The great thing about the comfort zone is, well, it’s comfortable. While comfortable, it’s more like quicksand, keeping you stuck and never moving forward. You’ll never accomplish anything new or spectacular in a comfortable place.
The worst thing about the comfort zone?
It breeds complacency and stagnation. As we become comfortable, we resist change and avoid taking risks.
As a result, nothing changes.
Why We get Stuck in the Comfort Zone
Evolution has taught our brains to search for safety. This is the reason your brain likes the comfort zone because it believes it’s where you’re safe.
Operating outside the comfort zone makes you feel uncomfortable. But to move beyond the comfort zone, you must decide to put up with discomfort.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the uncomfortable feelings and teach yourself to enjoy it. One of the simplest is to change your perspective or frame.
You see, when you change your frame, you begin to understand the potential being uncomfortable holds. Changing the way you look at discomfort can empower you.
If you want to grow and experience new things, it’s necessary to move beyond your comfort zone.
Today, let’s look at some easy ways you can do this.
Use these techniques to break out of your comfort zone:
1. Be mindful of your surroundings
Your thoughts are what make you feel emotionally uncomfortable. If you’re like most people, you imagine the worst. You ruminate over pasts mistakes and worry about the future. This creates stress and in a short while, it’s out of control.
One way to short-circuit this is to turn your attention mindfully outward. Focus on your environment.
Look at the trees, listen to the birds, feel the breeze on your face. When your brain is making you feel uncomfortable, focus on what you can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch.
2. Simulate the outcome you want
Visualization, or mentally or rehearsing what you want, can make things as real in your brain as the real thing. Before taking an action outside of your comfort zone, mentally rehearse what you’ll do and the results you want for that situation.
As any high performing athlete will tell you, the more you practice in your mind, the easier it will be for you when the time comes to perform physically.
One of the best times to simulate success is in bed, right before you go to sleep at night. The other is immediately after awakening. These are two powerful moments everyone should avoid wasting!
Let’s say you’re doing a project at work. See yourself completing the steps needed to finish it successfully. Feel how you’ll feel. Hear what your colleagues are telling you.
Simulation is a wonderful method that can help you successfully attain your outcomes. You can learn a lot more about this process in my book, Mindful Mastery: Find Focus, Get Unstuck, and Drop into the Peak Performance Zone.
3. Change your wardrobe.
Right now, you feel comfortable with the way you dress. It makes you feel safe to wear the same types of clothes. It doesn’t evoke any anxiety.
You can move yourself out of your comfort zone by changing your style. You don’t have to make dramatic changes. You can change your blouse, tie, or shoes. You can wear a brighter color than you normally do.
You’ll feel slightly out of place, but the good news is at least a few people will notice.
Maybe someone you wanted to notice!
4. Take a new route home.
This will shake things up.
By taking a completely different route home, you pay closer attention. When you pay attention, you never know what you’ll see that you’ve never seen before.
You might find a new restaurant or park that you’ll want to visit in the future.
5. Compliment someone
Giving a compliment can be a little nerve-racking. It’s hard to tell how she or he will take it. Additionally, you’re putting them on the spot because they’re forced to provide a reply.
Don’t let the comfort zone rob you of this experience. Giving compliments is a positive experience for everyone involved. It is an effective way to stretch your comfort zone safely.
6. Hang around risk takers – people who don’t like the comfort zone
One of my favorite inspirational speakers was Jim Rohn, who said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
My experience has been he’s exactly right! The people who have made me grow are big-time risk-takers. They changed the way I look at going through life.
Remember, the people you spend time with matters. By spending time with risk-takers, you can’t help but feel a little bolder.
It will definitely help you break free of the comfort zone.
7. Ask, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
When you try something new, ask, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
Then, sit down and make a list of the best and the worst outcomes. If you take a few minutes to analyze what you’re thinking about doing, you’ll probably find few downsides and huge upsides.
Example, approaching that attractive person you’ve wanted to talk to or applying for a job that’s a little over your head.
What’s the worst that can happen?
They might say they’re not interested.
You can learn from your experience and do a better job the next time.
There are plenty of options in life with great upside and minimal downside. Once you begin, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start this process a lot earlier.
8. Take tiny bites
There’s an old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. “
Taking even the smallest step will let you feel progress.
Trying to start a fitness program? Walk around the block.
Want to write a book? Write one page.
As you continue this process, eventually you’ll reach the outcome you want to achieve.
You can accomplish what you set out to do!
9. Pretend you’re brave
Fake it until you make it is something I’ve herd over and over again. The amazing thing is this can work.
Imagine you’re an actor. How would you think, stand, and behave if you had to pretend you were brave?
Become that person and act the part!
Another way to do this is to think about a time when you were brave in your life. Think back to that time and use your modalities to figure out how to feel brave again.
What did you see? What did you hear? How did you feel?
Now put yourself in that state.
You can learn more about using modalities to instantly change your state in my book, Mindful Mastery: Find Focus, Get Unstuck, and Drop into the Peak Performance Zone.
10. Try something new.
This doesn’t mean you have to jump out of an airplane. Do something that’s safe. Something new that doesn’t feel very threatening.
This could be going to a new restaurant, seeing a play, taking a walk in a park you haven’t visited before, or taking martial arts lessons.
It might be talking to someone at work or in line at the supermarket.
It doesn’t matter what it is, just do it!
You Don’t Have to Stay in the Comfort Zone
The world is a big place and there are lots of adventures for you to have during this short vacation you have here on this planet we call earth. Why not make the most of the time you’re been given?
Use these processes to build the courage to leave your comfort zone behind, if only for a little time each week. I promise you that you and your life will grow in new and interesting ways.
Remember: There’s nothing for you in your comfort zone besides comfort.
Breaking out will make your life so much more than that. Over time, you’ll become all that you can be!
Ready to unleash your unlimited potential? It’s time to get fired up and take action! Grab a copy of Mindful Mastery: Find Focus, Get Unstuck, and Drop Into the Peak Performance Zone on Amazon today – and revolutionize the way you think about success!