the punches while others poke fun.
Enjoy the process of stepping outside your comfort zone. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.