It can be easy to stay in our safe little bubbles and never venture out but sometimes the best experiences come when we take chances.
Subconsciously we tend to stay in our comfort zones because we are afraid of what could happen if things don’t work out, whether that is the fear of rejection, failure or admitting to ourselves and/or those closest to us that we have made a mistake. But staying in our comfort zones can also have long term consequences and can stop us from doing things we really want to do.
When we think about stepping out our comfort zones, we tend to go to the extremes such as moving cities, switching jobs or taking a major risk in our personal lives. When the reality is that stepping out of our comfort zones can be something as simple as trying a new coffee place or saying yes to something you would normally say no to. It’s important to start small so you don’t get overwhelmed and fail which will stop you from trying again. There are many things you can do regularly to make stepping out of your comfort less scary:
- Have a day where you say yes to things – within reason of course!
- Pick something to step out of your comfort zone but do it with friends. - it’s often less scary to do things with friends, than alone and you also have an added layer of support.
- Choose fun things not scary things to begin with – take the art class you have always wanted to take, or colour your hair a bright colour.
- Space things out – don’t have a week where all you are doing is forcing yourself out of your comfort zone, do one thing a week or one thing a month.
- Praise yourself – see even the small things as a win.
Once you’ve gotten out your comfort zone and faced a few small things that are challenging. You can then look at taking bigger risks and getting yourself really out of your comfort zone. It’s important to put things in place before you do anything major such as:
- Putting safety measures in place – for example maybe having a mentor or someone you can talk to when you’re switching jobs and is there to provide guidance.
- Breaking it down – the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time and the same goes for stepping out our comfort zones.
- Acknowledging and accepting it will be hard – remind yourself if you weren’t scared about it then it wouldn’t be stepping out of your comfort zone.
- Surrounding yourself with friends who support you and recognise that this is important to you – you don’t need anyone else to second guess your decisions when you’re already doing that enough.
- Rewarding yourself – after you have stepped out of your comfort zone reward yourself and celebrate this huge achievement.
While stepping out of our comfort zones will always be challenging, the more you do it the easier it will get and the bigger the challenges you can face. Take things one step at a time and you will soon realise that scary things can be good things.
Feel free to drop by, just say, ‘Hey Erin’ in strict confidence and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or, do not hesitate to leave a question in the comments below any time.