“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian Tracy
This year has been the year that I have decided to push my boundaries. I am purposely stepping out of my comfort zone weekly in order to continue growing. Stepping out of your comfort zone is not always easy. But once you do, I promise that the feeling will be amazing.
We have reached July 2nd – the first Monday of the mid-year point. This is a good time to look at the last six months, evaluate your goals, do some shifting if you need to and step out of your comfort zone.
Here are 12 ways you can push yourself out of your comfort zone daily:
1. Take the first stepAll you need to do is to take the first step. It will be difficult. The first day at the gym is the worst. The opening line of your story takes the longest time….etc. But as you gain momentum, it is easier to keep moving.
2. Put yourself in a new environment
Begin with some small changes that do not present any real threat, such as eating at a different restaurant in a different part of town, or attending an art exhibit. The idea is to place yourself in new areas where you control the interaction.
3. Don’t pick the safe choice
Every time you’re making a choice, one choice is the safe/comfortable choice, and one choice is the risky/uncomfortable choice. The risky/uncomfortable choice is the one that will teach you the most and make you grow the most, so that’s the one you should choose.
4. Take a different route home
If you drive or walk a different route, you will see different things. In a small way, that increases your view of the world. That is just an easy way to start. After that, you can make more drastic changes. Eventually, you will feel comfortable thinking out of the box.
5. Make a snap decisionIt doesn’t have to be a life-or-death decision. Anything from choosing a restaurant to shopping. Just make a choice that’s unusual for your routine without overthinking it.
If that still sounds daunting, flip a coin. Yes, I am serious! Flip a coin over the decision and stick to it. I do it all the time and end up glad that I did (mostly).
Eliminating the need for mulling over a decision greatly boosts the process of stepping out of our comfort zones. Plus, snap decisions instill a feeling of self-trust. So, like Nike ‘just do it.’
6. Consider other points of view
Surround yourself with very smart people who are a little bit arrogant and disagree with you on many things. Make sure to debate ideas with them, in a civil way, which will cause you to re-examine your beliefs.
7. Say “yes” more often
Say yes even when you don’t think you’re ready. … If you are working, say yes to new projects, new assignments, new roles — even when you have not done it before. It opens up huge opportunities in your career. Who knows — you might find yourself enjoying something you never got the chance to explore earlier.
Preferably, make it a learning experience. Pick something you’re very unfamiliar with and soak up everything you can while also making yourself useful.
9. Do what you’re afraid of
New mindset. It goes like this: Does this scare me? Then I have to do it. That’s how you conquer fear. It never goes away, you just learn how to ride that energy.
10. Create challenges to push yourself in areas you want to improve
Decide on a few challenges (and their triggers) for yourself designed to push you outside of your comfort zone in areas you want to develop.
• Next time you see a handsome boy or girl (trigger) you have to go and talk to him/her (challenge).
• Next time you go buy a cup of coffee (trigger) ask for a 10% discount (challenge).
• Next time you find yourself making eye contact with a stranger (trigger) keep it until they look away (challenge).
• Next time someone asks you how you are (trigger) respond by saying you are great/fantastic instead of just ‘good’ (challenge).
Just focus on these triggers and don’t make any excuses. It’ll become a habit after a while.
11. Allow others to decide for you
I make all the travel plans for my husband and I. If he was in charge we wouldn’t go anywhere. So, catch hold of friends who are more outgoing than you. Let them make the plans, and just go with it.
12. Remember that tomorrow is a new day
It helps to remember that what doesn’t kill you generally really does make you stronger — you will survive, you will heal, you will learn something, you will have a better chance of emerging unscathed next time.
My challenge to you today is to put some of these into practice this next couple of weeks to step out of your comfort zone then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how it goes.
Know someone that could step out of their comfort zone? Share with them via Facebook, Email or Twitter.