6 Key Ways To Leave Your Comfort Zone
Every person and every situation is different. We all have our comfort zones for different reasons. Every opportunity to leave those comfort zones are different. For that reason, this article is going to address six key ways to escape your comfort zone.
Please read them all, as they might not all apply to you or a situation that you are likely to find yourself in. Hopefully some of them will help you to get out into the area around it which some call “the courage zone” and others simply call “where the magic happens.” (Source)
1. Recognize That You’re Not The Only One
We tend to think of our comfort zones as our own, things that no one else has. But read that language again and pay attention to the inclusive language. Everyone has a comfort zone. The things that we are uncomfortable with are often very similar. Often they are: presenting in front of groups or entering a room full of strangers.
Understand that if you are out of your comfort zone, everyone else probably is as well. That should help you to feel a little less uncomfortable.
2. Take Small Steps to Step out of Your Comfort Zone
Usually, we can see departures from our comfort zones a mile away. The expectation that it will be uncomfortable convince many of us not to bother preparing. Remember, like everything else, we can prepare for it with practice.
This still requires leaving your comfort zone but doing so on your terms can make it more bearable.
3. Do Uncomfortable Things In A Comfortable Environment
Sometimes, when you can’t escape your comfort zone on your terms, you can still avoid it on your turf. If an opportunity arises to escape your comfort zone and it doesn’t require a specific venue, try to pick the location and make it somewhere you’re comfortable with. Pick a suitable place. Whether that’s your office, favorite restaurant, a park, doing something uncomfortable can be better for you.
4. Trust Your Decisions to Step out of Your Comfort Zone
You’re comfortable in your comfort zone. You probably know what to do there and when you know what to do people tend to take notice. Most of us are offered opportunities to step out of our comfort zones every day. Sadly, many of us don’t because we’re scared.
An opportunity to step out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be an opportunity that you look for or create yourself. It just has to be one that you recognize and that you accept because you trust yourself.
5. Allow Your Comfort Zone To Expand
Sometimes the external pressure can be higher than the internal pressure to escape. By embracing the problems and engagements that we find inside, we outgrow our zones and organically expand their borders. You should always test your limits and know that you can leave if that would be advantageous. Charging out into unexplored territory just because you read about the dangers of your comfort zone is not advisable. That may land you in a situation that you are legitimately unprepared for.
6. Have Your Reasons to Step out of Your Comfort Zone
On a similar note, leaving your comfort zone can be more difficult if you don’t see the reason for it. Leaving your comfort zone is a lot easier if you have your motivations for it. Especially if those motivations are personal goals beyond just money or peer pressure.
How To Use Your Comfort Zone
Continually expand, you can frequently reach for more opportunities. There are many benefits of going out of your comfort zone, but it is also a little aggressive. Expanding your comfort zone also has more defensive advantages.
We all have things that make us uncomfortable. While they may prevent us from leaving our comfort zone, sometimes they can also enter it. Just like we can take advantage of opportunities to step out of our it, there are ways for things to get in.
Maybe you’re comfortable with presenting information, but a job requires you to fly somewhere, which is not in your comfort zone. Maybe you’re a competent public speaker, but someone in the audience asks a question about a topic that you are not comfortable with.
By expanding our comfort zones, we can protect ourselves from some of these unforeseen intrusions. Of course, it’s not possible to be prepared for every possible invasions. Uncertainty is a part of life that shouldn’t stop you from trying new things. (Source)
Leaving Your Comfort Zone Can Be Fun
This is the reason that many people enjoy extreme sports of outdoor recreation like scuba diving, mountain climbing, or skydiving. They are typical examples of a competition that takes people outside of their comfort zone.
Meeting new people is also something that we like to do. For many of us it involves stepping out of our comfort zone.
Everyone is different and every new person that you meet will also come with their opportunities for you to expand your comfort zone. They can introduce you to interests and activities that you may not have any familiarity with. After all, things don’t need to be scary or dangerous to be uncomfortable. Listening to new music, going to new places, or seeing certain films can be uncomfortable.
If you’re interested in meeting new people to expand your comfort zone, consider joining clubs or organizations. Community gardens, services, book clubs, or events at your local library are excellent places to meet kind and interesting people.
Joining an organization based on your interests is an excellent way to meet people who share those interests. Joining organizations based on things that you might not be very familiar with can be another good way to expand your comfort zone by learning new things.
Comfort Zones And Safe Zones
Ironically, another great place to expand your comfort zone is in a “safe zone.” Safe zones started popping up in the last few years at University campuses in the United States.
Those are places where people could go without fear of being made fun of or confronted for their differences. Since then the concept has grown to include many churches, restaurants, coffee shops or community centers. (Source)
The media sources are critical of safe zones. They commonly portray them as places of complete homogeneity where people go to avoid confronting new ideas. In reality, safe zones are populated by people of vastly different ethnic and religious backgrounds and widely differing political outlooks.
Because of the emphasis on not being offensive that pervades these safe zones, many people find them even more difficult places to start up conversations. Even if you don’t start up a discussion, spending time in these areas is often a good way to encounter very different people. You can witness common issues like race, religion or politics discussed from very different and often under-represented perspectives in a non-combative atmosphere.
Many of these locations will also have knowledgeable staff and educational materials. You can learn how to talk to people and what kinds of people are usually represented there.
Meeting New People in Your Comfort Zone
By the way, expanding your comfort zone can also make it easier to meet new people, whether personally or professionally. This article has said before that everyone has their comfort zone. We make the things in our comfort zone, and the things in our comfort zone make us. Think about how things that you enjoy, like music, food or interests, become a huge part of your life.
If something that is in someone else’s comfort zone is not in your comfort zone, it can be difficult to get along with them, at least at first. And this goes the other way too. Someone else may not be as comfortable meeting you if one of your favorite things is outside of their comfort zone.
Expanding your comfort zone makes you more likely to get along with other people because you will have more in common with them – or at least a better understanding of your differences.
This makes it easier to meet and get along with people in social settings, but it also makes it easier to deal with people that we have to deal with, like people that we work with or bump into on the street. (Source)
Your Comfort Zone And Self-Confidence
Going outside your comfort zone can be an excellent way to develop self-confidence, which makes it easier to face daunting obstacles in the future.
While the things that scare you in your professional life and your personal life may seem very different because of the very different contexts in which they occur, they often share common factors.
The fear of confrontation or argument, the fear of rejection or failure, the fear of meeting new people or admitting that you aren’t good at something or don’t know something, all of these are things that make people uncomfortable that may manifest in work or personal settings.
Encountering one of these situations in either setting can help to expand your comfort zone. When you face a similar situation in another context, you will be ready for it.
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