As an entrepreneur, my comfort zone has been something that I’ve needed to stretch or step outside of completely.
It’s difficult to launch a business without taking risks or feeling uncomfortable sometimes. But the reward that comes with stepping outside your comfort zone to take those risks can be so rewarding.
The truth is comfort zones can be restricting – however, they do bring comfort. You either love them or hate them. No matter how you feel about it, I know that never stepping out of your comfort zone can really hold you back. It can keep you from reaching your goals, experiencing wonderful things, or meeting amazing people.
I am an avid supporter of stepping outside your comfort zone any chance you get! Anxiety will cause fear of doing this, but if you follow steps to learning how to wiggle your way out of your bubble – you can really start impacting your life in a positive way.
Our guest blogger today is Tamaru Aultman, from The Silent Torch, and she is speaking with us about how you can step out of your comfort zone. By the end of this post you’ll be able to understand what happens when you step out of your comfort zone and the steps you can take to get out of it. Let’s read what she has to say…
Understanding What Happens When You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
When you think about a comfort zone, usually you associate that with safety. Your comfort zone is the 1 place where you feel the most comfortable, the most secure. And any disruption to it could result in the opposite effect.
For some, you may have the ability to grow your comfort zone, adding new things to it at periods of time in life. But for those who use their zone as a way to shield them from growth, stepping out could be the most uncomfortable feeling in the world.
So what happens when your comfort zone prevents you from enjoying life? And what can you do to step out of that zone?
Before we take a look at some steps, let’s dive into understanding our comfort zones.
Understanding Why You Build a Comfort Zone
Our comfort zones live within our minds. It is a psychological state that makes a person feel familiar, at ease, and in control of their surroundings. Sort of like a security blanket from the uncomfortable. As you set up a life routine, testing different patterns, routes, and habits, these things become familiar to you.
And familiarity is what makes many of us feel comfortable in our environment.
Now while there are those who are capable of expanding on their comfort zone, there are others who struggle to go beyond their closed doors. These are the people that I can relate to. For the most part, people such as myself have built up a comfort wall to shield from any discomfort. And some reasons behind that may be:
- Lowering your anxiety or stress level
- To maintain control and structure
- Limiting the unknown
- To put a limit on interactions
- Help to maintain a form of mental health
- Avoid any trauma due to change
For someone with a lack of ability to grow their comfort zone, these tend to be the best way for them to handle everyday life.
What Happens When Your Comfort Zone Prevents You From Enjoying Life?
When you think about your comfort zone, you usually don’t think about it preventing you from enjoying life. For some, their comfort zone is filled with adventure and taking chances. While for others, it’s more of a blocked wall from the unknown.
However, when you really look at it, in a way, your zone may be keeping you stuck in a certain lifestyle. With the world full of possibilities to try something new, you could possibly find yourself stepping back from that new recipe or attending an event out of your element. And what’s 1 thing that may prevent you from trying these things?…..fear.
Our comfort zones are built off of our fears towards trying something new.
It’s that Murphy’s law thought of “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” And oftentimes that could leave someone paralyzed with fear from trying something new. And there are three fears that may be holding you back from coming out of your zone.
- Fear of failure
- Fear of change
- Fear of the unknown
When you look at these, it’s common for someone to have these fears for something out of your element. So don’t feel alone about this because you’re not. We all feel this way about something.
Once you take fear out of the driver’s seat, you’re able to grow beyond your zone and experience those things that you’ve only dreamt of. And believe me, the reasons behind growing your comfort zone will outweigh that fear.
What Can You Do to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably terrified by the thought of doing something different than your norm. Being uncomfortable is, well, uncomfortable. It is a feeling that many of us still don’t know how to guide through.
And while it may only last for a few minutes, the sensation of it all could leave a lasting inner scar for life. But while it may leave that scar mentally, not being able to embrace change could leave a world of regrets and missed opportunities.
It’s only in recent years that I’ve started to come more and more out of my shell to try new things. And as uncomfortable as it may seem, taking baby steps have contributed to the start of building my self-esteem and self-encouragement.
Taking baby steps towards growing your comfort zone
So let’s look at some ways that may help you grow your own zone.
1. Give Up Some of Your Control
Your comfort zone allows you to have control of what goes on around you. And having control stops you from being hurt by the unknown. But the unknown doesn’t have to be scary. A good start to growing your zone is to give up some control. Not all, just a little at a time.
Try allowing a friend to decided where you may eat for lunch one day. Or if you’re in a higher position maybe let your supervisor handle some of your workload. By not having complete control, you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and seeing what it’s like to let someone else make the decisions for you.
2. Try Switching Up Your Routine
There’s nothing like a familiar routine. Whether it’s a certain way you take to work or going to the gym at a certain time, those routines spell out comfort. But no matter how comfortable those routines are, they may become stale after a while.
Take the first step of changing it up a bit. Pick a day to travel a different route to work. Or maybe have lunch at that new spot on the corner one Saturday. Making smaller changes to your routine still gives you the option to keep your old routine but grow your comfort as you try something new.
3. Make “Yes” More of an Option
Saying yes to something outside your comfort zone exposes you to discomfort. And that could bring a feeling of anxiety and fear. This is something that I’ve struggled with for many years. I ended up missing out on a lot of things that I just know I would’ve found enjoyment in.
However, saying yes doesn’t have to be a crippling feeling of discomfort. Again, baby steps can go a long way towards growth. Rather than starting off with something huge, try saying “yes” to something small. That could be trying a new food or helping a coworker with a small task at work.
4. Challenge Yourself to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
This could be a huge step towards growing your comfort zone. Challenges set you up for goals to reach. And the biggest challenge you could have is to test yourself in different ways. Create a small challenge for yourself during the week. Start off with something you know will have the smallest amount of discomfort.
Try going to a coffee shop by yourself and ordering a new drink or maybe take a day trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go for a short period of time. By challenging yourself, you may begin to push your boundaries more and more each time to step out of your comfort zone.
5. Spark Up a Conversation
As someone who has social anxiety, sparking up a conversation with anyone has been a struggle. And if you’re like me, then you know that feeling. However, chatting with someone new is another good way to test your comfort zone.
Next time you see that neighbor you always wanted to talk to, start off with a simple hello in the elevator. By saying a “hello”, not only does it open a dialogue but it’s the first step towards building up comfort for meeting new people.
6. Track Your Progress of Growth
Testing your boundaries should be a great feat of accomplishments. And there’s nothing like looking back on how far you’ve come with each feat you’ve completed. Grab a journal, spreadsheet, or a tracking app and begin to jot down all your progress.
For starters, you may create a list of daily or weekly challenges and track whether you’ve completed them. Even create a column for side notes for each one, describing what may have prevented you from completing any difficult challenges.
And the best part about keeping your progress is that you get to see how far along you’ve come.
Why Moving at Your Own Pace is Always the Best Path
With all these great ideas to grow your comfort zone, one thing to keep in mind is actually your comfort. While it’s great to try new things in life, it’s always best to pace yourself at your speed. Growing your comfort zone is more of a walk and not a race.
There’s nothing like moving at your own pace. By giving yourself the needed time frame, you allow yourself to gain comfort with trying something new. And the more comfort you build, the more you’re able to expand on your zone.
Try not to let others push you into something you’re not ready for. Remember that there is no deadline for growing your comfort zone. Moving at your own pace, in the long run, will benefit you more than hinder you.
When it all comes down to it, your comfort zone should be something that makes you comfortable. And expanding on it could open a world of new things, new possibilities, and new challenges. Take your zone in the right direction for you and say yes to opening your door to all that’s out there in front of you. And of course, do it at your own pace. So what would be your first challenge out of your comfort zone?
Until next time, this is Tammy saying keep strong, keep positive and NOTHING’S impossible!!!
About the Author
By day, Tamaru is an Administrative Assistant but in her spare time, she’s a Mental Health Awareness & Positivity blogger. As someone who manages her own depression, she shares what she’s learned with those who struggle with their own through her blog. When she’s not blogging, she’s working on self-publishing the books she’s worked on over the years.
Tamaru shared some awesome advice! The idea of stepping outside your comfort zone can sound very scary. But you can find comfort knowing that you’re not alone! It’s okay to be scared, and it’s okay to have a comfort zone to begin with. What isn’t okay is your comfort zone negatively impacting your life. Tamaru has some great advice and steps to prevent this.
If you’ve realized your comfort zones is holding you back, I hope you take these steps to break through it! Being an entrepreneur gives you plenty of opportunities to step outside your comfort zone…and if you do, it can really help boost your business!
Please comment below if you loved this post and let me know!
And as always…I am here to help you boost your business.